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 (200 Responses)
  1. Dan

    Those of you blasting Russia for asking us to help curb the Afgan drug trade should remember that the United States helped create this mess in Afghanistan. When Russia occupied and kept Afghanistan under control the US provided money & arms for Taliban "Freedom Fighters" who very successfully drove out the Russians at a severe cost of lives to Russian soldiers. Its reasonable for Russia to ask us to help fix the mess we created. Our former Taliban "allies" then implemented Sharia law which enslaved women and discriminated against non Muslims. Then they paid us back with the attacks of 9/11!

    December 4, 2009 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. bob searcy

    the us needs to create sustainable employment for its own population or this country will decend into a bloodbath. a fellow who has nothing has nothing to lose.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. russian

    We've already been to Afganistan and spent nine years there. I really do not think it is a good idea for us to be coming back. BTW, we are helping the U.S. with the logistics. But you, on the other hand, are there now. And since you are there, might as well do something productive.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ben

    If narcotic useage is a major Russian problem, then the US should a least explore their concern. Perhaps many Russian soldiers became addicted when serving in Afganistan and they are just trying to give a “heads up.”

    December 4, 2009 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Seriously?


    December 4, 2009 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. John in the Burgh

    Do you numbskulls really think the Russians are going to send troops to Afghanistan after their debacle there back in the 80s? I don't think the Russian public would tolerate. It's akin to us sending troops back to Vietnam - ain't going to happen. They left in shame if you haven't heard or read your history books.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mark Sismour

    Russia, send in 30,000 troops and burn those fields yourself.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. The Notorious

    The US allows the drug trade to Russia on purpose. Allowing the Russians to suffer from the devastation of heroin is a way to punish Russia for it's assistance to Iran and lack of involvement since 2001. One good point of the Taliban is that is was very anti-drug and did not allow the growing of poppy fields. Since the invasion by US Forces, the poppy fields have exploded. Those fields are bargaining chips to the local warlords to help us fight the Taliban.

    Nothing happens without purpose.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Craig

    The eradication of the poppy fields is long overdue.....where do you think the funding for the Taliban and most probably Al Quaida is coming from all these years???...It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out!!....eradication would be a simple task, you simply drop napalm on the crops to burn them out and then drop soil sterilant to eliminate the re-institution of crops. Of course no one in our government seems smart enough to figure this out, or someone in our government is making a lot of money off the drugs, so they won't destroy them for obvious reasons......

    December 4, 2009 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. Will

    We will never win the war on drugs just like we will never win the war on terror. I think history has shown on both matters that we are just wasting our money.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sean

    Russian forces couldn't handle the conflict.... they are weak and needed to beat up on poor Georgia last year to prove it.... the chinese can't fight and would awaken their own muslim factions in China if they did. Civilian aid would help from Russia, but they don't have the monies to pay for it.... Please, the last thing we need in Afganistan is a Russian and Chinese sphere of influence.... the Chinese are already mining like crazy there!

    December 4, 2009 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. SylvanSayer

    It is my opinion that to even attempt such a thing is lucidcrous. The "Drug War" has been going on for how many years in the US and the assertion that destroying the drugs at their source is the magical cure all is just as ludicrous. It has not worked. All it has done is to make those seeking drugs find other sources and those producing use more nefarious means to deliver also then associated with increased violence, murder, etc so that those producing them can protect their product. Historically speaking this war has been about as successful as all of the campaigns by other countries to enter and destabilize various factions within Afghanistan. Afghanistan is hardly the only producer of Papaverus Somniferum ( the opium poppy) as parts of Asia produce substantive amounts as well. Being that I served in the military myself I can truthfully say I do not wish anyone to die or to have to be mobilized and fight in that hell hole; however, if the powers that be are going to send troops over there then only one thing remains to be said. For anyone to say that they would agree with such a campaign to do this brings into question whether they are attention seeking or speaking based upon an objective viewpoint backed by the knowledge of what history has shown time and again. The most miserably failed military campaigns waged by most any country or power you want to name have come when said powers do not have a clearly defined objective and / or once in said area of operation have rapidly redefined and changed objective time and again. So if we as Americans can stand with clear conscience knowing full well that to adopt such a policy when chances are our troops are headed there anyway in a massive surge with realization that this would cost thousands more lives then there's something wrong. if their is so much as a chance of this campaign to turn out favorably it will come through clearly defined objective, sticking to the objective, and not flippantly sacrificing the lives of these courageous and wonderful peoples within our military.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. perplexed

