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Abstract and Figures

In 2017, global opium production peaked at more than 10,000 tons. Ninety percent of that opium originated in Afghanistan—a record production level for that country—making Afghanistan the world’s leading opium producer, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).1 Afghanistan has been the world-market leader in opium production since the 1990s, surpassed historically only by the British Empire prior to the mid-nineteenth century Opium Wars.2 Coincidentally, the First Opium War took place at the same time as the Anglo-Afghan military encounters commenced. During the so-called “Great Game” between Russia and Great Britain for geopolitical domination in Central Asia, Afghanistan played a relatively negligible role as far as opium was concerned. At the time, it only supplied limited quantities from Badakhshan to Kashgar in Xinjiang. By contrast, Great Britain—a prosperous and powerful empire—represented the largest global dealer in opium.
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S/S   ,  
145
Copyright © 2019 by the Brown Journal of World Aairs
H K has been Chair of Human Geography and Director of the Centre for Develop-
ment Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin since 2005. Previously, he was chair of cultural geography and
development studies and was director of the Institute of Geography at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität
Erlangen-Nuernberg. He received a Heisenberg Fellowship in 1995 and was awarded the Tianshan Prize
China in 2010. Dr. Kreutzmann has conducted empirical research in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan,
Kyrgyzstan, India, Nepal, Tibet, and Xinjiang since 1977, resulting in more than 200 publications,
including over 20 authored and edited books. Kreutzmann is principal investigator in the Berlin Gradu-
ate School’s “Muslim Culture and Societies” program and board member of the collaborative research
program “Crossroads Asia.
I ,    peaked at more than 10,000 tons. Ninety
percent of that opium originated in Afghanistan—a record production level for
that country—making Afghanistan the world’s leading opium producer, accord-
ing to the United Nations Oce on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).1 Afghani-
stan has been the world-market leader in opium production since the 1990s,
surpassed historically only by the British Empire prior to the mid-nineteenth
century Opium Wars.2 Coincidentally, the First Opium War took place at
the same time as the Anglo-Afghan military encounters commenced. During
the so-called “Great Game” between Russia and Great Britain for geopolitical
domination in Central Asia, Afghanistan played a relatively negligible role as far
as opium was concerned. At the time, it only supplied limited quantities from
Badakhshan to Kashgar in Xinjiang. By contrast, Great Britain—a prosperous
and powerful empire—represented the largest global dealer in opium.
Currently, Afghanistan leads global opium production, but it has gained
virtually no corresponding power or prosperity. Indeed, Afghanistans global
leadership in opiate production does not translate into national wealth, although
the amounts generated in the form of taxes and dues by non-state actors are
instrumental in sustaining an armed conict for supremacy in Afghanistan.
e nature of the opium trade has thus changed signicantly: prior to the mid-
Afghan Poppy Production for
the World:
Dynamics and Entanglements
H K
the brown journal of world affairs
Hermann Kreutzmann
146
nineteenth century, the dominant superpowers engaged in major drug dealings;
today, Afghanistan has gained a key position in opium production—although
not in prot-making. How did Afghanistan emerge from near-oblivion to gain
such a prime standing in the cultivation and processing of poppy (Papaver
somniferum) and its popular derivatives? How did illicit poppy cultivation be-
come such a persistent and dominant cash crop in Afghanistan across all of its
internal struggles for governance and complex relations with the international
community? Which factors allowed the value chain of opiates to be expanded
and sustained from Asian to global markets?
Nearly half a century after Richard Nixon declared a U.S.-led “war on
drugs,” Asian players such as Afghanistan and Myanmar still supply the world
with more opium than was required to meet the combined demand of the Nixon
era.3 Both countries have earned the reputation of having the lowest seizure rates
for contraband and rarely experience tracking interceptions. In the aftermath
of 9/11, Afghanistan was
the prime arena for U.S.-
led military activities; the
spending of US$611 billion
has made that country the
prime arena for containing insurgencies and ghting Taliban-style terrorism.
