NewsAfghanistan expands drug production: heroin and meth for Europe

Afghanistan expands drug production: heroin and meth for Europe

Afghanistan is a world leader in drug exports. The war-torn country is now expanding its competencies – and looking at Europe in the process.

Kabul – Afghanistan is a battered country. In the poor nation, many of the people earn their living trading drugs, although the chaotic withdrawal of troops by the USA and NATO allies will probably fuel this development. Although the Taliban promised to ban drug production and trafficking in the course of their takeover, the country is expanding its competencies in precisely these areas. Now the authorities in Europe are also alarmed that heroin and meth from Afghanistan could conquer the West.

Afghanistan is already the world’s largest supplier of opium, which is used to manufacture heroin. In recent years, the country has also been getting better at producing methamphetamine, colloquially speed or meth, as reported by the Al Jazeera news agency. This development has its origin in the discovery that the substance can be obtained from a native plant. In the past four years, methamphetamine production has increased so much that it has already exceeded that of opium in some places.

Drug trafficking in Europe: Police in Germany monitor the situation in Afghanistan

The situation in Afghanistan is also being monitored from Germany, as a spokesman for the federal police said in an interview with Al Jazeera. The drug could enter the country on routes already used by opium smugglers, particularly through Turkey and the Balkans. But there are voices for which the attention of the authorities in Europe is not enough.

David Mansfield, for example, who has been observing the drug situation in Afghanistan for years and advising the British government on the subject, says that investigations into meth do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about where it comes from. The Federal Police also confirmed this for their approach. A spokesman said that this would only change if an official agency, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, acts.

Economic situation in Afghanistan decisive for drug exports to Europe

The Taliban’s announcements to stop drug trafficking in Afghanistan are primarily due to an attempt to be seen internationally as a legitimate government. This is what Philip Berry, who was already doing research on the drug war in Afghanistan, claimed to Al Jazeera. Experts agree that this does not stop the threat to Europe, but rather that Afghanistan’s economic future is decisive. Should Afghanistan collapse economically, drug trafficking will continue to pick up speed. (vbu)

Recently, conflict researcher Conrad Schetter spoke about 20 years of intervention in Afghanistan and how one can learn from a defeat – or better: should.

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