Afghanistan Policy Results

January 10, 2007

More heroin from Afghanistan pouring into U.S. cities

By Marisa Taylor
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – More heroin from Afghanistan is hitting U.S. city streets, five years after the United States toppled the country’s fundamentalist Taliban regime.

The surge comes as Afghanistan’s opium production reached an all-time high last year despite attempts by the United States and its allies to beat back a resurgence of the Taliban and to reduce poppy cultivation.

Almost 90 percent of the world’s opium is made from poppies grown in Afghanistan. Once refined, most of the heroin is shipped throughout Europe. As a result, the Afghan drug trade has been portrayed primarily as a European problem, rather than an American one.

But internal drug-enforcement reports indicate that U.S. authorities are seizing more Afghan heroin at U.S. ports and from low-level dealers in American cities.

The reports contradict the public statements of drug enforcement officials, who maintain that the amount of heroin reaching the United States from Afghanistan hasn’t increased.

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