More than two-fths of all U.S. spending for security issues was allocated to
Afghanistan, and a substantial amount of these funds ultimately channelled
arms and ammunition into the hands of regional power brokers in economies
of violence.4 After defeating the Taliban government in October 2001, the U.S.
administration assigned $64 billion for reconstruction and infrastructure devel-
opment projects in Afghanistan.5 Despite the United States’ rebuilding eorts,
Afghanistan became the leading supplier of opiates to end-user markets only after
9/11. An environment emerged that provided access to all necessary resources
in terms of transport, logistics, security, and weaponry to meet the interests of
various players involved in the opium production process, from the cultivation
of poppy to its processing into opium and heroin, and the tracking of the drug
for prot.6 International organizations have invested in eradication programs and
attempted to replace poppy cultivation with other crops in order to break the
nexus of drugs and war. Pacication strategies have been directed toward food
security and licit cash crop production. Despite the nearly $9 billion allocated
toward counter-narcotics programs between 2002 and 2017, the general trend
of expansive drug production and ample supply to the world market could not
be stopped.7 While Afghanistan reached an all-time climax in poppy cultivation
Today, Afghanistan has gained
a key position in opium produc-
tion—although not in prot-making.
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Spring/Summer
2019
volume xxv, issue ii
147
in 2017, only 750 hectares of poppy elds were eradicated in the same year, less
than a fth of a percent of the area where poppy is grown.8 Dierent actors and
factors seem to shape relations in a complex triangle with producers, processors,
and trackers in one corner, and power brokers, warlords, and arms and drug
dealers in another, both confronted by and connected with representatives of
international organizations, border regimes, and the world market. e case
study of Afghanistan will show how that country has occupied a prime position
in supplying opiates to the world market but has still remained disentangled
from the prot-making. e production of a valuable crop of world market
relevance in Afghanistan has taken advantage of a political environment that is
characterized by a central government without any means to control the opiate
industry. e nexus of war and the opiate economy has had detrimental eects
for containing drug production and provision of human security.
Peak OPium: afghanistan as the Primary suPPlier Of OPium PrOducts
Afghanistans ascent to becoming the world’s leading opiate supplier is closely
related to inadequate state control on domestic aairs coupled with heavily armed
and powerful regional faction leaders within the Golden Crescent—the region
formed by Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Regional strongmen established
external relations with arms suppliers and drug trackers, thus nancing and
stabilizing their pseudo-states within the nation-states. Afghanistans increase in
opium production began with the political destabilization and fragmentation in
the aftermath of the Soviet invasion in 1979. e decade-long Soviet occupation
and the subsequent civil war created a favorable arena in which warlord regimes,
insecurity, and arms and drug traders thrive. Mujaheddin and Taliban—groups
which contain a wide range of insurgent actors that are engaged in particularistic
agendas—have been dynamic adaptors to changing global economic and geo-
political conditions and have eectively used their cross-boundary connections
with Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan to evade control and to establish safe heavens
in the less accessible borderlands. Nearly all parties have been involved in the
narcotics economy, which has provided the means for nancing their forces and
followers by using their networks of trans-frontier exchanges and access to arms
supply. Afghanistans borderlands, moreover, oer hideouts for drug laboratories
that are outside the scope for any state control.
e fact that Afghanistan played a minor role in the opium world market
until the 1980s might be surprising considering its present role as international
market leader. e 1970s production of approximately 100 tons of opium
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148
originated from two cultivation centers in Helmand and Nangarhar; the yields
were mainly exported to, and consumed in, Iran.9 Opiates were a commodity
solely destined for Afghanistans immediate neighbors; the country’s range was
initially conned to west and south Asia with a few historic pathways to Xinjiang
in China.10 Poppy is such a exible product that Afghan farmers tend to say, “in
one pocket of your jacket you can carry the seed, in the other the harvest.” is
refers to the fact that very few technical implements and capital investments are
needed for growing a labor-intensive crop.11 Many hands, including migrant
laborers, guard and tend the crop and harvest the opium resin; the yield is then
easily transported and smuggled across check-posts and borders. Provided irriga-
tion is feasible, not much infrastructure is required, and even in marginal lands
the crop thrives. In the absence of a functioning state and agricultural policies,
areas of cultivation spread into formerly underutilized regions and could eas-
ily be shifted to others. Favorable agro-ecological conditions have supported a
wide-ranging spread from the initial poppy cultivation areas in Helmand and
Nangarhar. In addition, both regions received substantial international bilateral
aid from U.S. and Soviet donor agencies beginning in the 1950s to develop
the leading irrigation oases for nutrition security in Afghanistan.12 ese two
regions have accounted for up to one half and one third of all poppy cultivation,
respectively. Other provinces such as Badakhshan, Herat, and Kandahar have
been incorporated to varying degrees; currently only 10 out of 34 provinces are
declared poppy-free.13 Flexible production adaptation is a marker for poppy
cultivation, but this approach could only thrive in an environment of a weak
state that is in no position to execute authority and control and that fails to
safeguard human security.
