7.6 Billion Reasons Why The US 'War On Drugs' In Afghanistan Failed

Tyler Durden's picture

The US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan is "disappointed," according the statement department latter below, responding to the Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) findings over poppy cultivation in the troubled nation. Simply put, despite the United States spending approximately $7.6 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan (as of June 30, 2014), opium poppy cultivation levels in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in 2013 (with a 50% rise last year alone). Of course, like any good government agency, deny and blame someone else, as the DOD went on to state that "the failure to reduce poppy cultivation and increase eradication is due to the lack of Afghan government support for the effort."

Poppy Cultivation hits an all-time high - despite counternarcotics spend by the US government of $7.6bn!!


Dear Secretary Kerry, Secretary Hagel, Attorney General Holder, and Administrator Shah:

I am writing to provide the results of SIGAR’s analysis of recent trends in opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. As you know, the narcotics trade poisons the Afghan financial sector and undermines the Afghan state’s legitimacy by stoking corruption, sustaining criminal networks, and providing significant financial support to the Taliban and other insurgent groups. Despite spending over $7 billion to combat opium poppy cultivation and to develop the Afghan government’s counternarcotics capacity, opium poppy cultivation levels in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in 2013.


According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Afghan farmers grew an unprecedented 209,000 hectares of opium poppy in 2013, surpassing the previous peak of 193,000 hectares in 2007. With deteriorating security in many parts of rural Afghanistan and low levels of eradication of poppy fields, further increases in cultivation are likely in 2014.


As of June 30, 2014, the United States has spent approximately $7.6 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan. Multiple sources of funding support these efforts, including the Department of Defense (DOD) Afghan Security Forces Fund, the State Department's (State) International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement fund, the DOD Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities fund, financial support from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Economic Support Fund. Counternarcotics efforts include the development of Afghan government counternarcotics capacity, operational support to Afghan counternarcotics forces; encouragement of alternative livelihoods for Afghan farmers; financial incentives to Afghan authorities to enforce counternarcotics laws; and, in limited instances, counternarcotics operations conducted by U.S. authorities in coordination with their Afghan counterparts.


Despite the significant financial expenditure, opium poppy cultivation has far exceeded previous records. Affordable deep-well technology has turned 200,000 hectares of desert in southwestern Afghanistan into arable land over the past decade. Due to relatively high opium prices and the rise of an inexpensive, skilled, and mobile labor force, much of this newly-arable land is dedicated to opium cultivation. Poppy-growing provinces that were once declared 'poppy free' have seen a resurgence in cultivation. Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, considered a model for successful counterinsurgency and counternarcotics efforts and deemed ‘poppy free’ by the UNODC in 2008, saw a fourfold increase in opium poppy cultivation between 2012 and 2013. The UNODC estimates that the value of the opium and its derivative products produced in Afghanistan was nearly $3 billion in 2013, up from $2 billion in 2012. This represents an increase of 50 percent in a single year.

Who is to blame?

For its part, DOD acknowledged the significance of increased opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, and that “poppy production is on the increase and is a significant threat to U.S. and international efforts in Afghanistan.” Like the Embassy Kabul response, DOD highlighted its efforts and those of other U.S. government agencies to build a “reliable Afghan counterdrug partner and enduring Afghan [counternarcotics] capacity.” However, DOD went on to state that “the failure to reduce poppy cultivation and increase eradication is due to the lack of Afghan government support for the effort."

The State Department is disappointed:

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Once again, government efficiency exposed.

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LetThemEatRand's picture

What is simultaneously most amusing and most depressing about this is that 95% of Americans don't realize that poppy cultivation has increased to fund CIA and other black ops projects.   And gee, I wonder where that $7.6 Billion spent on "stopping" the production really went.   It redefines the expression "they got you coming and going."

seek's picture

Yeah, I think we all know there's no fucking way the US dropped $7.6B on counternarcotics and has less than nothing to show for it. More likely the spooks dropped $50M in counternarcotics public relations to make it look like they were spending, and the remaining 7.55B went to god knows who and what. Probably a few personal fortunes and a few private ebola labs given historical precedents, along with untracable weapons for ISIS on top of the ones they borrowed in Libya.

disabledvet's picture

"I've got a permit for that.  Yes...for the whole twenty ton shipment."

