The various sources from which conflict tensions and militants activities in region are financed, drugs represent a very special “products”, because of the particular conditions attending the cultivation, processing and marketing of drugs; these products compose a “fuels for small wars” in destabilizing the heartland Central Asian region. At time in the drug producing countries it is estimated that around 30 million people were subsisting as drug farmers with their families, cultivating illegal hemp, poppy and coca. Also the drug business became as “liquid” commodities, essentially in financial crisis time, for the mobile financing the local wars in Central Asian region.
The militant groups operated in Afghanistan against peace forces and North part countries, established the heroin laboratories, which forms from part of opium poppy crops of the Golden Crescent in the Afghan-Pakistani border region. The opium and heroin became the major sources of financing for the armed conflicts in region and Afghanistan, especially for Taliban, Islamic Movement of Turkestan, Islamic Jihad Union and Hizbut ut -Tahrir. The Taliban used income from the opium trade to fund militants’ in neighboring countries such as the Islamic Movement of Turkestan and the Chechen resistance. The cost of the militants war in Afghanistan by the Taliban leaderships (involving a tens thousands fighters) are estimated more than 300 million dollars per year. The estimated of annual turnover from world wide illegal drug trafficking was 800 billion dollars, its accounts for a good 8 per cent of total world trade. Also Hizbut ut Tahrir cells are engaging in narcotics sales, and use the same Infrastructure as the IMT and other trafficking organizations in the region. The HT’s adoption of violent tactics against one or more Central Asian secular regimes would create a new linkage between organized crime and terrorism. The large parts of HT followers in two key countries along those routes, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and especially the spread of the movement into poor rural areas of those countries, gives HT cells easy access to narcotics profits as needed.
The financing such as terrorist activities in South Asia, Central Asia and Caucasus is almost from the drugs. The militants produce and sell opium in order to be able to pay cash for war. Also for militants its easy makes barter drugs on small arms. Between Western countries and Asia, the annual black market arms for drug business were worth ten billion dollars per year.
Drugs finance terrorist’s activities in region
In Afghanistan, producing about 90 percent of the world’s illicit opium is crucial factors in financing militant’s activities in neigbour regions. According to UNDCCP estimates, 80-120 tons of heroin per year are channeled from Afghanistan through Tajikistan to Russian and European markets. The drug trafficking is not only linked to militants insurgencies, through the smuggling routes are also used to assist terrorists groups for acrossing the Central Asian countries borders. The Afghanistan is not the only Central Asian state overflowing with drugs. Since beginning 1990s to present, Russian border guards on the Tajik-Afghan border seized tens tons of opium and heroin, of which about 2 metric tons were pure heroin enough to give every American resident a dose and still have 114 million hits left over. By the Russian guards officers information in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, drug trafficking has become a primary source of funds for religious militants groups. Complicating the problem are members of the Tajik and Russian governments, who often vocally condemn the illicit drug trade while personally facilitating its continuation. In the first public admission of its kind, in May 2001 the Russian military officers and representatives of Tajik government are complicit in the Afghan drug trade.1 The vehicles and vessels that provide weapons and supplies to Tajikistan for the Northern Alliance do not go back to Russia empty; instead, they are filled with drugs and shipped directly from Tajikistan to Russian destinations. The drug trafficking economy has had a number of effects on Central Asia. According drug countering experts views the trafficking of raw opium through Tajikistan has increased the role played by heroin-making laboratories in that country. Also an increase in poppy cultivation in neighboring areas, including in opposition controlled territories in Afghanistan as well as in bordering states, including Tajikistan.2 The religious militants make profit of 500 dollars for carrying one kilo of opium or opium-equivalent across Tajikistan, even a share of two per cent of the Tajikistan transit trade would produce a profit of 3–5 million dollars per a year.3
