Your tax dollars at work: Afghan Air Force used as "flying drug mules"

Spencer Ackerman at Danger Room on reports (utterly shocking reports!) that Afghanistan’s military uses its US-bought aircraft to transport drugs throughout the country.

At a cost of nearly $2 billion for two years’ worth of building the Afghan Air Force, the U.S. inadvertently purchased a more convenient mechanism for trafficking opium and weapons than Afghanistan’s drug lords were previously using. But it actually gets worse than that. The aerial trade in guns and drugs through the Afghan Air Force appears to be financing the rearmament of private militias hedging against the country’s implosion after the U.S. leaves.

Read more: Afghan Air Force: Flying Drug Mules That Fuel Civil War | Danger Room |

Related item at the Wall Street Journal, requires subscription.


  1. Man, you gotta love it. The Afghans know what’s going to happen when we leave. Heck, the ones arming themseves are the ones who will tear the nation apart. Why live under someone else’s police force when you can make one yourself.

    Libertarian anarchy at its finest. I’m no boot licking power lover, but I can tell you this I have no wish to live in Somalia, or Afghanistan.

  2. That’s actually quite a good way of repurposing planes which would otherwise go unused (is Afghanistan going to bomb any neighbour anytime soon?). After all, opium  cultivation is a big economic activity for them, and why should we stop their economic development?

      1. Let Afghani poppies be used in pharmaceutical opioid production.

        Legalize/regulate/tax opioids for recreactional/non-pharmaceutical use.

        Then the cash goes to Afghani farmers, businesses and government for doing useful things like building schools and roads, rather than buying guns and police to control the illegal trade.

  3. Takes a lot more than this to surprise me.  You don’t think the US military isn’t allowing this to happen? They’re probably doing the same.

    In The Morning!!!

  4. does this grand old CIA tradition really spring from the Second World War?   I mean, supplying all the heroin in America from Vietnam was profitable and fun, no one denies that – but I wonder if the old O.S.S. first got its feet wet in doing black-market morphine and speed?

  5. So I should bookmark this for when people tell me that buying drugs equals giving money to terrorists?

  6. Gee, maybe we should have seen this coming when we picked, as our allies on the ground, people who opposed the Taliban because the Taliban was anti-heroin? We lent air cover and special forces support to the “Northern Alliance” opium barons, and ended up with an opium-baron government in Afghanistan. We don’t dare be shocked over this.

    The “Rumsfeld doctrine” that we don’t need to mobilize a large US army to conquer and occupy a country, that we can take any local criminal gang or unpopular political movement and make them the government, needs to stop being the bipartisan consensus. NOW. Before it does any more damage.

  7. Giving military aid and equipment to an ass-backwards 3rd world nation backfires? I for one am shocked, SHOCKED that this could happen!

    But hey, we should really give Uganda military training, aid and equipment. What could possibly ever go wrong THERE? It’s not like their “People’s Defense Force” has ever done or will ever do anything wrong…

    By the way, remember when we gave the Taliban surface to air missiles in the ’80s? Yeah, that was a great idea too.

  8. The fact that we can’t control narcotic production in a country with a huge allied military presence should be a clue to Americans that expecting Mexico to do any better is a fools errand.

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