December 19, 2005

Insurgents On Dope?

Amid anecdotal reports of coalition finds of methamphetamines and heroin in Iraq, and evidence that some suicide bombers may have been using heroin before going to their deaths, Robert B. Charles asks the pertinent questions in an interesting post at the Counterterrorism Blog. First, are the reports true? And if they are, should we be drug testing captured or killed insurgents in order to learn more? More from Charles:

...Where is the heroin coming from, if it is heroin or a similar potent opiate? One guess.

The obvious answer is the country now supplying 82 percent of the world’s heroin – namely, Afghanistan. The drugs would have to be moving into Iraq via a sea route or across Iran. The latter is more likely, given porous borders on both sides of Iran, a history of smuggling drugs across both borders, and close ties between Shiites in southern Iraq and Iran.

Notably, earlier this year, the International Narcotics Control Board just observed that "high levels of insurgent violence and porous borders have drawn traffickers to Iraq," and that "Jordan has seized large quantities of drugs on the Iraq border."

....What is to be done? The answer is simple: Engagement of the Iraqi Shiites to assist in closing down transshipments, public discussion of the issue, and a more aggressive effort to address the problem at its source, namely inside Afghanistan.

Posted by dan at December 19, 2005 12:37 AM