    Russia helping under the radar screen, maybe. Those folks are still sore at Russia for it's war there. Not an easy call.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. walleye

    I dont think its a good idea to have the Russians back in Afghanistan. Instead they should contribute to helping the farmers raise alternative crops and also import some of those crops.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bee

    They should replace Afghan poppies with industrial hemp. Afghans would still turn a good profit and it could contribute to a new fibers industry in Afghanistan. Even if Afghans cultivate it for marijuana, I am sure the Russians would prefer that over heroin. Who knows, maybe a little hemp smoke will diffuse some of the anger in that part of the world.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  16. case

    Put up or shut up is right!

    December 4, 2009 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  17. Rudy

    Russia should feel free to step up to the plate and send some troops.

    Geez, Didn't take them long to get like the EU countries.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  18. K

    America can not fight Russia's war on drugs. America can't even fight it's own war on drugs. Enough of our tax dollars have funded the war in Iraq, Afganistan, and America's own war on drugs. Russia needs to step up and take action on thier own instead of insisting on America to fight thier battle for them.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  19. Rafael

    All of the people who believe that the Russian's are correct in asking the U.S. and NATO forces to handle the drug problem need to seriously rethink their comments. What would the U.S. do if the roles were reversed, probably the same thing we are doing everyday on the Mexican and Caribbean frontier. We handle our own drug problems and although it’s not perfect we do a pretty good job at it. Let Russia take care of its own drug problems in their country! The U.S. main focus needs to be to get the local population on our side or else we will never get out of that country. By firebombing poppy fields and in the act destroying farmer’s crops and killing innocent civilians we will never accomplish that goal. Get off your high antidrug horse and look at the real problem in this war and that’s getting the U.S. out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2009 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  20. RussH

    Russia had their chance and got whipped. If they want the drugs out they need to resend their troops back in there.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  21. Shawn

    Why should Russia send troops to Afghanistan? You Americans fought against the Russians when Russia invaded A-tan to stabilize the situation and now you're asking them to send troops there. This is ridiculous. Drug production in A-tan increased since the U.S. invasion (!) and it's the U.S.'s job to clean up its own mess.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  22. Andy

    This is a leverage point for getting Russian support in Iran. The Russians seem to understand that, or else they would be more inclined to offer to do this job themselves. Hopefully our people get it, too and don't miss the opportunity.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  23. Ruswe

    Wow a lot of hate in these messages. First of all USSR (not Russia,common let's be at least politicly correct) operation is Afghan is not really that much different from US today. And i think this is much as political matter as military one. I honestly find it hard to believe that US government would be ok with Russian full cooperation in this. Because if our government will join ISAF its not going to be just an assistance.It's more likely to be a full scale invasion by russian military. Two such big players on one field ??? don't see how it can work right now on the government levels. And why are we even talking about China? They have no any major connection to this conflict whatsoever. I think Russia won't join for 3 main reasons: 1.basicly it's a political issue. 2.Russian army is in the middle of a major reconstruction and will have difficulties to finance such a big operation 3.For Nato it's a foreign operation, but for Russia it would be pretty much like a full scale border war. We still share borders with lots of former ussr muslim states. Just think of how the level of terrorism will spike. We have just more less won the Chechen war ( if you can use the term "won"). Even Russian government with it high ratings can't afford a possibility of russian 9/11 to be on their hands. but then again this is just my opinion.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  24. khristian