external triggers fOr OPiate PrOductiOn Within afghanistans War
ecOnOmy
Regional transformations in the 1980s, beginning with the Iranian Revolution
and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and leading up to international pressure
on the Taliban to curtail production, changed the structure of production and
multilateral exchange relations.14 e ban on drugs after the Iranian Revolu-
tion and the introduction of Shari’a Law (Hudood Ordinances) in Pakistan
by President Zial-ul Haq initiated a shift of drug laboratories away from those
countries and across the border into Afghanistan.15 ere, zones free of state
control emerged during the battle between the Soviet-backed government and the
Mujaheddin, generally in Mujaheddin-controlled border areas close to Pakistan.
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149
e Pakistani-Afghan borderlands have ever remained a contested territory since
the colonial boundary-making of 1893 when the Durand Line came into being
and bisected the settlement area of the Pashtuns. Afghan politicians have repeat-
edly used the irredentist case for Pashtunistan—claiming that this substantial
part of Pakistan where Pashtuns are living should belong to Afghanistan—for
destabilizing and straining bilateral relations. e borderland has remained a
“turbulent frontier” ever since.16 e Pashtunistan connection worked as an arena
in which Pashtuns could freely move across the Durand Line border between
both countries.17 e tribal areas of Pakistan and the Mujaheddin-dominated
areas in Afghanistan became o-limits for state control and emerged as zones
of illicit enterprises, including poppy cultivation, opiate processing, and drug
tracking.18 e major outlet channel for reaching the European market was
the southern route to Iran and Pakistan, bifurcating into the maritime route
via the Gulf States and the terrestrial route via Turkey and the Balkans. After
1990, a northern corridor via the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet
Union to Russia oered an additional channel; Osh in the Ferghana Valley
became Kyrgyzstans hub for drug tracking to Europe and China by the mid-
1990s.19 In the meantime, Russia was developing into an important end-user
market for heroin.
Outside developments with repercussions for Afghanistan still do not ex-
plain the enormous growth and spread of domestic poppy cultivation on the one
hand, nor the signicant uctuations in prices and quantities on the other. In the
beginning, poppy cultivation in Afghanistan was restricted to an insignicant area
of less than 200 hect-
ares; in 2017, the area
under poppy cultiva-
tion peaked at 328,000
hectares.20 The arable
land devoted to poppy
cultivation is more than
10 percent of the har-
vested agricultural land,
presently covering about
a third of the fertile lands in Helmand and about a quarter in Nangarhar. ese
shares have varied signicantly over time and reect the exibility and dynamism
of shifting opium poppy cultivation.21 Within Afghanistan, about half of the
poppy harvest is processed and value-added into morphine and heroin, of which
domestic consumers use a negligible quantity.22 e quantity and value of opi-
Outside developments with repercus-
sions for Afghanistan still do not explain
the enormous growth and spread of
domestic poppy cultivation on the one
hand, nor the signicant uctuations
in prices and quantities on the other.
