42 minutes | Sep 6, 2021

Afghanistan's Opium Nation: Drug Lords, Warlords, and Drug Wars

For decades, starting a few years even before the Taliban took power the first time around, Afghanistan has dominated the world’s opium and heroin market, in some years producing up to 90% of the global supply. It’s also provided hundreds of millions of all dollars for all sorts of less than desirable entities. Warlords, Druglords, insurgents, rebels, US allies, US enemies and yes, the Taliban. There’s a couple of wild characters who pretty much have been each one of those things at one point or another in their careers. Then there’s the Pakistani and Iranian and Tajik smuggler networks that help get it across borders, the various criminal syndicates in Turkey, the Balkan, Russian, Kurdish and Central Asian traffickers who help get it across more borders all the way to the street crews in London, Scandinavia and everywhere else. All have fed off of the opium poppy planted in Afghanistan. So have the millions of heroin addicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran...and all over Europe, Central Asia, Africa and Russia.
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