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In Afghanistan, Poppy Eradication Pits Russia vs. NATO

, Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Russian officials have recently accused U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan of "conniving with drug producers" and urged the coalition to pursue aggressive aerial eradication operations against Afghanistan's opium poppy crops. Despite having spent over $1 billion on counternarcotics programs in Afghanistan since 2002, including eradication efforts, the U.S. and the U.K. have failed to curb the illicit drug industry there.

Moscow's tough stance on narcotics stems from its own internal consumption levels, which have steadily reached epidemic proportions. According to 2008 records, up to 21 percent of the world's production of illicit opiates ended up in Russia, resulting in 30,000 deaths blamed on heroin-induced overdoses annually. ...

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