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Hermann Kreutzmann
150
ates spread into the world market multiplied in one generation, contributing
signicant funds to the war economy. Opposing political factions such as the
Mujaheddin and Taliban sometimes operated on a similar pecuniary basis that
derived substantial income from the opiate industry. In addition, both factions
did not dier that much in terms of worldviews and their visions for a future
rule in Afghanistan. Powerful political actors involved in Afghanistan’s “war
and peace economy” frequently changed sides; the borderline between licit and
illicit economies became opaque and could easily be crossed by each of these
stakeholders for the purpose of regional domination.23
Besides generating funds for the upkeep of their followers, all political
factions used poppy production for political negotiations. In one instance drug
Figure 1: Development of Afghan Poppy Cultivation 1980–2018
production was cut back to a pre-narcotics-growth all-time low: when the Tali-
ban imposed a ban on poppy cultivation in July 2000.24 is time, the United
Afghan Poppy Production for the World
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2019
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151
Nations and potential donors from the international community succeeded in
exercising political pressure on the Taliban regime, which expected a gain in
international reputation and potential recognition as the rightful representative
of Afghanistan. e subsequent decline in production demonstrated the bans
immediate feasibility; a strong regime had shown for once its omnipresent power
and eective control mechanisms. But this rare situation lasted only for one
year. As an unexpected outcome, opiate commodity prices surged signicantly
owing to shrinking stocks,
and ultimately led to steady
growth in production in
the following year. 25 High-
er prices multiplied with
higher yields resulted in
manifold funds for the
parties involved in the drug
economy. e ban on poppy cultivation coincided with the downfall of the
Taliban. Although the central government installed after 9/11 and led by Ha-
mid Karzai pledged to curb drug production and proliferation, the opposite
occurred despite legislation on a cultivation ban (Figure 1). Never before had a
higher quantity of opiates reached the market, and never before were such high
revenues realized. All parties ghting for domination in Afghanistan generated
more funds from the illicit drug trade than ever before. e price surge moti-
vated and triggered farmers to cultivate even marginal lands with poppy. is
trend has continued, and despite some inter-annual uctuations in quantity and
spatial production patterns, poppy cultivation and the utilization of its proceeds
continue to shape Afghanistans drug-driven politics.
Conservative estimates by the Afghan government maintain that the Taliban
generated a quarter of their budget of $400 million from opiates in 2012. e
international military command in Afghanistan estimated that as much as 60
percent of the Taliban’s funding in Helmand Province stemmed from the drug
trade.26 e contribution of opiates to the ongoing conict in Afghanistan is
obvious. In 2017, the farm-gate value—i.e., the price that is paid to the cultiva-
tors—of the opiate economy was about $1.4 billion in Afghanistan; its export
value has been estimated at more than four times higher and equals about a fth
to a third of Afghanistans GDP.27 Several hundred thousand seasonal laborers are
involved in poppy cultivation, and up to a million households in Afghanistan
depend on income from a protable and thriving drug economy in a country
with otherwise limited business and employment opportunities.
Up to a million households in Afghan-
istan depend on income from a prof-
itable and thriving drug economy in a
country with otherwise limited busi-
ness and employment opportunities.
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Hermann Kreutzmann
152
e signicance of the opiate industry has motivated international institu-
tions to adopt a replacement strategy showcased in the hub of poppy cultivation.
e Helmand Food Zone (HFZ) was introduced a decade ago as a strategy to
motivate farmers to abstain from poppy cultivation by introducing other licit
and valuable cash crops. e initial phase was successful as U.S. and British
donors supported wheat cultivation based on subsidized agricultural inputs
at the same time as the United States and the United Kingdom substantially
expanded and enforced military control. e beginning of the HFZ coincided
with high oil prices resulting in what was called, in Afghanistan and Pakistan,
“food ination”: a combination of more expensive agricultural inputs and
multiplied expenses for domestic consumption.28 Soaring prices for basic cereal
food crops in Afghanistan and Pakistan coincided with falling opium farm-gate
prices in Afghanistan. Farmers tended to prefer food production for domestic
consumption rather than market-dependent poppy cultivation. Strong leader-
ship by inuential governors in Nangarhar had shown before that a regime
that succeeds to execute control and maintain public safety is in a position to
control poppy cultivation. Both examples —Helmand and Nagarhar—show-
ing the protability of cereal production are useful models even standing alone,
but the greater picture shows that price uctuations tell a dierent story—that
the eradication of poppy cultivation in one area simply induces production to
shift to another.
