Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Blühende Landschaften: Vor dem Abzug der internationalen Truppen floriert in Afghanistan der Mohn-Anbau

< 1 min

Die Welt, 14 Novemeber 2014

The German daily reports about the latest UNODC poppy report on Afghanistan and extensively quotes AAN’s Doris Buddenberg and Thomas Ruttig:

“As a result of the upcoming troop withdrawal, the pressure to act against poppy cultivation has dropped significantly”, says Thomas Ruttig, Co-Direktor of the Thinktank Afghan [sic] Analysts Network. The government’s anti-narcotics programm “has largely been a facade since long. It were mainly the poorest that had been targeted, those who could not bribe. … Now the troop withdrawal has begun, workers and translators lose their jobs… Aid spending already went down, too, – USAid still paid 4.5 bn USD in 2010/2011, currently [last year] 1.8 bn.”

“Where ever in the provinces you ask who controls the drug business there, you’ll almost always get the same answer: the governor, the local warlords or a high-ranking official” says Doris Buddenberg who was UNODC chief for Afghanistan till 2010. She says it was a strategic mistake that the western armies allied with the local strongmen after 2001 and did not care much about the drug economy. “First of all, ISAF even was not mandated to act against drug trafficking.” The biggest blame shouldn’t go to the poppy farmers because there are insufficient economic alternatives. “Poppy cultivation helps the country to just survive. But of course it does not provide a development perspective. … The profit margis of the traffickers do not end up in Afghanistan but in Dubai, London, Frankfurt and other financial centres.”

“All drug trafficking is black economy” adds Ruttig. “It produces a degree of corruption and violence, as over distribution.” He quotes from a report about Mali: “Drug traffickers don’t need a failed state but a degree of instability.”


ISAF Taleban opium poppy Corruption drugs Drug Trafficking