TahoeBilly2012's picture

The Fed Bank needed to cap H prices in order for inflation not to show up.

SafelyGraze's picture

we are very proud of our round-up ready line of poppy products





the monsantoneers 


mickeyman's picture

I love the smell of burning opium in the morning . . . it smells like victory!

zhandax's picture

"7.55B went to god knows who and what"

Marketing / Entertainment.  Gotta keep those customers happy.

Bumbu Sauce's picture

New and improved with THE TERMINATOR GENE.

Right nimrod?  smh

ArkansasAngie's picture

What happened to napalm?


Honestly ... our government sucks!


ANd they can't legalize pot here.


Piss on them all

Otrader's picture

The corruption runs sooooo deep that we'll never know where the money goes 'on behalf of the US taxpayers'.  All you have to do is throw the phrase 'National Security' and you can't question or argue anything anymore.  

A Nanny Moose's picture

The "war" on drugs is failing precisely because the result of the initiation of force is always the exact opposite of the state goals for the initiation of force.

James_Cole's picture

See if you can spot the trend since 2001 (start of US&A afghan double freedom extra liberty invasion)



lol, didn't know they did home delivery!

Nondrone 99's picture

All of these giant Missing Money Bombs-only a COUNTRY could possibly need to steal Bills&Trills-Now what Country has the Means Motive and Opportunity to Sneak Thief Money at such Volume? Hm.What Country could it Possiby Be? Can sombody figure this out?

auntiesocial's picture

i was never very good at guessing games...


Ignatius's picture

And Gary Webb just made up all that CIA/cocain connection shit.

Yeah, right.

The 'War on Drugs' is a farce.

VW Nerd's picture

Jim Willie expounds on the CIA/Black Ops/Afghan heroin connection on some of his recent interviews...



shovel ready's picture

If they had simply given every man, woman and child in Afghanistan $253 each ($7.6B / 30M people), this would have been more than a 50% increase in the median annual income(~$425 pa).

Given that the median annual income probably represents 1 family member and not all the kids etc you can probably double this figure for workers/earners.

So... they probably could have offered everybody a 10% pay increase if they just take the year off and do nothing....

auntiesocial's picture

ditto. it is not meant to be stopped. just spent by people other than you and me. and if you end up with a habit or deal in NYC, you are the schmuck thrown in prison. 

alexcojones's picture

Heroin is a cash crop for our Black Ops GOV

And helps support the prison industry here at home.

alexcojones's picture

 Not long ago I spoke to a couple of former US Marines who served in Afghanistan.

"What was your job over there?" I asked.

"Guarding the poppy fields," they said, as these images attest.

Images for Us Marines Guarding Poppy Fields


Nondrone 99's picture

NATO Ally TURKEY is the Transhipment point and where the OPIUM CONVOYS are headed-destination HEROIN fACTORIES.And it is al perfectly well known-courtesy of SIBEL EDMONDS=the most court-ordered gagged person in US history.

zerohedgejjxxzz12's picture

Does Oly North mean anything here!

Nondrone 99's picture

In South Florida,it's a PLACE.Olly's Cove.Nobody can see what goes on.Or if they do.they better make sure nobody finds out they saw something.

takeaction's picture

Not trying to thread jack....But this needs to be a headline story.  It has started already.  Vote Republicn and the vote is switched..."Calibration ERROR"....Really?


cornflakesdisease's picture

Saw that on the Drudge.  Things seem to be unravelling quickly.

q99x2's picture

When did the Kerry dynasty take office? Answer: confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 94–3 on January 29, 2013 Kerry assumed the office of the Secretary of State on February 1, 2013.

Oooohhhh. Imagine that bitchez The Forbes/Kerry drug smuggling dynasty takes office of SoS and opium production goes up 50%.

That calls for a dose of the Hunch.

Feel better now.

NoVa's picture


simply Sad


Gerb00's picture

If some white cracker showed up and told me to stop producing the cash crop that feeds me kids, would I stop?

Oh I would drop right down and kiss their ring of omnipotence....and thank them for saving me....and promise to donate to the DNC....

Let them all burn in hell.

Nondrone 99's picture

They want them to grow Potatoes.

wharfdaddy's picture

I have it on good account that the US Blackhawks are flying right out to the Poppy fields to collect opium from the tribal chiefs. No wonder kids are dying in record numbers from overdoses all across the nation and around the world. 