the afghan cOnnectiOn: reaching the WOrld market
Opiate production and drug tracking are entangled to such an extent that
internal and external developments, as described for Afghanistan, inuence
demand and price structures in the end-user markets. Global demand may
depend on changing catchment areas—production regions from where rel-
evant quantities of opiates can be obtained—and diversions to other poppy
plantations where cultivation conditions are more favorable. Yet, focusing on
these factors diminishes the importance of contraband routes and transit cor-
ridors that connect production and consumer areas. Countries with weak state
organizations, inadequate law enforcement, corruption, crime prevalence, and
insucient border control mechanisms are ideal production regions for this
high-value agricultural commodity, oering perfect conditions for opiate pro-
cessing. Compared to farmers’ income, each downstream step—processing and
tracking—generates manifold higher prots for the dealers and traders. After
leaving the farm-gate, the real drug business commences along the connecting
Afghan Poppy Production for the World
Spring/Summer
2019
volume xxv, issue ii
153
arteries. e monetary value in end-user markets occasionally appreciates by a
factor of up to 100 after the opiates leave the production countries.29 Such an
appreciation also occurs for Afghanistan, as the country borders Iran, China,
Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. ese neighbors serve as
transit corridors for opiates from Afghan laboratories. Value-addition along the
Balkan route to western Europe alone is calculated to be around $28 billion in
recent years, amounting to more than Afghanistans GDP and to 20 times more
than the farm-gate value in the country.30 Afghanistans economy does not make
any prot from these value-additions, as they happen outside the country and
do not feed back into its economy. e signicant prots ll the pockets of oth-
ers not connected with the country. e spatial disentanglement of production
and prot-making can be seen as a repetition of the nineteenth century opium
trade that contributed to prosperity in Great Britain while opium was being
produced in the Indian Empire. e postcolonial opiate industry seems to be
in line with previous experiences.
e monetary value of the trade is of such a size that it poses major prob-
lems of corruption and organized crime.31 Its annual value has been estimated
at $13 to $15 billion for the Central Asian and Russian markets alone. Most of
the arrested trackers are Russian, Tajik, and Uzbek citizens. More than a third
of all Afghan heroin is marketed along the Balkan route and reaches the Iranian
hub rst; some consignments make a detour via Pakistan.32 Estimates about drug
seizures—the number of intercepted cases and quantity—are indirect indicators
for tracking routes and the risk taken along those corridors to the end-user
markets. In 2016, about 658 tons of opium and 91 tons of heroin were seized
along the routes and at customs posts by state authorities.33
is there a Way Out?
Since the international intervention forces reached Afghanistan, they have not
been able to curtail insurgency nor the Taliban’s return as a strong political force.
e narcotics economy has generated sucient funds to counteract all external
activities and interventions, despite up to $1 trillion being spent on armed
operations and an additional $100 billion on civilian infrastructure projects.
Several observers agree that the environment of Afghanistans opiate produc-
tion resulted from an alliance between local and international parties in their
anti-Soviet ghting in the 1980s; an illicit drug economy that found its perfect
ground in the Afghan-Pakistani borderlands, coupled with many other kinds
of criminal activities such as arms dealing and terrorism.34 e drug economy
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Hermann Kreutzmann
154
oered employment and necessary cash income for survivors and returnees to a
destroyed country; few other options prevailed and changing power-holders and
strongmen motivated their followers to join the narcotics business. Although
political developments in Afghanistan diered under the Taliban and under the
elected governments headed by Presidents Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani,
domestic agricultural and trade policies as well as political proclamations of drug
bans could not reduce the country’s dependency on poppy cultivation. Opium
remains the protable mainstay in Afghanistans rural economy and will aect
the power play of corrupt regional strongmen and the future of the Taliban.
