Thursday, October 22, 2009

Taliban trying to turn US troops into heroin addicts

afghanistanpoppydrugsheroin Report: Taliban trying to turn US troops into heroin addictsInsurgents in Afghanistan are using heroin as a tactical weapon against US forces, hoping to emulate the drug problems that plagued US troops in Vietnam and Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s, says a new investigative report.

In a report at the Daily Beast, author Gerald Posner cites "an internal US intelligence report" that "concluded [insurgents] are targeting American troops in an effort to undermine their effectiveness, while raising cash to pay for new recruits and weaponry."

The report brings up inevitable comparisons to the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 1970s and the Soviet war in Afghanistan that ended two decades ago. It also raises the possibility that the conflict in Afghanistan will spill over into the streets of America as returning troops bring their addictions home with them.

Posner told MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan on Tuesday that drug addiction played a major role in the military failure of those two wars.

"In Vietnam we ended up with a nearly 20 percent addiction rate to China White," Posner said. (A 1971 report on drug addiction among US soldiers in Vietnam pegged the number closer to 15 percent.)

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