Also the major’s laboratories are concentrated in the regions bordering the Northwest Border Province of Pakistan, especially in Nangarhar, Laghman, and Konar Provinces in the Konduz and Badakhshan Provinces. By the United Nations confirmations, large stockpiles of opium and heroin still exist, as indicated by increased levels of trafficking along the Central Asian routes to Europe.4 With war breaking out between the United States and the Taliban, concern is growing that the Taliban may either repeal its opium ban to fund the war effort or simply become unable to enforce it.5 Opium became is a major income source for Taliban activities in Afghanistan, which has been receiving 43 million dollars a year from a tax on poppy production, according to a drug policy consultant to House Speaker. By the U.S. State Department information’s the opium tax is used to support panoply of religious militant’s organizations that train and based in Afghanistan. The Taliban protect opium production and smuggling routes and also have direct on involvement in drug trafficking because instead of getting paid in cash, they get paid in product, which is the drug itself. The area of arable land in Afghanistan used to grow opium dropped from 2.5% to 2.1% between 2007 and 2008, and one million fewer people were involved in opium cultivation this year. The Afghan opium problem is therefore shrinking in size with concentrations in the south-west of the country where 98% of the opium is grown. Despite the drop in opium cultivation, production and prices, the Taliban and other anti-government forces are making massive amounts of money from the drug business. In Afghanistan, commanders impose a charge “ushr” on economic activity, traditionally set at 10% of income. Opium farming it’s emerged the 50 – 70 million dollars of incomes in 2008. Furthermore, levies imposed on opium processing and trafficking may have raised an additional 200-400 million dollars. “With so much drug-related revenue, it is not surprising that the insurgents’ war machine has proven so resilient, despite the heavy pounding by Afghan and allied forces”, said the Executive Director of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa.6
In addition together with Taliban also increased the presences of European, Albanian, Kurdish drug mafias networks in Afghanistan.These networks have increased their presence in the main production state to gain a better control over the whole supply chain. This international organized crime presence in Afghanistan also is responce to increased competition from the different networks and the necesisty to defend their markets and production networks.
The militants not only concentrated their activities on opium and heroin traffics, they also have to get rid through converting to money, small arms and some other material. For instance drug money creates opportunities for organized crime groups and terrorists group an additional capacity for militant’s activities in regions.
The countless firearms in Central Asia originate from different sources, including former Soviet military stockpiles and smuggled firearms supplied to anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan. According the Small Arms Survey 2003 report estimates in 2001 there were between 0.5 million and 1.5 million small arms in circulation in Central Asia.7 Until 2002, the estimate of small arms circulating in Afghanistan was about 10 million.
The spreadings of small arms from both Afghanistan has contributed to militants activities in the Central Asian region. The Afghanistan provided a permanently source with a variety of weapons in circulation. The huge quantities of small arms, ranging from assault rifles to hand grenades, were supplied from Afghanistan to the militants in Central Asian countries.
For instance created a massive arms arsenal in Tajikistan, which included the various types of small arms as: AK-47, AK-74 assault rifles; SVD sniper rifles; AKSU sub-machine guns; RPK, PK machine guns; RPG-2, RPG-7, RPG-18, RPG-22, SPG-7 and SPG-9 anti-tank weapons.
In result of the large quantity of firearms in circulation in the region have become concerned about the trafficking in weapons into Central Asian territory. 8Kyrgyzstan is particularly worried about weapons coming into the country from Tajikistan. Some of these weapons move through the old Silk Road from Ishkashim through Gorno-Badakhshan via Khorog and Murghab to Osh. Another route runs from central Tajikistan to the Kyrgyz districts of Leilek and Batken and then to Osh and Bishkek.9
Such as traffics creates the clashes between state authorities and militants groups. When added to the combinations of drugs, crime and terrorism, the widespread availability of small arms and light weapons gives any kind of confrontation the potential for a much higher escalations to the regional stabilities. The militants use small arms as a commodity, as an instrument for extortion and intimidation and for self-defence, including against secular regimes. Trafficking in arms and drugs has also become a serious problem in the border region between Kazakhstan and China.