Presently, no viable eradication strategy has emerged that might reduce the
prots of arms and drug dealers, allow political maneuvering without narcot-
ics money, or reduce institutional corruption. e trust of the Afghan farmer
in his state—that which still exists and has not been fragmented into various
warlord-controlled reservations—can only be rebuilt from the bottom up. Rural
development will only provide sucient livelihoods for the country’s population,
and contribute to a more peaceful future, if external interference in a top-down
manner that excludes local stakeholders, bribing of local allies, and squandering
military funds ceases. An unholy alliance formed by international institutions
and national governmental organizations has so far resulted in inadequate eradi-
cation. Lip service and selective development packages have failed to eradicate
trackers’ prots and have therefore failed to interrupt the chain between the
producers and consumers of opiates. In the long run, this chain needs to be
broken at each segment and link. For Afghanistan, an important step would be
to enhance public safety, provide human security, and support farmers in valu-
able food production to supply local and regional markets within the country.
nOtes
1. United Nations Oce on Drug and Crime (UNODC), World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 2: Global
overview of drug demand and supply. Latest trends, cross-cutting issues (Vienna: UNODC, 2018), 28.
2. Carl A. Trocki, Opium, empire and the global political economy: A study of the Asian opium trade
1750–1950 (London and New York: Routledge, 1999).
3. Elaine Sharp, e Dilemma of Drug Policy in the United States (New York: Harper and Collins, 1994), 1.
4. Congressional Budget Oce (CBO), Budget and Economic Outlook 2015–2025: Report to the Senate
& House (Washington, D.C.: CBO, 2015), 81.
5. Ibid.
6. UNODC, World Drug Report 2010 (New York: UNODC, 2010), 38.
7. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), Counternarcotics: Lessons from
the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan (Arlington: SIGAR, 2018).
8. UNODC, World Drug Report 2018, 46.
9. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Directorate of Intelligence, Afghanistan: Opium production and
trade (Washington, D.C.: CIA, 1972).
10. Hermann Kreutzmann, Pamirian Crossroads (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2015), 356–60.
A
W
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11. Author’s interview in Badakhshan’s Warduj Valley in 2003.
12. Johannes Humlum, La géographie de l’Afghanistan (Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1959), 237.
13. UNODC, Afghanistan Opium Survey. Cultivation and production (Kabul: UNODC, 2017). e
2004 country report of the UNODC stated that half of all Afghan districts and all provinces were aected
by poppy cultivation.
14. omas Bareld, Afghanistan: A cultural and political history (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
2010).
15. Farhan Hanif Siddiqi, e politics of ethnicity in Pakistan. e Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir ethnicmove-
ments (London and New York: Routledge, 2012), 35.
16. John S. Galbraith, “e ‘turbulent frontier’ as a factor in British expansion,” Comparative Studies
in Society and History 2, no. 2 (1960): 150–68.
17. Kreutzmann, Pamirian Crossroads, 234.
18. Hermann Kreutzmann, “Afghanistan and the opium world market–poppy production and trade,”
Iranian Studies 40, (2007): 605–21; Magnus Marsden, Trading worlds: Afghan merchants across modern
frontiers (London: Hurst Publishers, 2016).
19. See maps in SIGAR, Counternarcotics: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, 14; UNODC,
World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 1: Executive summary. Conclusions and implications (Vienna: UNODC,
2018), 10.
20. Globally, 418,000 hectares of land were devoted to poppy cultivation in 2017. Afghanistan covers
nearly four-fths of the planted area and accounts for 86 percent of the yield. See: UNODC, World Drug
Report 2018, Booklet 2, 28, 42–3.
21. UNODC, Afghanistan Opium Survey: Challenges to sustainable development, peace and security
(Kabul: UNODC, 2018).
22. e share of the domestic consumption equals about 0.5 percent of the GDP; see UNODC,
Afghanistan Opium Survey, 5.
23. Antonio Giustozzi, “War and peace economies of Afghanistan’s strongmen,” International Peacekeeping
14, no. 1 (2007): 75–89; Jonathan Goodhand, “Corrupting or consolidating the peace? e drugs economy
and post-conict peacebuilding in Afghanistan,” International Peacekeeping 15, no. 3 (2008): 405–23.