    The RUSSIAN put pressure on former states of the USSR to get our support bases booted out, then they offer us use of their bases to supply Afganistan. It's all about CONTROL by Russia. They cannot set foot in Afganistan, they should pay the Farmers to grow other CROPS if they can't stop the supply on RUSSIAN SOIL. I say flank the supply lines so it's EASIEST to go through RUSSIA, bleed them...Less will make it to Europe & America. The Russians, Medvediv (?) & Putin enjoy sticking their finger in America's eye at every chance. SCREW THEM....

    CHINA needs to assist also, if they want US to pay off our DEBT to them.....; D

    December 4, 2009 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  25. Brian

    Afghanistan supplied less than 10 percent of opium/heroin production to the world before the U.S. invaded. Now after 8 years of us being there the country produces more than 90 percent of the world's opium/heroin drug supply. Why is nobody asking, especially the media, how is that possible? And why did we let that happen? And why did the U.S. back president Karzai whose brother has known ties to drug lords and used to traffic drugs himself? The CIA has done this before and its happening again.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  26. joe

    Russia is correct. the US should eradicate these fields, but they won't as this is CIA money making machine...You say let Russia do it themselves, but they did not start this is also killing the US, many kids ar now turning to heroin...good grief....God help us all....

    December 4, 2009 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  27. Steve

    One more thing to all of my stupid countrymen calling Russia a bunch of whiners, this heroin is killing Americans too, you dummies. Wouldn't surprise me if we are losing as many civilians at home due to this increase in heroin as we are losing troops in Afghanistan. You fools think that is acceptable?

    December 4, 2009 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  28. jdixjr

    As long as the narco lords have a "friendly" and corrupt government in power it's a mute point. Without support from the "governent" as well as the belief of the populace that the heroin problem is a negative.and should be eradicated, it will continue to exist. No matter what we desire. Why would the present government want to destroy the very thing that's enriching their personal fortunes? They don't. The afghans have been growing poppies for centuries. It's time to wake up.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  29. major

    no power will stop the opium, it is a never ending resource more valuable than gold, oil, or diamonds, so valuable every power wants it.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  30. Bob N

    Russia cannot send troups because of the past involvment of the USSR. Most Afganistanies hate Russians and it would create huge problems for the USA if they accepted Russian troups or Pakistani Troups. India also cannot send troups because Pakistan will not allow it.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  31. Yigal G

    What a wonderful opportunity for military cooperation between Russia and Nato/US. The real enemy is the opium and the US under Obama looking the other way. The US should invite Russia to help destroying the poppy farms and that will lead to talks about more cooperation and maybe invite Russia to join NATO against the threats from the East – Iran, North Korea, and China.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  32. Steve

    I agree with Russia. I am an American but I find it shameful that Herion production has gone up 300% since we have taken "comtrol" of the country. Drive the poppy farmers into the arms of the Taliban? Kill them all and be done with it. Those growing poppy are just as guilty of terrorism as the Taliban. JUst wipe them out and be done with it. War is not about winning the hearts and minds of your enemies, it is about killing them. Too bad we seem to have forgotten that.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  33. Grendel

    It would likely hurt the "hearts and minds" effort if Russia sent troops there. I imagine most Afghanis would not welcome them due to the atrocities which were committed in the 1980s.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  34. Dave

    There is a wolrdwide shortage of opiates for medicinal use, yet only a few "approved" growers are producing (Australia, Turkey, India, Enland). Why don't we buy the opium from the local farmers and turn it into the morphine, codeiene, and thebaine based drugs that we do with "approved growers".