Smuggling operations are reportedly being carried out at every checkpoint along the 1,700 km border between the two countries. This includes considerable barter trade as smugglers from Kazakhstan exchange weapons for Chinese drugs.10
By the International Narcotics Control Board estimations around 20 per cent of the opiates leaving Afghanistan pass through the porous borders of Central Asia. At the local level, the geopolitical location also plays a vital role in drug trafficking. At present Taliban commanders looking for Central Asia to expanding the drugs. If the money they bring back is insufficient, the Afghan Taliban may seize property or even a family member until the balance is paid. Some dealers have reportedly kidnapped relatives to ensure that the family will take their instructions seriously.
Militants operated in Central Asia have also the criminal linkages in some European countries, Turkey and China. It has been suggested that some kind of supplier relationship has also developed between Kazakh criminal groups and Italian mafia organizations. Such as “envoys” from Italian rganizations specializing in drug trafficking visited the southern areas of Kazakhstan and established contact with local organized criminal groups in the province of Yuzhnoe. The Italians are said to have subsequently purchased heroin, brought from Tajikistan, from the Kazakh groups. 11
In addition the Taliban must sell some of Afghanistan’s heroins. Some experts suspect that al Qaeda network and other militants organizations in Afghanistan such as Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Army of Mohammed and the Army of the Righteous will be also involved to drug trade. It seems quite likely that Al Qaeda and religious militants groups in the Central Asia may be involved in trafficking and possibly refining, said Alison Jamieson, a specialist on transnational crime and a former consultant to the UN global drug control program. According to the UNDP country profile of Kyrgyzstan in 2002, the trafficking networks in Kyrgyzstan are well organized with developed connections across the country; members of Hizbut at Tahrir and Jamaat Tabligh operated in regions also involved in considerable transnational illicit transactions.
The Al-Qaeda considers heroin as a weapon in his holy war and will exporting heroin to Europe and the United States. One of these groups is the Kosovo Liberation Army, which involved in bombings during its war against Yugoslav government forces in the Balkans. It has been identified as a heroin trafficker by law enforcement agencies. The KLA includes religious militants who have trained in al Qaeda camps inside Afghanistan, according the U.S. and foreign law enforcement information’s.
According German Interpol officers the religious militants groups is responsible for 70 percent of the total amount of heroin and opium transiting through the Central Asian territories. That’s why at the last time the criminal and black economy dominated under legal economy, essentially in Central Asia. Over hundreds terrorists groups operated worldwide under cover as “independent transnational concerns” and nongovernmental organizations’. Central Asian states couldn’t counter alone with narco terrorisms threats. To present the numbers of addicts in whole Central Asia achieve more than 450-550.000 or it’s same with 10 drug dependences on each 100 people. (Report “G8 Global Security Agenda: Challenges & Interests. Towards the St. Petersburg Summit” Moscow, April 20-22, 2006). These factors will be drastically impacts to healthy development of whole younger generations in region. In results drugs tendencies became as a source of conflict for strategic and heartland regions financing of the new war economy which is replacing the classic war economy.
By UNODCC information’s the heroin dealing of religious militants allied with Al-Qaeda in Chechnya have ties to the Caucasus organized crime groups, part of the Russian underworld that operates in thirty countries, including the United States. Also the drug trade became the mutual benefits in nexuses between religious militants and organized crime groups in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The militants smuggle drugs themselves or through taxes the drug syndicates that operate in their areas, the result is a mutually beneficial unions.
According James Phillips, research fellow specializing in international relations for the Heritage Foundation in Washington, the Chechen organized groups is known to deal in all kinds of Russian contraband, including guns, nuclear materials and chemical and biological weapons.
For the reducing the heroin traffics to terrorists groups in Central Asia, require realize are following measures as: to cardinally pursue the entire network involved in the trafficking, including militants, organized crime organizations and host governments such as the Taliban that offer them a haven.
The liquidating the Taliban commanders , as administration that is willing to export drugs and terror would be promote a bigger successes in mitigating financing militants activities in regions and beyond. However, even eliminating the Taliban may not be enough in blockading the Afghan heroin trade, because other groups also interested in selling heroin to support their insurgency activities against competitive groups.
As a significances, the another effectively measures its to developing the economic conditions that make dealing drugs such an attractive economic option to local farmers in some of the poorest areas in the world, as south and east parts of Afghanistan.
