US drug policy with Afghanistan
1) Structurally make sure you cite your sources and proofread for spelling and grammar;
2) Clearly keep your arguments linked to the US relationship with Afghanistan as the central focus of the paper.
US drug policy with Afghanistan
The use of Drugs in the US started as early as the 1800s. After the American civil war, opium was the first to surface followed by cocaine. In the 19th century, the usage of the two drugs became an epidemic. That led to the first rug policy, which was The Harrison Narcotics Act. It was passed in 1914 and restricted the sale of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and morphine (Johnson & Hoopes, 2019). So, war on drugs was and still is a campaign which was adopted by the government to prohibit illegal trading of illegal drugs. Currently, the government is aided by a foreign military and some countries participating.
Mass incarceration is sending a large number of people into prisons for felony and even minor offences. It serves as a way of punishment and rehabilitation. The war on drugs was called in 1971 by president Richard Nixon. A tough-on-crime policy plan was introduced which has been producing disastrous results up to date. The government has used around one trillion USD since then in the war on drugs. Due to the increased number of drug cases, there was a need to introduce policies on drugs. The legislation on drug war implemented by president Nixon was based on the aim to improve society by reducing the harm caused by drugs.
Success on these drug policies was measured by positive changes seen on the welfare of people as well as improvement of their health conditions and not by the number of arrests made and seizures nor the harshness offenders receive during punishments. Survey shows that the war on drugs has not been successful. The primary tool used in fighting drugs is dependence on incarceration. Incarceration is used as a means to reduce recidivism, as rehabilitation and also acts as a deterrent. This tool is proven to be ineffective. It has failed to reduce recidivism; it does not offer meaningful rehabilitation and doesn’t deter future offenders.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration is consistent with cooperation and coordination with the local, state, federal and the foreign government in reducing the availability of illicit drugs in the US market. That is done through methods that don’t require enforcement such as crop substitution, crop eradication, and offering training to foreign officials. The US foreign policy strategy is dominated by the military defence (Coyne & Hall, 2017). Both the US domestic and international drug policies use the military to search and seize the drug traffickers. The US has used the term “narcoterrorism” to justify the involvement of the army.
The current US drug policy has significant problems which include the following. First, none of its stated goals is met. It has instead been supporting drug trafficking and drug enforcement. Second, the strategy used to enforce the policies has only been generating a lot of arrests and prisoners from either the black community or the Latinos. Third, there has been inadequate support and funding for cost-effective treatment for hardcore addicts. However, there have been some victories. Several addicts go through rehabilitation and treatment programs that get sober and productive. The only way the government can relieve the abuse of drugs and treat addicts is through rehabilitation and use of preventive measures through education.
After the Harrison law was passed the bureaucrats became the primary source of criminalization demand of narcotics. Since 1500, Afghanistan has been a source for narcotic drugs. They manufacture the opium gum chemically into morphine then convert it into heroin. The money got from drugs was used to facilitate terrorist activities. The terrorist organizations had caused a lot of security concerns, and in response, there was a need to combat the proliferation of trafficking narcotics. Afghanistan had a weak government that was unable to provide security, and the poor security enabled the opium economy to flourish. The opium economy facilitated the IMCO, which consisted of the insurgents, militia and corrupt officials.
December 24, 2008, came up with a policy that allowed the US to hope in. They sent the drug law enforcement agents to take over the issue (Thomas, 2018). That was a presidentially declared war, so the president alongside the stakeholders who included the Bureaucracy, congress and the Hastedt’s categories of the society modified policy to allow military join forces with the afghan, the US special forces, DEA special agents and the police. As a result of all that, aa laboratory used to manufacture the drugs in Kandahar province was attacked, and sixteen Taliban were killed. There were approximately 1.8 metric tons of opium and heroin, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), IED bomb-making materials, and Taliban training manuals seized at the lab.
The military commanders of the US launched operation iron storm in late 2017. That was a storm of airstrikes by the use of B-52 bombers, F-22 Raptors and the rest of the warplanes. They were targeting a network of labs that produced opium. The US officials believed that the labs were generating two hundred million dollars a year in drug money for the Taliban. The US has spent nine billion dollars since 2001 on several programs to stop Afghanistan from supplying heroin to the rest of the world. None of these measures applied has worked ever since.
The former Afghan cabinet minister thinks that the US and the rest of the NATO countries wasted money on the opium issue. They failed to settle on strategies that were effective to handle the problem. They kept changing policies and depended on consultants who didn’t care about Afghanistan. At the time, the Afghan was almost becoming one of the narco-states. The president of America then, who was Barack Obama and his administration consisting of the veteran US officials came up with a very detailed plan. The plan was to prosecute the Taliban commanders and drug lords who were their allies with the use the US courts. These drug lords supplied more than ninety per cent of the world’s heroin.
The congress allocated two billion dollars in supplemental and regular counternarcotic foreign assistance and defence aiding the programs in Afghanistan (Lansford, 2017). Some of the members of the congress members considered options for reorganizing the efforts of counternarcotic as a way of trying to stabilize Afghanistan. Earlier on, the laws that had been placed failed to work because there was corruption, insecurity, exploitation, and laxity in implementing those laws. Other stakeholders included the US department of agriculture (USDA), new US Embassy and provincial reconstruction team (PRT), and the USAID.
In conclusion, if the US was unable to implement its drug policies, how was it going to do it in Afghanistan? Political instability and trafficking of narcotics remain firmly attached to Afghanistan. US officials have identified narcotics trafficking as the primary barrier to the security establishment. Insecurity is also a fundamental barrier to operations of counternarcotics. The narcotics are capable of providing arms and funds to the terrorists for violent activities. Where there are corruption and violence, reforms and development are hindered. In most of the areas where conflict was prone, there was a symbiotic relationship where insurgents, traffickers, narcotic producers and officials that were corrupt created cycles that were self-reinforcing criminality and violence.
Johnson, C., & Hoopes, J. (2019). The War on Drugs and the Case for Rehabilitation. Brigham Young University Prelaw Review, 33(1), 17.
Coyne, C. J., & Hall, A. (2017). Four decades and counting: The continued failure of the war on drugs. Cato Institute Policy Analysis, (811).
Lansford, T. (2017). A bitter harvest: US Foreign Policy and Afghanistan. Routledge.
Thomas, C. (2018). Afghanistan: Background and US Policy. Congressional Research Service, 10.