The Current

Afghanistan is a nation ruled by drug lords, says Matthieu Aikins

In "The Making of a Narco State," Matthieu Aikins argues that after 13 years of war, Afghanistan has become a nation ruled by drug lords.
In the years after 9/11, the West went into Afghanistan to root out the Taliban, and improve Afghan life. The military mission is largely over now, and its success or failure is up for debate. But journalist Matthieu Aikins says one thing is clear, after 13 years of war, Afghanistan is now a "Narco State."

The post 9/11 NATO mission in Afghanistan was undeniably one of the most prolonged and involved military endeavours in modern history. Canada alone lost 158 Forces members over nine-years of involvement.

But with the dust settling on that mission, the business of determining how successful it has, or hasn't been, is difficult. There were gains -- Improved women's rights in certain parts of the country, for example.

But it's hard also not to see the losses, and failures. And one of the most glaring of those is the West's longstanding promise to help slash Afghanistan's opium and heroin production.

When Kabul-based, Canadian journalist Matthieu Aikins looks at Afghanistan today, he sees what he calls a "narco state" par excellence -- the source of nearly ninety per cent of the world's opium today.

Matthieu Aikins has taken a long, hard look at the problem in a feature article for Rolling Stone magazine headlined, "Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State".

Matthieu Aikins lives in Kabul but today he was in New York City.

We did reach out to the Government of Afghanistan as well as the Afghan embassy in Ottawa for their reaction, but no one has yet been made available for comment.

We also contacted Canada's Department of National Defence and NATO. Both said they will provide a response soon. We will get those responses on The Current as soon as we can.

This segment was produced by The Current's Marc Apollonio.


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