Such efforts have had mixed success. For example, the United States gave 43 million dollars to the Taliban this year to support drug eradication in return for a Taliban pledge to eliminate Afghanistan’s massive opium crop.
According the UN officers the Taliban followed through on their pledge by virtually wiping out opium production in the parts of Afghanistan they control. But for US experts views the ban had little effect on trafficking because the Taliban didn’t eliminate big opium stockpiles from previous years or stop traffickers. At a briefing for the House Government Reform subcommittee on drugs, for U.S. drug officers the Taliban now appear to be dumping those stockpiles on the market, and the price of heroin in Europe dropped from USD 746 a kilogram to 95 dollars immediately after the US terror attacks.
For one side the billions spent on the war on drugs over US 20 billion dollars a year goes to this programme annually in the US the flow of drugs and the number of drug users have not mitigating on one per cents. The just one kg of heroine will be enough for preparing the 200.000 drug injections.
The US government gave the Taliban over US 40 million dollars in 2001 to destroy opium crops. It then removed them from power whilst ostensibly going after Osama Bin Laden when it invaded Afghanistan. Since the US has taken over in Afghanistan the opium crop has rocketed to levels even higher than those that existed before the Taliban regime. Over 3000 tonnes of opium were cultivated in 2002, more in 2003 and a similar amount in 2004, putting a tidy US 300 million dollars back into the underground economy each year. By 2006 it had risen to around 6000 tones. In 2009 it is catastrophically higher up again.
For the UN estimates the drug trade earned the Afghani economy around two and a half billion US dollars of value in 2006 alone. The number is approaching 10 billion dollars since the Taliban fell. The war on drugs has been and continues to be connected to the war on terror, the war on terror has served, if anything, to worsen the situation. The Central Asia couldn’t countering alone to drug smuggling routes to open up across this region as drugs are used to finance further insurrection and resistance movements. From Central Asia it is a short way to Turkey and Eastern Europe and hence the wealthy markets of the developed world where the drug lords increase their value to the cost of addicts and global society at large.
Instead of curbing drug use, manufacture and trade in narcotics around the world the US war on drugs has been at best counterproductive. At worst it is setting up another round of blow-back that will haunt the US as much as its early encouragement of Al-Qaeda did after US law enforcement agency cast him adrift after the fall of the Soviet run Afghan regime.
The problem is that the failure, no the completely reverse of the stated intentions creates massive crime problems everywhere, from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro and from Moscow to Motown and pretty much everywhere in between. Now for youth use the dangerous drugs like heroin and crack and amphetamines became also usually and the same as cannabis.
Just as the war in terror has made the world a far more dangerous place than it has been since the end of the cold war, the war on drugs has opened up the world to the drug trade as never before. The results are on our doorsteps, with traditional drug use being augmented by potent artificial stimulants such as ice, tik, methamphetamine and regional drugs such as methaqualone and crack and now became popular the cheap Afghan heroin.
The expanding drug traffics in regions
The combination of its long border with Afghanistan and its barely functioning economy has made it the main gateway into Central Asia for Afghan opium and heroin.The record opium harvest in Afghanistan over 8,000 tones will lead to the production of some 1,000 tones of heroin. This amount implies not only health consequences spreading drug addiction and HIV infection. It also brings a huge profit to Eurasian organized crime organizations and religious militants as well as instability and is a source of terrorist financing. The 75% of the Afghan opium is cultivated in the most unstable southern regions of the Afghanistan, its control by the Taliban. Also in the north of Afghanistan is largely free of opium cultivation, it is an active region for heroin production and trafficking. By UN estimates, the twenty per cents of the heroin produced in Afghanistan are trafficked through Central Asia, which are more than 200 tones. In Afghanistan, that amount is worth half a billion US dollars. When trafficked across Central Asia’s borders the profits to drug traffickers increase several-fold. As only around four per cents of these drugs are being seized you can imagine the amounts of money going to militants organizations. For comparison in Latin America the level of cocaine seizures composed more than twenty five per cents.