    Making the double standard only drives the blackmarket prices higher, giving insurgents more money.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  35. Todd

    I am not sure if this has been mention yet, but Russia put pressure on Kyrgyzstan to close an important airbase which was a key staging post for coalition forces fighting in nearby Afghanistan. Really....? The pressure to close the base I guess was because of the future of the US missile defense shield in Europe. Still, that does not justify closing the base, but I guess Russia holds an important leverage on Kyrgyzstan.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  36. Penny

    I agree with the Russians..Eradicate these poppy fields and put, what could be the straw that breaks the camel's back, to the heroine supply in the world today..
    I also agree with the comments that say the Russians should send troops to help the US troops in Afghanistan. Maybe that could be the help the Russians provide in Afghanistan...destroy the poppy fields...
    I will bet that the number of farmers that join the Taliban would be a small number compared to what the alleviating the Worlds supply of heroine would be.
    Will it hurt the economy of Afghanistan...probably...Would it take monies away from the terrorist groups...probably...that is a good thing..
    Remember...the terrorists of 9/11 did not take into consideration the economy of the US when they struck, other than to destroy it...

    December 4, 2009 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  37. richard

    I agree with Abe. This is the time to let the Afgan farmers know that Poppie fields will be destroyed next year. Period. Help them with alternative crops, provide monitory support as necessary. DO OT TOLERATE drug trafficing. Draw the line in the sand and stand on the right side. Another "Rumsfeld" decision?...we might offend someone. STAND UP...OR SIT DOWN. Don't let our soldiers/children die for nothing. With the additional forces we should be able to significantly reduce the drug flow.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  38. VA

    Russia sending troops would be insane and will never happen. I can't believe how many people don't know history. And Russia needs to get its own act together to stop the herion addiction. Destroying the crops to stop the heroin flow will not help the destruction of drug addiction in Russia, Alcohol probably kills just as many young people there. Did you see Putin at the rap concert? funny.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  39. Carl

    I see lots of complaints about the Russians...Readers seem to forget that in the not-so-distant past, the U.S. supplied funding and weapons to the Taliban which resulted in the humiliation and defeat of the Soviets and the deaths of thousands of their troops. Is it really so surprising that Russia is loathe to help the U.S. in our fight against this particular enemy? The Russians have been fighting these people a lot longer than we have because of their proximity to Muslim countries. Kind of ironic how these things work out; perhaps we should have "butted-out" 20 or 30-years ago. Who knows, the World Trade Center might still be standing today, if not for our own intervention...

    December 4, 2009 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  40. A

    We went in Afghanistan and caused this problem. All the people calling on Russia to step in.. are you really asking the Russians to come in and clean up our mess? And those talking about how the Russians got their butt kicked... well, then you have to admit the US got their butt kicked since its the same situation, except that back when Russia was fighting Afghanistan.. the US funded Afghan rebellion and the US gave rise to the Taliban and Osama. And you want to blame Russia.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  41. peanut

    I am sure that with America funding and training the resistance in Afghanistan Russia will have a much more successful go of it if they invaded again.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  42. Zack

    I believe that the Russian relief will bring stability to the region and allow for a proper government to be established within the region. Without the control of heroine production and the inflow of money it brings to the leaders of rogue organizations within the country, the establishment of a government will only lead to heavy corruption and further violence. We need to follow through with our intentions and stop being idle in Afghanistan. I too have friends and family involved in the war, as I too wish for them to get home as soon as possible.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  43. cosmo

    funny aint it us there for 8 years now and best yeild yet. think maybe thats the plan..........

    December 4, 2009 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  44. Louis

    I believe that the Poppy Fields should be destroyed completely. I have been saying this all along. I heard that the rationale for us not to take action was that we are afraid that the Farmers will join the Taliban. How many Farmers are there? How could that make more of an impact than their new recruits? It does not make sense. The monies from the drugs are being used to support the enemy. Eliminate the source, the Poppy Fields.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  45. kennakatleen

    I agree it's unfair to expect subsistence farmers to stop planting their biggest cash crop because "developed" countries have drug problems.

