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who moves the drugs out of Afghanistan?

"Implemented in 2000-2001, the Taliban's drug eradication program led to a 94 percent decline in opium cultivation. In 2001, according to UN figures, opium production had fallen to 185 tons. Immediately following the October 2001 US led invasion, production increased dramatically, regaining its historical levels....
In other words, intelligence agencies, powerful business, drug traders and organized crime are competing for the strategic control over the heroin routes. A large share of this multi-billion dollar revenues of narcotics are deposited in the Western banking system. Most of the large international banks together with their affiliates in the offshore banking havens launder large amounts of narco-dollars.
This trade can only prosper if the main actors involved in narcotics have "political friends in high places."  Legal and illegal undertakings are increasingly intertwined, the dividing line between "businesspeople" and criminals is blurred. In turn, the relationship among criminals, politicians and members of the intelligence establishment has tainted the structures of the state and the role of its institutions including the Military."
Michel Chossudovsky, Who benefits from the Afghan opium trade, Global Research, 9/21/06


February 25, 2010. Alexander Knyazev: Chaos as an Instrument of Control, at Oriental

And how does all of this affect Russia?

The very situation in Afghanistan is risky—it is an uncontrollable territory, which terrorist groups may use, albeit in small numbers.

Another real danger—and a much more serious one—is the use of Afghanistan’s territory for illegal drug production. 

This is a very powerful factor in the corruption and criminalization of society; it undermines defense capabilities and impacts the gene pool; it is a powerful strain on the economy and in the financial sphere, both for consumer countries and for the countries through which drugs are transported.

Drug trafficking also acquires political significance. An illegal business must be protected against government interference and competitors, and that means it must be involved with politics.

Politicization of drug trafficking takes place on two levels. At the first level security (freedom from prosecution) is provided for manufacture, transportation and sale. At the second level drug organizations become instruments of entire governments.

How does Afghan heroin get to Europe? Central Asia and Russia constitute the main entry route to the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. It flows through Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan and Georgia, and then it goes on to the West through Ukraine. And it makes its way to Kosovo through Iran and Turkey.

Interestingly, the main distribution centers for Afghan narcotics are in the same locations as American military bases. In Kosovo, for example, it is Camp Bondsteel. And in Germany it is the bases located at Bitburg, Sembach, Ramstein, Hahn, Zweibrücken and Spangdahlem. Or the US Air Force Base at Morón de la Frontera and the naval station at Rota in Spain.

And finally. Should the same artificial destabilization occur in countries bordering on Afghanistan, Russia will be forced to intervene, but by reacting after the fact. Although it would be better to be proactive. And indeed it may turn out exactly as Brzezinski described it so long ago.

Source: “Odnako,” No. 9, November 9, 2009 (in Russian).


Is that what we see happening in Kyrgystan? A corrupt client narco-state, operating under the aegis of a giant criminal organization, at a key distribution point of the Afghan heroin trade, trying to suck Russia into another intervention?

From the Asia Times, 4/23/10:

A Russian commentator told Ekho Moscow radio, "The revolution in Kyrgyzstan was organized by the drug business." Kyrgyzstan is a hub of drug trafficking. The acreage of poppy cultivation in Kyrgyzstan has exponentially increased and is comparable today to Afghanistan.

There have been reports in the Russian (and Chinese) press linking the US base in Manas with drug barons. Iranian intelligence captured the Jundallah terrorist leader, Abdulmalik Rigi, when he was traveling in a Kyrgyz aircraft en route to an alleged rendezvous in Manas.

The Russian media leaks enjoy some degree of official blessing. They highlight circumstantial evidence questioning the nature of the revolt in Bishkek. Meanwhile, the influential think-tank Stratfor has rushed the interpretation alleging a Russian hand. Between these claims and counter-claims, Moscow seems to be veering to the assessment that Washington has benefited from Otunbayeva's political consolidation in Bishkek.

As a Russian commentator put it, "There are further indications that Moscow is cautious about the new Kyrgyz administration ... The truth is that there are no 100% pro-Russian politicians in Kyrgyzstan's interim government ... and quite a few of them are definitely associated with the West."

US bases, click to enlarge (source)

Do you see that gray dot in the upper right corner? That's Manas, up near Russia and China, sort of off the beaten path of these other bases. It says Ganci on the map. Same thing. It is now called Manas Transit Center. I will call it Manas.

Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, which is also called Ganci Air Base, unofficially is a military installation of the United States at Manas International Airport, located near Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. This air base in Kyrgyzstan is chiefly operated by the U.S. Air Force.

This Kyrgyzstan Air base installation was a tribute to a martyr and thus named after the New York Fire Department Chief, Peter J. Ganci, Jr., who died in the terrorist attack of September 11. The Air Force used the casual name "Ganci", for a very short tenure until the Air Force Instruction or AFI declared that alien air bases shall not carry the name of any native heroes from home. Henceforth this air base was officially called Manas Air Base.

In 2005, the Tulip Revolution of March, when the politics of Kyrgyzstan required too many flights to foreign countries, the respective personnel did not find themselves into any disrupted or affected flight schedules and the Manas Air Base worked efficiently whenever any military service was required.

