Afghan opium, corruption and war

This video from Trafalgar Square, London, England, is called Troops Out – End Afghanistan War.

Protesters occupied the road outside Downing Street for over an hour last Saturday as part of a protest at ten years of war in Afghanistan: here.

Afghan farmers are cranking up opium production driven by continued poverty and rising prices of the drug, UN experts revealed today: here.

A major investigation into an influential Afghan governor accused of taking bribes has been shut down and its top prosecutor transferred to a unit that doesn’t handle corruption cases, Afghan and US officials have admitted: here.

Neta C. Crawford/Catherine Lutz: Afghan war at 10: Unhappy anniversary: here.

A report released Monday by the United Nations documents what it calls “systematic” torture at Afghan government prisons of suspected insurgents captured by US, NATO and Afghan authorities: here.

Afghanistan Torture Report Raises Major Questions About West’s Strategy. Western strategy has potential to make systematic torture by intelligence services and police revealed in UN report worse: here.

Afghanistan War Profits: video on Urdu Voice of America News: here.

Afghan prisoner concerns don’t end with Canada’s combat mission: here.

Afghanistan: Child Street Workers Vulnerable to Abuse: here.

More than Half of Afghans See NATO as Occupiers: here.

Steampunk Opium Wars, on British-Chinese opium wars: here.

6 thoughts on “Afghan opium, corruption and war

  1. Afghan Air Force faces drug running claims

    Last updated 21:49 08/03/2012

    United States authorities are looking into allegations that some Afghan Air Force (AAF) officials have been using aircraft to transport narcotics and illegal weapons across the country, a US official says.

    “At this point allegations are being examined,” said Lt. Col. Tim Stauffer, spokesman for the Nato Training Mission-Afghanistan, which is setting up and financing Afghan security forces, including the Air Force.

    “Authorities are trying to determine whether the allegations warrant a full investigation.”

    The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the allegations, said the US military is also looking into whether the alleged transporting of illegal drugs and weapons is connected to an April incident in which an AAF colonel killed eight US Air Force officers at Kabul Airport.

    A US Air Force report about the deaths quoted American officials as saying that the killer was likely involved in moving illegal cargo, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    Most of the victims had been taking part in an inquiry into the misuse of AAF aircraft, the newspaper said.

    The allegations of drug running come from “credible” Afghan officers inside and outside the AAF and coalition personnel working within the AAF, it added.

    The AAF was set up largely with US funds.

    The United States poured in a record amount, near US$12 billion (NZ$14.6b) between October 2010 and September 2011, to train and equip Afghanistan’s security forces. Almost as much cash, some US$11 billion, is planned for the year through September 2012.

    Afghanistan produces 90 per cent of the world’s opium and the drug trade is often blamed by Western officials for hindering economic development.

    The poppy economy in Afghanistan, which provides an income for insurgents in the country blighted by decades of war, has grown significantly in 2011 with soaring prices and expanded cultivation, a UN report said late last year.

    – Reuters


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