24. UNODC, Addiction, crime and insurgency. e transnational threat of Afghan opium (Vienna:
UNODC, 2009), 2, 7.
25. Ibid., 18.
26. SIGAR, Counternarcotics: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, 6.
27. UNODC, Afghanistan Opium Survey, 5.
28. From author’s interviews in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the 2008 food crisis.
29. UNODC, e opiate economy of Afghanistan: An international problem (New York: UNODC,
2003), 3.
30. UNODC, Afghanistan Opium Survey, 51.
31. UNODC, World Drug Report 2010, 53.
32. UNODCe, World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 3: Analysis of drug markets. Opiates, cocaine, cannabis,
synthetic drugs (Vienna: UNODC, 2018), 16.
33. UNODC, World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 2, 30. e equivalent of 10 kg of opium refers to one
kilogram of heroin.
34. For the latest summary, see: Alfred McCoy, In the shadows of the American Century: e rise and
decline of US global power (London: Oneworld Publications, 2018).
Thesis
Full-text available
Afghanistan has been the largest producer of opium for last few years. Afghanistan was in war with Soviet Union for over nine years and with US for over thirteen years. This has significantly affected the economy of the country. Many of the poor Afghan farmers involved in cultivating opium in order to manage their livelihood. However, other parties like different insurgent groups, domestic and international traffickers and drug dealers get the benefit out of it. The gross profit coming from the Afghan opiate industry is huge and significant part of this money goes to the hand of the parties mentioned above. Apart from financial issue, domestic consumption of drugs like raw opium and heroin is on rise which is affecting the local population specially the young generation. Beside serving the local demand, Afghan opium reaches as far as North America, Europe and Oceania through multiple illicit drug trafficking routes. Neighboring countries of Afghanistan are one of the victims of Afghan opiate as Afghan opiate empowers insurgent groups and traffickers in those countries while directly affecting the local population. These pose security threats not only to the Afghanistan but also to the neighboring countries of Afghanistan as well the destination countries of Afghan opiate. This thesis intends to find out how Afghan illegal drug production and illicit trafficking pose non-traditional security threats to both national and international security.
Article
The Afghan poppy cultivation is presented here as a case in point to exemplify the linkages between external influences and local effects. World market and power relations have influenced cultivation patterns, processing, and trafficking. At the same time, poppy cultivation pinpoints an internal development which is strongly linked to deteriorating state control, warlordism, and regional power politics. Opium production has served as a major source of revenue for the upholding of disparate political structures which reflect the present political map of Afghanistan. Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan gained a substantial push during the last quarter century, from an annual production of 200 tons in 1979 to 4,200 tons in 2004, making use of former development efforts in creating irrigated oases in Helmand and Nangarhar. Prices rose after the Taliban's 2001 ban on production, raising farmers' incomes substantially and turning opium into an unrivalled cash crop. Fairly new production zones have been added in recent times; for example, Badakhshan—the stronghold of the Northern Alliance—has gained the third position with major increases in the last few years. Afghanistan's poppy cultivation and opium production has to be interpreted in terms of globalization and fragmentation. Drug trafficking affects the neighboring states, namely, Iran, Tajikistan, and Pakistan, as they function as consumer markets as well as trade routes for contraband drugs heading towards the West. Consequently, the Afghan poppy cultivation is interpreted in a holistic manner.
Book
In order to understand the Pakistani state and government’s treatment of non-dominant ethnic groups after the failure of the military operation in East Pakistan and the independence of Bangladesh, this book looks at the ethnic movements that were subject to a military operation after 1971: the Baloch in the 1970s, the Sindhis in the 1980s and Mohajirs in the 1990s. The book critically evaluates the literature on ethnicity and nationalism by taking nationalist ideology and the political divisions which it generates within ethnic groups as essential in estimating ethnic movements. It goes on to challenge the modernist argument that nationalism is only relevant to modern-industrialised socio-economic settings. The available evidence from Pakistan makes clear that ethnic movements emanate from three distinct socio-economic realms: tribal (Baloch), rural (Sindh) and urban (Mohajir), and the book looks at the implications that this has, as well as how further arguments could be advanced about the relevance of ethnic movements and politics in the Third World. It provides academics and researchers with background knowledge of how the Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir ethnic conflict in Pakistan took shape in a historical context as well as probable future scenarios of the relationship between the Pakistani state and government, and ethnic groups and movements.
