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Drugs and Afghanistan

Poppy Plant Afghanistan Drugs are a huge issue in Afghanistan. The opium trade funds the Taliban, warlords and their militias, and is a source of corruption within the Afghan National Police; Afghan government officials, and to some degree, the Afghan National Army. The growth of cannabis production has some neighboring countries worried as well. 1.

Websites about Drug War in Afghanistan

Opium Production in Afghanistan. Wikipedia.

News about Drug Trade in Afghanistan

Publications on Drugs in Afghanistan
(listed in chronological order)


Rice, Gareth, "Drugs and Power: Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan", Small Wars Journal, February 3, 2021.


Rice, Gareth. "Afghanistan's transformation into a narco-state", The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Review (ASPI), April 11, 2019.


UNODC, Afghanistan Opium Survey 2018: Cultivation and Production, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, November 2018.


AAN, How Neglect and Remoteness Bred Insurgency and a Poppy Boom: The story of Badghis, Afghanistan Analysts Network, by Jelena Bjelica, February 22, 2017.


AREU, Moving with the Times: How Opium Poppy Cultivation has Adapted to the Changing Environment in Afghanistan, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, June 2016.

UNODC, The Afghan Opiate Trade and Africa - A Baseline Assessment, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2016. A 78-page report detailing where the opium is produced in Afghanistan, how it gets to Africa, and what happens to the opium once it gets to Africa.

AREU, Briefing Note on Fieldwork in Kandahar Province, December 2015 -  January 2016: Opium Poppy and Rural Livelihoods, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, April 11, 2016. . . . Livelihoods.pdf

DoDIG, Audit of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Aviation Operations with the Department of Defense in Afghanistan,  Department of Defense Inspector General, Audit Division 16-16, March 2016. A report about the DEA's Global Discovery aircraft (ATR 500) that was bought to support its counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan but, despite spending millions of dollars, never flew in Afghanistan. Posted on website of the Homeland Security Digital Library, Naval Postgraduate School.

Mansfield, David, A State Built on Sand: How Opium Undermined Afghanistan, Hurst Publishers, March 2016. This book explains how opium cultivation determines people's lives and political outcome in rural Afghanistan.

UNODC, Afghanistan Opium Survey 2015 - Executive Summary, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, January 2016.

Buddenberg, Doris and Thomas Ruttig, On the Cultural History of Opium - and how poppy came to Afghanistan, Afghanistan Analysts Network, January 11, 2016.


Bjelica, Jelena. Afghanistan Breaking Bad: Crystal meth, a new drug on the market, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), December 7, 2015.

November 27, 2015. "The Drug Trade in Afghanistan: Understanding Motives Behind Farmers' Decision to Cultivate Opium Poppies", by Mathilde Simon, Foreign Policy Journal, November 27, 2015. . . opium-poppies/

Bjelica, Jelena, "One Year's Result is Not a Trend": the 2015 opium cultivation decrease, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), November 18, 2015.

July 2015. Reducing the Cultivation of Opium Poppies in Southern Afghanistan, RAND Corporation.

BINLEA, DoS. Afghanistan National Drug Use Survey Executive Summary, Bureau of International Narcotics Law Enforcement Agency, Department of State, May 2015.

May 23, 2015. The Taliban's opium poppy ban in 2000/2001 - lessons from history, Afghanhindsight Blog.

April 2015. Afghan Narcotrafficking: The State of Afghanistan's Borders, Joint U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghan Narcotrafficking, East West Institute, April 2015.


GIRoA, 2013 Afghanistan Drug Report, Ministry of Counter Narcotics, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, December 2014.

December 2014. "Capturing the Elusive Formula Against Afghanistan's Drug Economy Through Integration", by Jean-Luc Lemahieu and Madeeha Bajwa, Stability: International Journal of Security & Development.

October 14, 2014. Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan, 2012 and 2014, SIGAR-15-10-SP, October 2014. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

May 9, 2014. Afghanistan: Drug Trafficking and the 2014 Transition, Congressional Research Service. This report describes key U.S. counternarcotics programs in Afghanistan in the context of the 2014 transition and analyzes policy issues related to these programs.

April 2014. Evolving Terrain: Opium Poppy Cultivation in Balkh and Badakhshar Provinces in 2013,  Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU). . . . poppy-cultivation

January 15, 2014. Future U.S. Counternarcotics Efforts in Afghanistan, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) testimony before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.


Drug Trafficking in Afghanistan. The New York Times. . . /afghanistan/drug_trafficking/index.html


November 10, 2004. "How the Drug War in Afghanistan Undermines America's War on Terror". CATO Institute.





1. For more on growth of cannabis see "Cannabis production in Afghanistan could intensify terror activities". The Economic Times (India).


Books about Afghanistan

Books about Afghanistan

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