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Some U.S. Military Leaders Clearly Want a War on Drugs

April 8, 2010 (EIRNS)—Two prominent U.S. military leaders have spoken out over the last months, in favor of the U.S. taking on the problem of drug traffic and production in Afghanistan. This is contrary to instructions that were given out in March 2009 by State Department official Richard Holbrooke, to the effect that eradication of opium poppies was a "waste of time" and should be abandoned.

The most recent statement came from Adm. James Stavridis, who took command of the U.S. European Command in July 2009. At an April 1 conference in Stuttgart, Germany, Stavridis told ambassadors from the Black Sea nations that "NATO needs to do more regarding heroin flowing into the region from Afghanistan," and highlighted the price which Russia, in particular, is paying for the burgeoning of the trade. The admiral indicated his intention to speak with his Russian counterparts to discuss cooperation on counternarcotics efforts.

Back in November of 2009, Gen. Barry McCaffrey (ret.), President Clinton's drug policy advisor, also addressed the drug issue after a trip to Afghanistan. Without destruction of the opium crop, "nothing will work," he said, noting that the drug trade funnels $200-400 million into the Taliban and warlords.