Duc888's picture



The WOD is a resounding sucess for both the banks as well as Law Enforcement Agencies. 


It's a jobs program for LEO's as well as a mechanism for funding black projects for extra governmental entities and the banks NEED the WOD to produce their record "skim" by laundering the monies.


Win, win, win.

disabledvet's picture

Even Goring was a drug addict.

Why not all of Pakistan?  Just import the rich people...everything will be fine!

This is a happy time!  Here...and some of my stash for free!

fibonacci's claus's picture

 i remember hearing that when the taliban retook afghanistan they wiped out all the poppy fields stopped the drug trade there, and when the u.s went back in within 12 months the poppy fields were back up and running. 

does anyone else remember hearing that???

we all remember iran contra.  ole's rat line to nicaragua had a cocaine nose job that ended here in the states and crack was born in the ghettos.  i guess in ole's heart it was the lesser of two evils?

we have now found out that all the major banks were in on laundering the drug money and that it was washed through the markets etc. 

if it is a three/four trillion dollar trade a year (all in u.s dollars) that must mean that there are some very huge black ops going on with some very serious financing... cuz all main st has seen is death and destruction and militarized police forces

disabledvet's picture

Hunter Biden was no accident!

juangrande's picture

Back in the Iran/Contra days, arms were flown out and coke flown in to where you say? Mena Arkansas. And who was the Gov of Ark? Why Slick Willy!  Quid pro quo....


Nondrone 99's picture

It's true Fib.The Loot goes to banks.HSBC for a long time.TPTB got mad-they need that $ to prop themselves up.They have Special People for these narco jobs.Used to be Dick Armitage.He's old now.though.John Negroponte handles Death Squads-remember what happened 3 months after State sent Negroponte to Iraq.All through his career Same Thing.Once there was a Bank called Nugan Hand-until they didn't need it because BCCI.

Falling Down's picture

Excellent points, that "other empire" let it roll, unfettered, too, back in the 80's.

luckylogger's picture

I do remember the same thing.....

I think they figured out that money is better than religion so now they run drugs too.......

Maybe Obummer and Bush could write a book...

"How To Fuk Up a Country for Dummies"............

Or maybe...

"How to Fuk up a Country in Five Easy Steps".....


limacon's picture

The only external power that made a dent in the Afghans was the Mongols . They simply exterminated them . But the territory repopulated with refugees .





Tibet is analogous .




And in the US you have the Hillbillies .


 "a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammeled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him. “Hillbillies” are often considered independent and self-reliant individuals that resist the modernization of society. "

This is Afghan or Swiss . Ghurkha too 


If the countryside is up-and-down , then so are the people .

And you are welcome to go and call them "sheeple" to their face .

Cannon Fodder's picture

That assumes the plan was to eradicate poppy fields... more likely it was to make money off of it.

I really would like to see a study that tracks the money from opium sales... break it down from how much the grower gets, the smugglers, the selers, etc. See how much ends up in Western banks...

Anyone know of any such study?

FeralSerf's picture

The Queen decided that such a study wouldn't be politically correct.

BobRocket's picture

Try this




later versions moved to stop putting the prices (wholesale/retail/street) in because it was felt that it was being used as a price guide. (they were right, now the market sets the price)



'Drugs money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor'



(you can see from the spelling mistake in the link why the Guardian is called the Grauniad in the UK)


i_call_you_my_base's picture

They are likely using the funds to pay off internal people to fight or not to fight, depending on who you are and how they feel that day. That's how all of these ME wars function, they pay people. There is little sense of country, only clan, and those clans will fight for the highest bidder (becauase if you live in afghanistan, you're poor as fuck). They also probably use the funds in Iraq, Syria, etc, in the same way.

stormsailor's picture

they should start a campaign to fight honesty, integrity, education, and hard work.   that would really fuck whats left of this country up

axel_hose's picture

$7.6 billion would have bought a lot of Roundup.

juangrande's picture

I'm sure there was a cache of discounted Agent Orange that needed using. 

Herdee's picture

So,tell me this,how do you actually win a war against a plant?Any new strategies for Uncle Sam?I got one,it's called "spending the money on a proper education sytem".Duh