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to just BUY the poppies from the farmers, and either turn it into medicine, or burn it? Then everybody wins, and our soldiers can concentrate on the real mission – finding the *^$&ers who killed 3000 innocet people.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  46. dave

    Russia has a point. Hell, we're already there.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  47. Jeff

    I say let them have their poppys. Have we learned nothing from our eradication campaigns in South America? If we kill their poppys other countries will grow them because despite how "bad" they are, they provide a lucrative business opportunity. If we go after Afghan Poppy, then we will have to worry about other countries producing poppy. The violence will shift to follow the drugs and the next thing you know we will be in Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan. The ONLY VIABLE way to get drug money out of criminal hands is to LEGALIZE them in the consuming countries. The poppy farmers are not bad people, they are only taking advantage of an economic life raft in a sea of insanity. LEAVE THEM ALONE. Russia and the US should take responsibility for their own neglected drug problems, not the poverty stricken Afghans, as it is our appetite for these drugs that fuels the growth in the first place.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  48. brian99

    Was it not the Russians that opposed our use of Manas Airfield in Kyrgyzstan?
    These folks have continually stymied our logistical support of forces in Afghanistan
    and now they need out support?

    December 4, 2009 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  49. Bill

    John Your an idiot there are plenty of Russian soilders in Afghanistan.... We had plenty of them on the base I was stationed at.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  50. Dmitry

    Russia will never send its troops to Afghanistan because the U.S. would never it allow it – that would contradict its goal of getting into Afghanistan in the first place – containing Russia and China. Welcome to the poppy wars of the 21st century! You gotta do what you gotta do, but please, refrain from driving your agenda on the moral grounds.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  51. Rob

    Russian troops in Afghanistan? Anybody remember the last time they were there? Russia does have a good point. Heroin production has skyrocketed and is a huge problem there. But the U.S. allowing the Russian military back into Afghanistan would destroy any trust Afghans have in us.

    Humanitarian aid would be a much better show of good faith.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  52. rick

    All that needs to be said is EFF Russia. Nothing more.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  53. AJ

    I concur Jeff, do none of these people know their history? If Russian troops reenter Afghanistan we would have the entire population fighting us, not just the Taliban.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  54. Yinka

    That will be a big mistake because it will change the Afganistan public opinions the United State, no country can be completely clean, if Russia want to clean Afgans drugs they should send there troops. Our target is to go against the enemy which are the Taliban and the Al Qaeda's not the drug lords, and as a matter of fact the Afgan government need to face the drug lords not the foreign troops, and if russia thinks that its neccessary they should sent their troop as i stated. Have we ever think that if we fail in afganstan then the Russia will be happy, because the Russians has failed previously, and they will be happy if we fail also, we need to becareful.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  55. Abe

    I think the Russians should help instead of asking the US to eradicate the poppy fields. If they are having a problem with addicts they ought send troops which I do not think it will happen and help out with eradication. You know the Russians have a history in Afghanistan and would not like to get involved in defeating the Taliban. It will really be a bad mix to have Russian troops in Afghanistan because it will bring old animosity and might intensify Taliban insurgency. I do not think the drug is the problem. The problem is you have a government who is not willing to have a dialogue/ open discussions. A few days ago Mr. Karzia's said he will be willing to have an open discussion with the Taliban which is a good sign. We are forgetting that they are brothers and sisters and they only know what is fueling the problem in there country. I know we are trying to help but even we were successful and we leave they will still be there. What we need is a political dialogue that everyone accepts and have peace in the country. As far as the poppy's they have been growing the stuff for centuries and will be hard to give it up unless we offer them a better way to earn a living. Time only can tell. The world has to curb its drug dependency then we might see change. As far as the Russians they ought be able to offer assistance for alternative farming instead of asking the world to do there dirty job.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |

    Let the US/Russia be the buyer, Then destroy the crop. We could do it for pennies compared to the cost and damage the crop does overseas. Farmers are kept in the fold and we slowly cut it back.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  57. Steve

    Understand that they were there. The complexity of them going back would be astronomical. It would enrage the people there sending them into an incredible frenzy and set everything back 20 years! I worked with a Russian ex-special operative who describe some of the things that happened there. He only told me a few things as the rest were "too horrific to repeat".

