Afghan Opium Production
According to Head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration Michele Leonhart, Afghanistan will have to decide how to combat drug trafficking following the US military forces withdrawal from the country in 2014. Although there are a number of options on the table, the Afghan people and the government will need to make the final decision and follow the best approach.
Lately, Afghanistan, which is the largest opium producer in the world, experienced a rise in opium plantation and, according to UN estimates, there are nearly 154,000 hectares of land dedicated to opium cultivation in the country. The international community believes that even if the decision rests with the Afghan government, foreign involvement would also be needed to oversee opium production to ensure that it doesn’t fall in the wrong hands.
In addition, the Afghan drug trade was one of the key topics during the three-day 30th International Drug Enforcement Conference in Moscow. Russia’s anti-drug service, however, has called on the UN to look at Afghan drug-trafficking as an international threat that will justify a foreign intervention when US troops leave the country. According to a report published by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, nearly a quarter of the heroin produced in Afghanistan -- 90 tonnes out of 380 -- passes through Central Asia, 75 percent of which is destined for the Russian market.