Afghan drugs

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

ThePen­tagonhas­toldRep.Henry J. Hyde, Illi­nois Repub­li­can, it is al­ready adopt­ing two of his ideas for elim­i­nat­ing the big drug trade in Afghanistan. The coun­try has reemergedas­the­world’slargest­poppy grower and, thus, heroin pro­ducer. The huge amounts of cash are fund­ing anti-U.S. drug lords and al Qaeda, our sources say.

Mr.Hyde,who­head­s­theHouseIn­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee, wrote­tothen-De­fenseSec­re­taryDon­ald H. Rums­feld last Oc­to­ber, say­ing, “We all know the drugs fuel the vi­o­lence­andin­sur­gency,we­think­thatthe de­bate­con­cern­ingth­e­seob­vi­ouslinks isover,and­nowwe­needanew­pol­icy thatad­dress­es­both­the­drugsan­drelated ter­ror, si­mul­ta­ne­ously.”

Mr. Hyde, who is re­tir­ing, sug­gested the mil­i­tary take Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion agents on “ride­a­longs”on­raidswherethe­like­li­hood­offind­ing­drug­sis­great.He­said themil­i­taryshoul­dal­soalert­theDEA when­itfind­sasig­nif­i­cant­drug­cache.

TheCon­gress­gotare­ply­onDec.6 from Eric Edel­man, un­der­sec­re­tary of de­fense for pol­icy. He said Mr. Rums­feld al­ready had au­tho­rized troops to em­bed drug agents and in­structed them to no­tify the DEA on drug hauls.

Mr.Hy­de­said,“Iwel­comethe­sup­port­fro­mourDepart­mentofDe­fense formyini­tia­tive.[...]Nowwe­can­bet­ter tar­get the nar­coter­ror­ism which threat­ens Afghanistan to­day.”

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