    Having the Russians go in there to help would like asking the Germans party to help solve the problem in Israel.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  58. Richard

    Now, you see I like this because they do not want to send any help or money, but they want our help in getting rid of the drugs that are killing their people everyday. The way I see it is they do not need to send in any help they are losing enough individuals every day on their own.

    We need to go in and just fly over the land get those that are causing the problems and dispose of them, now and forever. If they want our help then they need to do as we do and keep the corrupt politicians actions hidden.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  59. DOLFAN

    After reading all the posts, I think we are all pretty much on the same page.....Now will the Governements of the world get on it as well? Doubt it....too stupid.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  60. Watching

    The U.S. is probably protecting the heroin trade in Afghanistan because it finances their war in that country.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  61. Chip B

    Do any of the above posters remember how Russia tried to "tame" Afganistan by almost destroying the country? Any Afghans over 25 will remember. How welcome do you think a new influx of Russians would be?
    Imagine what the response would have been if the US had sent a couple of brigades back to Vietnam in 1992.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  62. Steve

    The US funded Anti-Russian forces when Russia was in Afghanistan in the 80's.
    We gave weapons and training to those who were fighting the Russians. Read
    your history. We can learned a lot from Russia's experience there. It's naive
    to just maintain our old ways of thinking about them.

    And... the people we helped to drive out the Russians? Bin Laden was
    among them. Read the history,

    December 4, 2009 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  63. Johnny NYC

    When did the U.S. get into the business of helping out the Russians? We have a mission in Afghanistan. Let the Russians pony up some of their "world class miltary" soldiers. Bseides, if the the U.S. can be productive by hitting the labs while still letting the farmers earn, then I say job well done.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  64. Mike Farrell

    I agree if Russia wants action, they should be stepping up to support the effort to stabilize Afghanistan. However, I do understand there reluctance to commit troops. Afghanistan is not a very popular subject in Russia for obvious reasons and they’ve been trying to put it behind them for a very long time. But I can’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be injecting financial support for the stabilization effort.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  65. the dude

    Awww...Poor Russia. I feel so sorry for them.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  66. DOLFAN

    If they want it eradicated, then come on over and do it yourself. Why would it be the US's problem. That is not the reason we are there. Not to say it wouldnt be a bad idea to destroy the poppies. Serves no good use. If we were to destry the fields, then the Russians need to help buy whatever crop these farmers pant so that they still incur some revenue.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  67. Luke

    If Russia sends in troops to afghanistan they will get their ass kicked just like they did in the early 90s, they cant handle that again...

    December 4, 2009 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  68. wallyD

    The C.I.A. Was 1st Started In Afghanistan,When The American Government Discovered The extensive Opium Poppy Fields,And Warked With The Afghan Government for Over 40 Years. y Else Would The US Military Be Protecting these Fields So Heavily For So Long??... Population Control,It Is A Sort Of Biological Warwar... And 1 Of the Countries America Is Most Concerned About?..Good Guess ... RUSSIA!! Study Up On The CIA,DEA,HAARP,and All the Other American Agencies No1,But the Government,Seems To Have Much INFO On....

    December 4, 2009 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  69. Ed

    We are there for Bin Laden and the Taliban – our troops are not the international DEA nor are they trained to be.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  70. Juan

    I agree that Russia should support our efforts in the war if heroin is such a problem there. However, we have to recognize that there is an entire generation of Russians who have been left traumatized by Russia's own failed war in Afghnistan in the 80's. It would, I assume, be very difficult for the Russian government to send troops to the region with out upsetting the public which could then upset the balance of power in government (which may not be a bad thing!).