The war crafts that have access in Manas Air Base Kyrgyzstan are A KC-135 Stratotanker, US Air Force F-15Es, US Marine Corps F-18s, KC-135, 2 B707, Netherlands KDC-10 and American KC-135s. 

Manas has been in use since the start of the Afghan war, 2001, as a refueling hub and transit stop for US and NATO operations. Roughly 500 tons of cargo pass through the base monthly.

In February 2009, the Kyrgystan leader (Bakiev) decided to evict the US military from Manas. Russia pledged a $2 billion loan to Kyrgyzstan on the day Bakiev announced the US eviction.

In June 2009, Bakiev changed his mind.

[June 2009] The turnabout is a victory for the Obama administration as it seeks to step up operations to quell the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. The Kyrgyz government had ordered the base closed in February, apparently under pressure from the Kremlin, which has resented the deep American military presence in an area of the world that it has long considered its zone of influence.
That was the story. The US wanted to "quell the Taliban insurgency" and Moscow, in return, "resented the deep American military presence" in its back yard. It always sounds so reasonable.

What was the deal made with the US?

  • The base was renamed a transit center, as opposed to an air base.
  • Kyrgyzstan controls security around the base instead of American military personnel.
  • Few other restrictions were made on the US. For instance there are no prohibitions on shipping weaponry, and "According to the text of the new agreement, United States personnel and contractors can transport "any kinds of personal belongings, equipment, supplies, materials and technologies" into and out of Kyrgyzstan. Supplies will be exempt from inspection or licensing by the Kyrgyz government, the agreement says."
  • The rent went from $17.4 million per year to $60 million, plus the US will pay $36.6 million to expand the airport and contribute tens of millions of dollars toward economic development and the fight against drug trafficking.
  • The agreement would be for one year and would be contingent on the situation in Afghanistan.
In other words, there's really no oversight. As long as the US pays enough money, Kyrgyzstan asks no questions about what is going through the "transit center."


Before that year was up, in February 2010, things went awry with Moscow, when it became clear that son Maksim Bakiev was using the Russian loan money for purposes other than the intended purposes.

..."Nobody will give you that kind of money with such low interest," Skrinnik says. "But what does the [Kyrgyz] government do with the money? They establish a new foundation [the Central Agency for Development, Innovation, and Investment, headed by Bakiev's son, Maksim], deposit the money there, and begin loaning it out with interest."

Skrinnik describes the Kyrgyz actions as "complete nonsense," saying the funds were provided "to pay Kyrgyz teachers, doctors, police, judges, etc. The Russian State Duma had to pass a law about this money. But the Kyrgyz authorities decided to make money out of that money."
Maksim Bakiev was playing banker with Russian money.

The events as they swiftly ensued are covered in that post. That was in April 2010. The Bakievs were ousted. Russia seemed happy with that turn of events.


A few things came out at that time about the corruption in Kyrgystan.

  • "The former government stole, embezzled and destroyed everything." ~ Vladimir Putin
  • "President Dmitry Medvedev, meanwhile, accused Bakiyev of double-dealing in consenting to prolong a US lease of its Manas airbase just months after accepting a $2 billion aid package from Russia in February last year, purportedly in exchange for ending the lease."
  • "Before the revolt, Russian state television was carrying reports that Maxim Bakiyev was siphoning off as much as $8 million each month from companies supplying the air base with fuel." 
Meanwhile, according to a New York Times report, the supply scheme involved two firms, Manas Aerofuels and the Mina Corporation, both apparently linked to Maxim Bakiyev. But the primary source of the fuel was an Omsk-based refinery owned by the oil division of Russia's state-owned gas monopoly, Gazprom.
It appears that the Bakievs stole fuel and money from Russia. Russia had good reason to want the Bakievs out. But that doesn't mean Russia arranged the coup. As we covered here, some photographs indicated that the US armed the opposition forces that toppled Bakiev, and that Rosa Otunbayeva is a CIA asset.


So was the US behind the instability in Kyrgystan?

Aangirfan asks why the CIA would seek chaos in Kyrgystan. "Creating chaos in Kyrgystan seems to suit the drugs trade. It also suits the USA which does not want Kyrgyzstan to become a strong and stable partner of Russia."

From an embedded link in that post: Kyrgystan destined to become another narco-state?
Another key point is that since then Kyrgyzstan became the most notable hub for distribution of the Afghan drugs to Eurasian ‘markets’, a business that had multiplied in times under the NATO guardianship in Afghanistan. The town of Osh, the ‘southern capital of Kyrgyzstan’, has long ago become a major cross-point for the Great Heroin Way through non-controllable mountainous Tajik-Kyrgyz border and transparent way to the north-west. Most likely the illicit profits proceeding from narco-trafficking were the main sources of spectacular enrichment of Bakiev’s clan during his presidency in 2005-2010. There were numerous evidences that the very arrival of Kurmanbek Bakiev to power in March 2005 as a result of ‘Tulip revolution’ was financed and supported by prosperous international narco-mafia. It is also notable that while in office Bakiev liquidated Kyrgyz Anti-Drug Agency.

