I also saw ample evidence that soldiers were trading sensitive military equipment, like computer drives and bulletproof vests, for drugs. Other soldiers who have served at Bagram (Air Force Base near Kabul) agree: Heroin, they say "is everywhere." ~ Shaun McCanna, SolanThe chemical weapon the Taliban is using is heroin. It is a potent weapon that helped defeat the the American Army in Vietnam...
The use of drugs was so widespread that, according to an official estimate made in 1971, nearly one third of the troops were addicted to opium or heroin, and marijuana smoking had become routine. ~ Stanley Karnov's out of print book on the Vietnam WarIronically, it was the CIA that developed the strategy of using narcotics as a weapon of war in Afghanistan. Prior to the Soviet Union invasion in 1980, opium production in Afghanistan was limited to small, local farmers; none was exported to the rest of the world. There were no local heroin labs. The CIA working with Pakistani Intelligence Service convinced Afghan warlords to compel the peasants to grown opium and transport the raw opium to Pakistan where heroin labs processed it. The heroin was moved back into Afghanistan where it was sold cheaply to Russian soldiers.
the Afghans had so successfully exploited their opium and marijuana crops that the drug habit took hold of many officers and men of the Soviet occupying forces. ~ John Cooley, Unholy WarsSo, history is repeated itself and a strategy of American invention is being used against us. As always, it is the soldiers on the ground who suffer the most.
There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes. But the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan. ~ Charles Cogan former CIA director of Afghan operations
Irony upon irony, George Bush has protected the Afghan opium crops that are now crippling American servicemembers, probably because the CIA (allegedly) continues to have a close, friendly connection to the international drug trade. Certainly, Papa Bush, dating from his time as CIA chief through his presidency, had a warm place in his heart for Asian drug dealers, as witnessed by this pardon.
There is an intriguing story suggesting that the Lockerbie PanAm airplane bombing in 1988 was not the work of Libyan agents but the result a CIA assassination of an Army major who had discovered an illegal CIA drug operation. A 45-minute documentary from British television about this can be found here: Sky Television – Conspiracies: Lockerbie & the CIA.
Other Sources: The Politics of Heroin, Informed Comment from 2003