An angle concerning the retirement of United States from Afghanistan, maybe underrated, is the fight against drug trafficking. Pursuant of Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation (FSKN) researches, the production of heroin in Afghanistan is constantly increasing. It seems the US army depart will make the situation worst.
This issue strikes full the Central Asia, by now almost exclusive route bringing Afghan heroin to Europe. Russia finds out among his population a worrying increase of the drug abuse rate: the heroin addict Russians should be more than 8 million. In 2012 Russian police forces captured 88.000 people for between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The boundary is absolutely porous, out and out corridor from which heroin arrives to the entire Central Asia and beyond. In the opinion of Tajik authorities the increase in seizes is connected with a staggering growth of traded drug amounts.
Mosca has opted for economic co-operation with Central Asian countries to cope with this issue, allocating almost 2 billion of dollars and creating a project providing support to regional development that, among other things, will create 30.000 new jobs. Russia is concluding agreements with other geopolitical actors in the area, as Iran, to fight the scourge of heroin trade. The struggle against drug trafficking could be an important instrument to collaborate with European Union and United States, even though Russian authorities don’t trust so much the latter even though.
Among the regimes of the region corruption is widespread and this could frustrate Russian efforts, although the Central Asian rulers have every interest in combatting this phenomenon. Drug trafficking is getting more and more linked to Islamic fundamentalism, the great fear in the future of Afghanistan, of which is the most important source of revenue often. A better life would make less attractive to population profits from drug trade, to this end State measure is of the utmost importance. In addition, Afghanistan and Central Asia are Islamic countries, where growing and using drugs are expressly forbidden.
Drug trafficking in the Islamic world is a big subject for debate faced with increasing contradiction of Muslim gangs trading and realizing gains with something that is haram (prohibited). Central Asian Islam, mainly belonging to the Hanafi school, has always been characterised by moderation – except areas as Fergana Valley – establishing today itself more and more as an opposition to the corrupt regimes of the region. If the menace of a growing fundamentalism is real, however it should not be forgotten the role of Islamic movements as public opinion.
In truth, during the Taliban regime Afghanistan tried to eradicate the growing and the trading of heroin. It was July 2000 when the mullah Omar prohibited the opium-poppy production: the result has been a quick revoking of the measure due to very strong protests by the farmers. Heroin allows earning much more money that every other product proposed from international programmes. Against this great matter Moscow plans risk to break.