    December 4, 2009 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  71. William

    Afghanistan's recent history of Russia as an invading force in the 1970's prevents any Russian soldier to enter the country. They have enough problems in Chechnya.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  72. Sue

    Russia already had it's Afghanistan debacle. It isn't going to get caught in that quagmire again.

    What the Russians do need to do is start early drug and alcohol prevention programs in their schools. The drinking and drugs tremendously impacts the life expectancy in Russia and other former Soviet Republics.

    The Afghanis will grow poppies as long as poppies are profitable. Like marijuana here it's is a lucrative cash crop.
    Take the profit away.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  73. Ben Franklin

    I would like to say I am surprised by the hypocrisy of the Russian Government, but sadly, I am not.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  74. Not Russia's bee with an itch

    REally? You want us to take care of your problem? Really?

    Here is an idea, provide troops and help out. Otherwise, quiet in the peanut gallery.

    Yes, the drug programs need to be addressed. But lesser evils can wait til we cut the head off the dragon, rather than clip its toenails.

    Here is Russia's policy on Afghanistan (from "

    "Russian envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, on Tuesday ruled out troops for Afghanistan, saying it would be a silly thing to send in Russian troops again after occupation of the country during the Cold War.

    "We are not talking about such a long-term perspective as for Russian public opinion. We've been to Afghanistan and we didn't like it. So to go back is a silly thing," Rogozin told reporters."

    Really, you want us to listen to you, really???

    December 4, 2009 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  75. Haalcion

    You guys bemoaned Russia's intervention in Afghanistan: They also went there not to occupy but to stabilize a government and eradicate the radical elements. And now you have the nerve to suggest Russia should send troops instead of asking the US to do more? WHO CAN UNDERSTAND YOU PEOPLE???!!!

    December 4, 2009 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  76. Casey

    It is ridiculous that Russia should accuse us of not solving THEIR problem. We have our reasons there. If you need something done, don't expect it to come from our losses.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  77. Stiv

    A Russian presence there would create more problems than it would solve and further complicate an already complex issue due to the common history and resentments that both A-Stan and Russia/CIS have towards each other.

    It's easy to say pablum like "pony up" etc but it's not realistic for them to get involved. NATO and the USA either leave and let the Russians take care of it or we continue on and take thier statements under advisement.

    The best thing they can do is take care of the route over which they have influence such as the ones that run through Iran and the other regional stans Uzbek, Tajik, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, etc and perhaps post conflict they can start to dump some Petro dollars into the cause.


    December 4, 2009 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  78. Johnny D

    Russia is scared after the ass kicking they got in Afghanistan.... COWARDS!

    December 4, 2009 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  79. Observer

    People, the Heroin production is the reason that the US is in Afghanistan. To guard the Poppy fields. Opium production has increased 20 time since the Afghan invasion. The money being made from drug trafficking is how the CIA funds it's "Black-Ops" like poisoning allies as well as the Americans. We should expect opium production to increase yet again now that we have sent more troops.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  80. Derek K

    Perhaps the Russians would have taken care of the drug problem in Afghanistan decades ago if the United States hadn't funded Islamic extremists and the Mujaheddin with money and weapons.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  81. tom

    Dont you guys thinks bringing the Russians back into Afghanistan might be a contentious issue with both the Afghan people and the US Gov?

    December 4, 2009 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  82. Ottawa, Canada

    I think we should just pull out our troops from the area, Iraq or Afghanistan and let them kill each other, why should we care about them when they dont care about themselves.
    why it was so easy to capture Saddam with all the power he had and yet we can't get hand on Osama????
    we should protect our country here and leave them alone they will finish up their generation on their own.
    we thought we can create a better Iraq, but by removing Saddam we basically created another iranian Gov run by Shitte Muslim down there.

