Now officially a national federal emergency, the opioid crisis is gutting America. The roots of this complex issue lie in supply, not demand, and while we are beginning to see major pharmaceutical executives being indicted for conspiracy and bribery of doctors, we have a long way to go to turn this thing around.
Pharmaceutical and synthetic opioids are a major part of the catastrophe, but the other side of the supply chain is actual opium, and the world’s biggest opium market just happens to be occupied Afghanistan, the epicenter of the global heroin trade. The United States military has been operating in Afghanistan as part of the war on terror for over 16 years now, and opium production in the war-torn nation continues to increase, year-over-year, coinciding with the rise of the opioid crisis.
2018 looks to be another record year for opium production in Afghanistan. As reported by Business Insider:
“The country has produced the majority of the world’s opium for some time, despite billions of dollars spent by the US to fight it during the 16-year-long war there. Afghan and Western officials now say that rather than getting smuggled out of Afghanistan in the form of opium syrup, at least half of the crop is getting processed domestically, before leaving the country as morphine or heroin.” [Source]
This particular article goes on to attribute the high production of opium, morphine and heroin on the Taliban, suggesting that the U.S. has been spending billions in taxpayer dollars directly fighting the drug war in Afghanistan.
“Those forms are easier to smuggle, and they are much more valuable for the Taliban, which reportedly draws at least 60% of its income from the drug trade. With its increasing focus on trafficking drugs, the Taliban has taken on more of the functions a drug cartel.” [Source]
What is not mentioned, however, is the fact that international trade in illegal drugs from war-torn countries is essential to geopolitics, implying that the U.S. military is being used to create an environment where the drug trade is allowed to flourish
“It’s clear that drug trafficking is a major factor in world scheme, and some people put it up as maybe number three, after oil being number one, and then arms number two, and then drugs number three. Actually there’s a certain amount of interaction between those because very often where you’re having illicit trafficking of arms, the planes that take arms in one direction, the arms are paid for with drugs and the planes come back with drugs.” ~Peter Dale Scott
This suggestion coincides with production data since the U.S. invasion, and with statements made by a former U.S. who in 2015 stated that the CIA was actively involved in the Afghan drug trade.
“I’m ashamed to say that I have participated in these drug smuggling operations on many occasions. For a long time, I tried to convince myself that we were doing it for the right cause, but this burden is destroying me inside and I just can’t stand it anymore” he admitted before the court audience.
“The CIA has been dealing drugs since its creation. They’ve been smuggling drugs everywhere in the world for the past 60 years, in Taiwan in 1949 to support General Chiang Kai-shek against the Chinese commies, in Vietnam, in Nicaragua, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg” he launched out during the court trial. “We helped the Mujahideen develop poppy cultivation to fight the Soviets, but we took back matters in our own hands in 2001 when we invaded Afghanistan under Bush” he pleaded. ~John F. Abbotsford, a 38-year old Afghan war veteran [Source]