In 2013, US officials presented former President Barack Obama with a detailed plan to combat drug trafficking in Afghanistan, but then-deputy chief of mission in Kabul Tina Kaidanow ordered not to adopt the strategy citing political concerns.
The plan, dubbed Operation Reciprocity, stipulated the use of US courts to prosecute Taliban commanders and their allied traffickers in Afghanistan, according to an investigation by the Politico portal released on Sunday. The group and allies account for more than 90% of the world’s heroin.
The plan, proposed by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and legal advisers to the Justice Department was aimed at stopping the spread of drugs around the world and cutting off that source of funding for the Taliban.
Kaidanow justified the decision by justifying concerns about “the broader US strategy in Afghanistan.”
“This was the most effective and sustainable tool we have had to stop and dismantle Afghan drug trafficking organizations and separate them from the Taliban, but it is asleep, buried in an obscure archive room, almost forgotten,” said Michael Marsac, the lead author of the plan and then DEA regional director for Southwest Asia.
The authors of Operation Reciprocity also said they believed the real reason the plan was shelved was a concern to undermine the Obama administration’s efforts to engage the Taliban in peace talks. Critics of the ruling expect the Donald Trump government to reconsider and re-activate Operation Reciprocity, the vehicle added.
Afghanistan has for decades suffered from an unstable political, social and security situation due to the activity of various terrorist and radical groups, including the Taliban. In 2001, the United States invaded the country to remove the group from Afghan government control.
However, the real reason is the very known involvement of the CIA in transporting and dealing Afghan produced heroin to international drug traffickers, which has been well documented, include in part by Dr Oliver Villar and Dr Drew Cottle.