    I was borne Muslim and im a suni muslim and I know what kind of extremest those Shittes are.
    They only kill ppl using Islam's name but Islam is not what we see from them, real Islam is a very clean religion and there are no differences between Islam and Christian, they both want peace and freedom for ppl but in different wording.
    look at AhmadiNejad he is an idiot and I would call him a comedian.
    if we really insist of removing problem from the mid east we should just remove AhmadjiNejad and his regime and I assure you peace will come back to mid east.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  83. steve

    It's ironic that the Russians are telling us how to fight the war in Afghanistan. Hey Russia, how about lending a little economic aid to the farmers to grow crops that you would be willing to import.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  84. northdakota2

    maybe they should send their troops to go clean it up instead of complaining about it-let them spend their own money to take care of it –actions speak louder than words. They supply other countries with weapons. But complain when we don't pay to take care of their problem!!!

    December 4, 2009 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  85. Francisco

    Using American logic, maybe Colombian troops should only patrol the cocaine fields in Colombia. After all wouldn't a crackdown drive the farmers into the arms or the FARC?

    December 4, 2009 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  86. Cynic

    Poppies are pretty.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  87. Winona

    Instead of complaining about the lack of progress from the US, perhaps it's time for Russia to send their troops as well.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  88. Jack Lowe

    Not only Russia but China needs to get involved. I'm wondering if we are the impediment to this happening.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  89. Berlin

    Russia and China should send troops to the war. It seems that those governments are more on military machismo than real action.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  90. jeff

    You do realize the issues associated with Russian troops back in Afghanistan, right?

    December 4, 2009 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  91. Jeff

    If Russia wants to control poppy production in Afghanistan, let them pony up some troops and humanitarian relief to:

    A. Fight the Taliban.
    B. Kill the poppy fields.
    C. Teach the farmers how to grow alternative crops.

    Put up or shut up.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  92. Chris Wingard

    MAYBE Russia should send some troops of their own instead of again counting on U.S. forces to solve a problem that everyone wants taken care of but does not want to get there hands dirty with. Just sayin.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  93. Eric

    I agreee completely. We have been there eight years and it is still the same excuse given for why the heroin has not been eradicated. It is a disgrace. It is a shame that Russians should be the ones tell us to do what we should have already on day one. No wonder the people want the Taliban back.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  94. jon wyatt

    So have Russia send in 100,000 troops from the north and the USA and nato will send 100,000 troops into the south !! Lets get this done together ! Everyone benefits !!!

    December 4, 2009 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  95. Dave

    The Russians are absolutley correct in their assertion that the NATO allies have a responsibility to control or curb opiate production. Their concerns are valid, and we would be making the same comments if the situation was reversed.

    Granted, the US presence in Afghanistan is stretched thin and correctly focused on combat activities. However, with the announced surge in US and NATO resources, it is reasonable for Russia to bring this problem to light.

    Perhaps if they offered to finance some of the Afghan effort...

    December 4, 2009 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  96. Brian D. Ladr

    Well, Mr. Putin, welcome to the real world ... welcome to the fight. Whenever you're ready to forsake your foolishness and recognize our common enemy by name, we'll probably make some serious progress together. There's a lot more to be gained by collaborating than from the adversarial nonsense you've espoused in recent years.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  97. John H. Moore

    For the first time in my life I am with the Russians. If we are there lets clean out the drug trade and really do the world a service.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  98. Gunner

    then how about stop wasting time trying to find nato countries to contribute more troops, and simply let the Russians take care of business....just like they did previously in Afghanistan.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  99. John

    Russia has a lot of nerve when they've sent not a single soldier to Afganistan since Sept 11, 2001 and they continue to sell technology and equipment to the Iranians to help them in their quest to build nuclear reactors and weaponry. Shame on Russia!!

    December 4, 2009 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  100. Mike

    Why doesn't Russia send troops to help us out? Who are they to tell us what to do with our military? I'm sure our guys would appreciate the help, especially from a country that's had some military experience in the region.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
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