For decades, the Taliban has been fueling their operations from their opium farms and production of heroin. The entire operation was able to flourish under the Obama administration which refused to target the operation. Thanks to Obama, the Taliban was able to become the top producer of heroin in the world. Their operations reportedly make them billions of dollars.
The Trump administration has taken a much different approach than Obama who was directly responsible for the Taliban and ISIS growth throughout the years. In fact, it has been proven that Obama and the CIA refused to target drug operations and directly and indirectly sold weapons to the terrorist organizations that allowed their operations to thrive.
According to ZeroHedge:
Buzzfeed details how a vast arsenal of weapons sent to Syria by the CIA in cooperation with US allies fuelled the rapid growth of ISIS. Buzzfeed’s story entitled, Blowback: ISIS Got A Powerful Missile The CIA Secretly Bought In Bulgaria, begins by referencing “a new report on how ISIS built its arsenal highlights how the US purchased munitions, intended for Syrian rebels, that ended up in the hands of the terrorist group.”
The original study that Buzzfeed and other media are referencing comes from a UK-based independent weapons research organization called Conflict Armament Research (CAR) which has had a team of weapons and munitions experts on the ground in the Middle East for years examining arms and equipment recovered from ISIS and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Using serial numbers, crate shipping markings, and all available forensics data, the CAR experts began finding that as early as 2013 to 2014 much of the Islamic State’s advanced weapons systems as well as small arms were clearly sourced to the United States and the West.
Trump is doing everything in his power to reverse the damage done by the Obama administration and its direct involvement in the growth of ISIS by not targeting known drug operations. Trump is giving the go-ahead to destroy their revenue stream by attacking their opium refining labs. An American General said, “This is a new war. The gloves are off, if you will, and we’ve got now these authorities we need to be able to go and target the Taliban network…The Taliban have never had to face a sustained targeting campaign focused on disrupting their illicit revenue activities.”
In 2017 alone, the Taliban has produced 9,921 tons of opium so far. The total is up from 5,291 tons it produced in 2016. The Taliban takes in about $400 million dollars a year which accounts for up to 60% of their entire budget. The Obama administration had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and formed an alliance with the drug lords of the nation in a misguided effort to rid the country of the Taliban.
According to ConservativeDailyPost:
Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Afghanistan from 2009-2013, said, “Drug control wasn’t a priority. Limiting casualties was, and if that meant engaging in unholy alliances with actors of diverse plumage, such was the case.”
They formed alliances with many drug lords and helped them take out their Taliban affiliated competition in the region. The Drug Enforcement Agency(DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department and the Treasury Department were all in on the plan to give their preferred drug lords a pass.
Obama’s strategy of limiting casualties must not have included Americans who are dying of overdose deaths caused by the opioid epidemic. Heroin use in America is at a 20-year high and climbing. Drug overdoses killed 64,000 people in 2016 alone. Heroin and other opioids are the greatest single offenders causing about half of all overdoses in the United States.
With the United States complicit in Afghanistan drug lord operations the opium production actually increased with our military presence. In 2001, before the United States invaded Afghanistan, the country had diminished its opium production and fields greatly. One year after our troops were introduced in the region, production was up over 900%. The war on drugs in Afghanistan has failed like the war on drugs in America. Reports suggest that American troops have even been tasked with protecting the fields from attack.
President Trump is going to cut into their margins significantly and the 25 labs our military bombed is just the beginning. A United States General said, “it’s not over. In fact, it’s only just begun, and this will be a very long winter for the Taliban as we will continue to disrupt their revenue sources again and again and again. The military hope that by diminishing their funding the Taliban will dissolve.
Under previous administrations, $8.5 billion has been spent “combating” the illicit drug trade in Afghanistan. The previous policies failed miserably and have left us facing an enemy that would never have grown so strong had Obama used the full might of the military to destroy the drug operations that fund terrorist organizations across the middle east.