Normalizing the capture of Afghanistan by the Narco-Islamist terrorist Taliban is an abnormality and an anomaly.
Taliban is the face of Islamic terrorism and also contributes to 80 percent of the opium and heroin supply in the world according to UNODC Report. But in actuality, the Taliban controls nearly 94 percent of the opium and heroin trade, in some places in Afghanistan under the Taliban, UN officials could not enter.AfghanDrugs
Taliban is a Narco-Islamic terrorist organization. The Taliban is a potent mix of religious fanaticism and money fuelled through the narcotics trade. USD 1.6 billion is the annual turnover of the Taliban in 2019-2020 according to a NATO Confidential Report.
In 2017, reportedly opium sales were an estimated 9,900 tons and a value of USD 1.4 billion. The UNODC estimated the country’s overall illicit opiate economy that year at as much as $6.6 billion. It is three times the estimate of the NATO Confidential Report 2019-2020.
Taliban survives because of its business of narcotics. And it is involved in every aspect of the narcotics trade from poppy planting, opium extraction, and trafficking to exacting protection money as taxes from cultivators and drug labs to charging smugglers fees for shipments bound for Africa, Europe, Canada, Russia, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia.
Such is the commitment to the narcotics trade that the Taliban disengages its fighters from their Islamic terrorism pursuit to harvest poppy crops.
The Taliban makes its money through illegal drug profits, as they manage opium in areas under their control. It reportedly imposes a 10 percent tax on every link in the drug production chain, according to a 2008 report from the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit. That includes the Afghan farmers who cultivate poppy, the main ingredient in opium, the labs that convert it into a drug, and the traders who move the final product out of the country.
A Brookings report titled, ‘Drugs, security, and counternarcotics policies in Afghanistan’ expressed:
Unfortunately, many of the counternarcotics policies adopted during most of the 2000s not only failed to reduce the size and scope of the illicit economy in Afghanistan, but also had serious counterproductive effects on the other objectives of peace, state-building, and economic reconstruction. In a courageous break with a previous counterproductive policy, the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama wisely decided in 2009 to scale back poppy eradication in Afghanistan, but it struggled to implement its new strategy effectively. The interdiction policy adopted in 2008 by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan (ISAF) and then Resolute Support (RS) neither bankrupted and weakened the Taliban, nor systematically altered the structural drivers or political dynamics of the poppy economy, the strength of organized crime, and corruption in the region or encouraged regional cooperation. The U.S.-Taliban Doha deal of February 2020 precludes the United States from mounting such aerial bombing of opium/ heroin and ephedra/ ephedrine depots, labs, and transportation trucks. Rural development policies similarly failed to address the structural drivers of poppy cultivation and many were not sustainable. Most have withered with the significant intensification of insecurity in the country and the Taliban accruing ever-growing territorial control and influence.
For two decades, opium has been one of Afghanistan’s leading cash-generating economic activities. UNODC estimated the gross value of the Afghan opiate economy — including cultivation of poppy, processing into heroin, and trafficking up to Afghan borders — to be between US$4.1 billion and US$6.6 billion in 2017 and, due to drought and lower prices, between US$1.2 billion and US$2.2 billion in 2018. UNODC then estimated that the opiate economy is worth between 6 and 11 percent of Afghanistan’s GDP. But when one takes into account economic spillovers, with drugs underpinning much of the other legal economic activity (such as construction and the purchases of both durables and non-durables), drugs easily constitute a much larger portion of the Afghan economy.
For much of the rural population, the opium poppy economy is an essential source of basic livelihoods and human security. Even urban populations are connected to the drug economy, with construction and trade in urban spaces often underpinned by the drug trade.
The drug economy is under the control of the Taliban and that is where it derives its financial power.
While narcotics is a terrible face of evil, fusing it together with Islamic terrorism makes the devil even more horrific for the people of Afghanistan and people around the world.
Taliban is Taliban. It will not change. It has tasted power pitting itself against the powerful United States of America and its trained army in Afghanistan. The Afghan Army meekly surrendered to the Taliban. It was bloodless.
Taliban is like a bull in a China shop. The intriguing bit, though, is that it’s a bull controlled by the China shop with the Pakistan ISI as its trainer.
With the capture of Kabul, the world now watches as a Narco-Islamic Terrorist organization will rule a country and expect other nations to respect its rule of the country as an Islamic Emirate.
The very thought that the Taliban has usurped power is repulsive for civilized society because now we have to negotiate with uncivilized men.