December 4th, 2009
09:48 AM ET

Russia wants U.S. surge on Afghan drugs

Some say the vast poppy fields are the real killers from Afghanistan. U.S. forces patrol some of them, but these days the fields are rarely destroyed - it's seen as counterproductive, driving farmers into the arms of the Taliban.

But to many, the carnage caused by the heroin from these crops - which has increased dramatically since the Taliban were overthrown - is far worse than any roadside bomb.

And one country feels it's bearing the brunt - Russia.

There, addiction to Afghan heroin has become epidemic – it's estimated to have between one and a half and 6 million addicts, mostly fuelled by a flood of narcotics from the Afghan war zone.

And it's deadly - medical officials say overdoses kill 80 people in Russia every day, and users are fuelling the spread of HIV.

Now Russian authorities are calling on the United States to use its new surge of forces in Afghanistan to tackle growing drug production there.

"In my opinion, international community and international forces, once they take on the responsibility of creating future for Afghanistan, must understand that without terminating its drug industry, it will be difficult to create a working, democratic society in Afghanistan," says Viktor Ivanov of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service.

Ivanov suggests the poppy fields be defoliated with herbicides. U.S. officials say they've tried eradication, but that targeting drug labs and encouraging farmers to grow alternative crops is more effective.

The burgeoning Afghan drug trade has fuelled even more serious tensions between Moscow and Washington, with Russia accusing the United States and its NATO allies of doing "next to nothing" in Afghanistan to curb it.  With significantly more troops on the ground, Russian officials say they hope the U.S. will soon start making a difference.

For the moment, Russia is struggling to stem the flow of drugs through its southern borders - destroying what heroin is seized. But officials say the drug routes through Central Asia are too vast to secure, and that it's the source of the heroin - in Afghanistan - that has to be destroyed.

MORE: CNN's Diana Magnay talks to filmmaker Mehran Bozorgnia, who captured dramatic footage of the Afghan heroin trade.

soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. Brendan

    I sort of found your website by mistake, but your blog site captured my eye i thought that I'd post tell you that I really like it.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. kaizentr

    Ich habe überall nach einer guten resorse sah ich danke Ihnen.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sikis

    thanks for article admin I've share my twitter this..

    September 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Izetta Fies

    You really make it seem so easy together with your presentation but I find this topic to be really one thing that I feel I'd by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely broad for me. I'm taking a look ahead in your subsequent publish, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

    September 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bare traps sandals

    Hi there, I found your web site via Google while searching for a related topic, your site came up, it looks great. I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. watch tv series for free

    I was reading some of your blog posts on this site and I conceive this internet site is really instructive! Keep posting.

    July 29, 2011 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nutritional Supplements

    Dead indited subject material , Really enjoyed examining Russia wants U.S. surge on Afghan drugs – Afghanistan Crossroads – CNN.com Blogs.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. reading test

    I got what you mean , Russia wants U.S. surge on Afghan drugs – Afghanistan Crossroads – CNN.com Blogs saved to my bookmarks , very nice web site .

    July 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3