NATO's Drug Problem

Op-Ed The National Interest
Summary
NATO's new war on drugs in Afghanistan will put troops in greater danger for a venture that may not even work. It just might be the straw that breaks the alliance's back.
Related Media and Tools
 

Last week in Budapest, NATO defense ministers declared war against the $4 billion illegal opium industry in Afghanistan. In a U.S.-driven move, ISAF troops will target the high end of the drugs industry—the heroin laboratories and the traffickers—in an effort to cut off the cash flowing to the Taliban insurgency.

Advocates presented this decision as a “tactical adjustment.” But in fact it marks an attempt to militarize our way out of the narcotics problem in Afghanistan. At a time when troops on the ground are stretched thin and the coalition is losing the battle for Afghan hearts and minds, such a radical shift in policy could prove to be NATO's mission-too-far.

No foreign army has ever succeeded in a counternarcotics effort of this kind. Drugs are fundamentally economic and law enforcement issues. At best, military force has made only a marginal impact, and in most cases, it has been counterproductive. Thailand, Burma and, to a lesser extent, Colombia succeeded in eliminating or gaining partial control of their drug trades only after decades of sustained political and economic development efforts. But Thailand, for one, had to offer its farmers a five-year amnesty to switch from illegal to legitimate crops.

(To continue reading, click here)

End of document
 
Source http://carnegieeurope.eu/2008/10/15/nato-s-drug-problem/brwi

Publication Resources

Stay in the Know

Enter your email address to receive the latest Carnegie analysis in your inbox!

Personal Information
 
 
Carnegie Europe
 
Carnegie Europe Rue du Congrès, 15 1000 Brussels, Belgium Phone: +32 2 735 56 50 Fax: +32 2736 6222
Please note...

You are leaving the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy's website and entering another Carnegie global site.

请注意...

您离开卡内基 - 清华全球政策中心网站,进入另一个卡内基全球网站。