Article
Afghanistan's war economy started taking its current shape after 1992, when the main politico-military actors had to find alternative sources of revenue, having been dropped by their international sponsors. The same actors integrated into the 'peace economy' following the official end to the war in 2001, in a process which resembles the formation of 'mafia' networks, in which the narcotics trade appears to play an important role. If the central government turns out to be too corrupt and uncommitted to address the issue, the international community might one day have to directly engage these actors in order to facilitate their evolution from 'robber barons' to legitimate magnates.
Article
British imperial policy during the first three quarters of the nineteenth century was increasingly dominated by men of business and industry who prided themselves upon their clear-headed devotion to sound economic principles. The world in which they lived had no place for maudlin sentimentality. The industrial system which had made Britain the wealthiest and most powerful state in the world must not be trammeled by artificial restrictions nor should its expansion be slowed by uneconomic burdens. Their religion was Material Progress, and its high priests – Cobden, Bright, Merivale, and others – preached that the Empire was an anachronism, an expensive relic of a by-gone day. Few were disposed to sever the bonds between Britain and its colonies; but these colonies must be made to pay their own way.
Booklet 2: Global overview of drug demand and supply. Latest trends, cross-cutting issues
United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 2: Global overview of drug demand and supply. Latest trends, cross-cutting issues (Vienna: UNODC, 2018), 28.
Globally, 418,000 hectares of land were devoted to poppy cultivation in 2017. Afghanistan covers nearly four-fifths of the planted area and accounts for 86 percent of the yield
See maps in SIGAR, Counternarcotics: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, 14; UNODC, World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 1: Executive summary. Conclusions and implications (Vienna: UNODC, 2018), 10. 20. Globally, 418,000 hectares of land were devoted to poppy cultivation in 2017. Afghanistan covers nearly four-fifths of the planted area and accounts for 86 percent of the yield. See: UNODC, World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 2, 28, 42-3.
Booklet 2, 30. The equivalent of 10 kg of opium refers to one kilogram of heroin. 34. For the latest summary, see: Alfred McCoy
  • Unodce
UNODCe, World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 3: Analysis of drug markets. Opiates, cocaine, cannabis, synthetic drugs (Vienna: UNODC, 2018), 16. 33. UNODC, World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 2, 30. The equivalent of 10 kg of opium refers to one kilogram of heroin. 34. For the latest summary, see: Alfred McCoy, In the shadows of the American Century: The rise and decline of US global power (London: Oneworld Publications, 2018).
Afghanistan Opium Survey, 5. 28. From author's interviews in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the 2008 food crisis. 29. UNODC, The opiate economy of Afghanistan: An international problem
  • Jonathan Goodhand
Jonathan Goodhand, "Corrupting or consolidating the peace? The drugs economy and post-conflict peacebuilding in Afghanistan," International Peacekeeping 15, no. 3 (2008): 405-23. 24. UNODC, Addiction, crime and insurgency. The transnational threat of Afghan opium (Vienna: UNODC, 2009), 2, 7. 25. Ibid., 18. 26. SIGAR, Counternarcotics: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, 6. 27. UNODC, Afghanistan Opium Survey, 5. 28. From author's interviews in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the 2008 food crisis. 29. UNODC, The opiate economy of Afghanistan: An international problem (New York: UNODC, 2003), 3. 30. UNODC, Afghanistan Opium Survey, 51. 31. UNODC, World Drug Report 2010, 53.
Analysis of drug markets. Opiates, cocaine, cannabis, synthetic drugs
  • Unodce
UNODCe, World Drug Report 2018, Booklet 3: Analysis of drug markets. Opiates, cocaine, cannabis, synthetic drugs (Vienna: UNODC, 2018), 16.