Afghanistan’s Drug Trade Booms Thanks to Meth and Heroin

Afghanistan’s Drug Trade Booms Thanks to Meth and Heroin


Afghanistan has long been infamous for its opium poppies, but law enforcement agencies across the world are warning of a new boom in the Afghan drug trade fueled by methamphetamines.

Turkey’s TRT World reported Wednesday the meth boom in Afghanistan is driven by falling opium prices, a crackdown in Iran that drove many Afghan meth cooks to return home, and the discovery that meth precursor chemicals can be extracted from ephedra, a plant that grows in the central highlands. 

Drug trafficking from Afghanistan was recognized by U.S. military planners as a major strategic threat at the beginning of American military involvement after the September 11, 2001, jihadist attacks. Drugs are a huge source of income for the Taliban, to the tune of over $200 million a year, so poppy fields and opium labs were targeted by U.S. airstrikes in an operation called “Iron Tempest.” 

The U.S. spent some $9 billion trying to

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