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.”