Ronald Reagan’s covert war budgeteering:
Between 1981 and 1990, Afghanistan’s opium production grew 10-fold – from 250 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes. After just two years of covert CIA support for the Afghan guerrillas, the US attorney general announced in 1981 that Pakistan was already the source of 60% of the American heroin supply.
The Bush and Cheney follow through:
After five years of the US occupation, Afghanistan’s drug production had swollen to unprecedented proportions. In August 2007, the UN reported that the country’s record opium crop covered almost 20,000 hectares, an area larger than all the coca fields in Latin America. From a modest 185 tonnes at the start of American intervention in 2001, Afghanistan now produced 8,200 tonnes of opium, a remarkable 53% of the country’s GDP and 93% of global heroin supply.
Afghanistan: a thoroughly ravaged country with over one million dead, five million refugees, 10-20 million landmines still in place, an infrastructure in ruins, an economy in tatters, and well-armed tribal warlords. Let’s war.