Afghan Drug Trade

When they are in bloom, they are very pretty. When their petals fall, poppies contribute to an ugly business. not solely with a heroin industry that dominates the world but with the profits that bankroll the very Taliban fighters Canadian and NATO soldiers have been fighting in Afghanistan. As Canadian Combat Troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan, we look at some of the outstanding questions and unfinished business that remains.

Part One of The Current


It's Monday June 13th.

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Afghan Drug Trade - Panel

More than 90 percent of the world's heroin gets its start in an Afghanistan poppy.
And much of the profits from this trade are funneled into the pockets of the Taliban.
So today, as Canada begins the withdrawal of its combat troops from Afghanistan, we're asking whether the international community missed an opportunity to crush the drug trade when it had the chance.

It's a frustrating question for our first guest, Gretchen Peters. She spent five years researching the role opium has played in three decades of conflict in Afghanistan. The result is a book called: Seeds of Terror: How Drugs, Thugs and Crime are reshaping the Afghan War. Gretchen Peters was in Denver, Colorado this morning.

Colonel Louis Jordan was the Senior Military Advisor to the Afghan Deputy Minister of Interior for Counternarcotics in 2009 and 2010. He is now the Deputy Director of the Strategic Studies Institute at United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Doug Wankel was the director of the Counter Narcotics Task Force at the US Embassy in Kabul from 2004 to 2007. He is the manager of Spectre Group International's projects in Afghanistan. That's a private company that provides trainers and drug consultants in Afghanistan. He was in Dubai today.

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