The Acts of the Democracies





With the active encouragement of the USA's CIA and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries are encouraged to join in a jihad (holy war) in Afghanistan against the USSR between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more come to study in Pakistani madrasas (religious schools). Eventually more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals are directly involved in the war.

The Islamic jihad is supported by the USA and Saudi Arabia with a significant part of the funding generated from the drug trade in the Golden Crescent (Burma and Thailand).

Motivated by nationalism and religious fervour, the Islamic warriors are unaware that they were fighting the Soviet Army on behalf of the USA. While there are contacts at the upper levels of the intelligence hierarchy, Islamic rebel leaders in Afghanistan have no contacts with the USA government or the CIA.

A study by Alfred McCoy confirms that within two years of the beginning of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, "the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world's top heroin producer, supplying 60 percent of USA demand. In Pakistan, the heroin addict population went from near zero in 1979... to 1,200,000 by 1985, a much steeper rise than in any other nation".

CIA assets control the heroin trade. As the Mujahideen (holy warriors) seize territory inside Afghanistan, they order peasants to plant opium as a revolutionary tax. Across the border in Pakistan, Afghan leaders and local syndicates under the protection of Pakistan's ISI operated hundreds of heroin laboratories. During this decade of drug dealing, the USA Drug Enforcement Agency in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, fail to instigate major seizures or arrests ... USA officials had refused to investigate charges of heroin dealing by its Afghan allies "because [USA] narcotics policy in Afghanistan has been subordinated to the war against Soviet influence there."

The former CIA director of the Afghan operation, Charles Cogan, would eventually admit the CIA had indeed sacrificed the drug war to fight the Cold War:

"Our main mission was to do as much damage as possible to the Soviets. We didn't really have the resources or the time to devote to an investigation of the drug trade,... I don't think that we need to apologize for this. Every situation has its fallout.... There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes. But the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan."

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