is reporting from
let them eat opium
DrMarty | April 7, 2012 at 09:22 amby
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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is creating a new, special anti-drug agency to coordinate the regional fight against drug-trafficking, and this agency could lead cooperation with NATO forces and the Afghan military in fighting drug production and trafficking, Russian Drug Control Service head Viktor Ivanov said at a press conference in Moscow today.
Ivanov has just returned from Beijing, where he met with the directors of the SCO nations' counternarcotics agencies, including Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, on April 2. Ivanov also visited Pakistan March 27-29, continuing the two nations' growing cooperation against the drug trade, and also visited Myanmar.
"When this agency has been formed the SCO will become a lot more effective," Ivanov said today. "It will turn this organization into a key regional anti-drug structure and create a unique opportunity to reset relations between the SCO and NATO.
If SCO countries concentrate their potential and capabilities in intercepting drugs on their territory, NATO -- as the organization with a huge contingent in Afghanistan -- could concentrate on destroying drug production in Afghanistan." (Apparently the Russians just don't get it; NATO wants drugs to flourish)
The military targets there are "poppy fields, laboratories, and storage and logistics facilities." NATO's "military contingent, including the non-governmental armed formations, is about 4 million strong.
If the over 130,000-strong Afghan military and police contingent is added, there will be five law enforcement personnel per each hectare of the 130,000-hectare optimum area, or one law enforcer per 2,000 square meters sown with opium," he said.
In March, Ivanov told the State Anti-Drug Committee that heroin, opium and hashish production rose by 61% in 2011, Interfax reported. "Opium poppy plantations in Afghanistan have expanded by 7 percent (under NATO's watch), which indicates that the drug production infrastructure has been growing in that country, spurring drug transit, including toward Russia," he said.
Ivanov has also repeatedly emphasized the need for reorganizing the drug-dependent global financial system (no, no, that's off limits), if one is serious about winning the war on drugs.
The SCO nations will cooperate to exchange "real-time" information, in joint counternarcotics operations and in a financial blockade of drug production.
But NATO must join in this fight, Ivanov said. "For the first time, we've proposed to divide responsibilities. The SCO police will be combating drug traffickers in its member countries. NATO that has 150,000 troops in Afghanistan and controls the country's army and police [and] can fight drug production in that region. These efforts could destroy this year's poppy crops in just a couple of months."
In Beijing, Chinese State Councilor Meng Jianzhu, Minister of Public Security, met with Ivanov on April 1. "China wishes to work with Russia to promote the sound development of cooperation in drug control under the framework of the SCO and strengthen communication on major drug issues and encourage the international community to combat drug problems effectively," Meng said.
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