The geographical factors promote the difficulties in guard the Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan. Even during the Soviet period there were many open areas. In the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, where Kharog is located, by the report that they and their relatives on the other side of the Panj River in Afghanistan frequently cross the water frontier for weddings and other occasions.
The GBAO was initially considered the main drug artery into the CIS from Afghanistan, but over the past few years drug activity there has gone down considerably. That is partly due to the Aga Khan Foundation, which is considered literally to be feeding the barren region. In 1995 the foundation threatened to cut aid if residents engaged in drug smuggling.
While it is unusual for an NGO to wield such authority, even a cursory visit to Kharog illustrates
just how dependent the area (40 per cent of Tajikistanis territory) is on the Aga Khan Foundation and other NGOs for everything from food to medical supplies and economic development
projects. Practically nothing grows there except occasional potato crops, and almost all food has to be imported ñ something the government in Dushanbe cannot afford to do itself. Aid conditionality appears to have been effective in GBAO, where the food assistance is worth more than the few somani a farmer would earn for his drug crop or for ferrying drugs across the river.
The Aga Khan Foundation has also provided aid, especially food, across the river in Afghanistan for several years and has made its continuation contingent on no drug dealing.
The main entry points are the towns of Panj and Moskovkii, in the south-west. From the former the route proceeds to Dushanbe or Khujand. From Dushanbe drugs are usually shipped out to Moscow or Western Europe and from Khujand to Siberian cities such as Novosibirsk, Omsk and other Russian eastern areas. The route through Moskovskii goes to Osh, then Kazakhstan and on to Russia. 12
The drug trade is facilitated by corrupt law enforcement officials. One former Russian military officer, Anton Surikov, told “Moskovskie novosti” that large quantities of Afghan drugs were smuggled into Russia from Russian bases in Tajikistan on military aircraft.13
Others praise the Russian troops and border guards in Tajikistan as the only forces seriously
dealing with the drug trade. In addition have case of the smuggling drugs by the international peace troops in Afghanistan, that use the Manas base in Kyrgyzstan, that in further transported to Balkan, and through the Albanian mafias after spread to European countries and US.
Drug countering strategies: weaknesses and strengthens
The NATO and ISAF use the global strategy in countering terrorist’s threats in Afghanistan that is completely unconcern to the specifics of country geography, ethnic, cultural, religious factors.
In addition NATO lacks in local war tactics.
For one sides the NATO troops is well equipped but it’s not provide guarantees in their countering operations with militants. At time are increasing the stockpiles of NATO and ISAF arms, by the experts assessments the national ammunition stockpiles in Afghanistan estimate 100,000 metric tons which mostly unguarded and abandoned by the militants.14
The weak control of air space security, increases cases of hijackers, because still Taliban have more than thousand stingers, also Salafists groups obtain the manpads SA-7, which are directly targeted to helicopters, civil and military air cargos. In addition the NATO led ISAF mission in Afghanistan has also failed in countering drug growing, from transparently and week control the Pakistan and Afghanistan borders from international forces. For instance the producing of 60-70 tones of heroines in Afghanistan the tens thousands tracks freely passing borders with angidrids and precursors. The drug trade is also responsible for much of the country’s violence. Fifty percent of the country’s GDP comes directly from the drug trade, primarily in opium production. The different drug cartels that are involved in production and transportation contribute to the country’s violent crime.
The drug trade has provided by Afghan warlords, militant’s commanders and corrupt government officials and enable in terrorist to active operate in Southern and Northeastern Afghanistan. That’s why the “closing eyes “of the ISAF and NATO forces on opium growing (8 thousand tones) would accelerate tendencies of the recruiting youth populations of Central Asian countries to jihad groups through “heroin dependency” tactics.
For effectively mitigating the opium and heroine trade its keenly will require an intensive programs not only countering to the terrorists, but also to organized crime organizations operated in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Because the mostly in Europe and US the highest demand on heroine. Also should be done in Afghanistan itself through eradication, rural development, and the strengthening the criminal investigations departments. It is also vital to crack down on the corruption that lubricates the drugs industry. In addition keenly necessary collaborations SCO, CSTO and NATO for jointly countering operations aimed in destroying the hidden laboratories, opium markets and drug convoys. At last years the UN look very seriously attention to the northern route of Afghanistan. In particular, UNODC is assisting countries of Central Asia to improve border management. More should be done to improve sharing Regional anti- terroristics centers of SCO on trafficking routes. Also necessary accelerate work the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre. It is also essential to strengthen cooperation in legal matters to bring to justice major drug traffickers. In addition should accelerate the Security Council resolution 1735 by adding names of drug traffickers to the Al-Qaeda and Taliban list. By integrating the resources and information, strengthening capacity, and working with neighbors like Iran and China, it will be give more progress in mitigating drug traffics in Central Asian countries borders. While radical religious militant’s ideology should not be ignored as potential factors that assist terrorist’s activities in Central Asian, the heavy involvement of radical groups in the narcotics trade suggests that increased attention should be cardinally concern to countering this nexuses and tendencies.
For successfully countering drug traffics in regions necessary implement the following measures:
Fistful should creates the independent center for countering and blockade the offshores banks that laundering the drugs money as in South Asia, Europe and US (the major sources of cash into the Anglo-Dutch offshore money laundering centers, Dubai and the Cayman Islands).In addition, check by international monitor group the American military and humanitarian aircrafts flying from Afghanistan and Kant and Manas bases in region.
Accept special resolutions for totally destroy the heroin laboratories located in Afghanistan (more than 40s), Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and neighbor regions.
The mitigating the drug production would be assymetrically reduces to militant’s attacks in Central Asian coutries and Afghanistan.
One is big mistakes in countering drug traffics consists in narrow views of the problems, as only technical safeguarding borders, however would be more effectively concern also the human factors and their competency.
Enhance the monitoring by the satellite systems the traffics of precursors and angidrids that are freely passing through the Afghan and Pakistan borders.
Also the functioning mechanisms as NATO, OSCE, CSTO, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization should be to use in effectively countering drugs as main sources of terrorists groups activities in Central Asian and South Asian regions. For preventing of the transformations of Central Asian countries to “drug greater Afghanistan” and “second Columbia”, necessary integrate efforts of neighbor regions and international security organizations in countering drug terrorism.
1 See Asal Azamova, “The Military Is in Control of Drug Trafficking in Tajikistan,” Moscow News, no. 22 (May 30, 2001).
2 “Civil Order Still a Distant Prospect in Tajikistan,” Jamestown Monitor, July 18, 2001.
3 STATEMENT OF R. GRANT SMITH, SENIOR FELLOW, CENTRAL ASIA CAUCASUS INSTITUTE,SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, JOHNS HOPKINS University 46.WASHINGTON, D.C.2003
4 Russians Seize Two Tons of Opium,” United Press International, July 15, 2001; Alexei Igushev, “Tajikistan: Two Tons of Opium Went Up in Smoke,” Central Asia- Caucasus Analyst, August 1, 2001.
5 Ken Guggenheim, “Afghan Opium Production May Rise,” Associated Press, September 26, 2001; Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt, “Afghanistan Remains a Major Drug Trader despite Taliban Ban,” New York Times, September 26, 2001, sec. B, p. 4.
6 UNODCCP reports on drug situation In Afghanistan.2008
7 Graduate Institute of International Studies, Small Arms Survey 2003: Development Denied
(Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003).
8 The Graduate Institute of International Studies,Geneva,Switzerland. Small Arms Survey 2003
10 Bobi Pirseyedi, The Small Arms Problem in Central Asia: Features and Implications, (Geneva, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, United Nations publication, Sales No. GV.E.00.0.6).
11 The “thieves-in-law” formed the society for mutual support within the prison camps, adopted a system of collective responsibility, and swearing a code of “complete submission to the laws of criminal life.”(Fikenauer, James O, and Waring, Elin J. Russian Mafia In America: Immigration Culture and Crime (Boston: Northeastern University Press) 1998
12 ICG interview in Tajikistan with Vladimir Andrionov, July 2001.
13 Moskovskie novosti, 29 May 2001.
14 Sedra,2008,p.146; ANBP.2006 p.7