Let the reader understand. 
  1. Allegedly the Bakiev's were siphoning off an estimated $8 million a month from Manas fuel operations.
  2. Manas is a transit base with essentially no oversight, under the control of the US.
  3. Afghanistan is the world leader in drug production.
  4. It is most likely that drug trafficking made the Bakiev's wealthy during their time in power, in addition to the fuel operations at Manas.
  5. Allegedly Afghan heroin goes to Kyrgystan for distribution.
  6. The drug trade requires fuel and vehicles, such as airplanes, for distribution.

Was the fuel from Gazprom used to carry on the drug trafficking? Did Yevgeny Gurevich arrange the financial books to facilitate these transactions?

As noted yesterday, there is a bounty on the heads of various people, including the Bakievs and Gurevich. Somebody thinks crimes have been committed.

As informed by the Head of the Main Criminal Investigation Department of MIA KR, Colonel Samat Bakeev, the new authorities are ready to pay $100,000 for capture or information about location of each adult member of former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s family. Among them are brothers of the fugitive president and his sons. The new authorities are ready to pay the same amount of money for Aleksey Shirshov, Aleksey Eliseev, Eugene Gurevich and Ex-Prime-Minister Daniyar Usenov. For capture or information about location of former Head of the State National Security Service Murat Sutalinov the remuneration will be $50,000. Ex-Chief of the President’s Administration Kurmanbek Temirbaev and a number of other officials are appraised at $20,000.

After the change of power in Kyrgyzstan, 36 high officials have been put in the interstate and international wanted list in the line of CIS and Interpol. 25 of them are wanted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 9 – by the Financial Police Service and 2 – by the State National Security Service.

look at it this way

Afghan drugs


Manas hub


Maksim Bakiev & co.


Yevgeny Gurevich & co.


assorted people playing dumb

dying people


dead people


more dead people


The analysis continues:

So now, when the time has come, the Washington’s task is to let Kyrgyz elect such ‘pro-Russian’ government, which would be unable to cope with the narco-cartels operating at the Great Heroin Way and criminal-terrorist gangs of any nature. That would either prevent Kyrgyzstan from entering the new Customs Union being formed by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus and effective since July 1, 2010 or make the policy of narcotization of Eurasia easier after customs procedures on its borders lifted once Kyrgyzstan accepted to the union. So at this time the geostrategic interests of the US and the international narco-mafia happily merged again.
Perhaps because it's One Big Happy Family....? Meaning the people who DECIDE what the geostrategic interests of the US SHOULD BE (as opposed to what they actually are), and the international narco-mafia...? Do their interests coincide because, actually, they are the same group of people....?

Meanwhile, drugs are ravaging the Russian people.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), last year Russia was number one country in terms of heroin consumption. 

The UNODC estimated that each year 75 to 80 tons of heroin, the most dangerous drug, is consumed in Russia. This is twice as much as in China with its billion-strong population and 3.5 times more than in the US and Canada combined. According to the state anti-drug committee 220 Russians become drug addicts every day. Now there are approximately 2.5 million drug addicts in Russia, most of them consuming opiates, i.e. heroin.

Every year over 30 thousand of them die. Unfortunately, only 1 out of 10 people can quit. The rest will be dying, and dying soon. Life expectancy of heroin addicts in Russia is 28 years.
Afghanistan is the absolute leader in drug production. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report says that 900 tons of opium and 375 tons of heroin is exported from the country each year. Every 10th person in the country is involved in cultivation of opium poppies. The revenue from heroin traffic to Russia is estimated at over 17 billion dollars. 15 trillion of them go to bank accounts of transnational criminal groups and terrorist organizations. 

Experts believe that robust heroin production in Afghanistan started in 2001, when coalition forces were brought to the country. Since then the production has increased by 40 times. It may seem that struggle with drug trafficking is not a priority for the US and NATO. The money allocated for these purposes is spent for anything but elimination of illegal crop through air spraying (the method worked very well in Columbia). Interestingly enough, Antonio Maria Costa, UNODC Executive Director virtually supported the abandonment of crops elimination program. He suggested creating conditions that would lower opium prices, which would make peasants stop growing it over other agricultural cultures. The Russian anti-drug committee thinks that it could only happen if the world would be flooded with heroin. Many experts suspect that American military receive profits from drug trafficking. Today opium reserves in Afghan secret places are estimated at 12 thousand tons.

Here are pictures of Russian heroin addicts.


IT IS A FACT that Russia has a huge heroin problem.

IT APPEARS that Manas may be used to traffic heroin from Afghanistan to destinations throughout the world, with a big piece going to Russia, presumably with the intention of destroying the Russian people.

IT APPEARS that Russia cannot easily intervene without triggering possibly negative consequences.

IT IS A FACT that Manas is under the control of the US military.

IT APPEARS ALSO, if this is correct, that organized crime syndicates must have good relationships with some of the US military people who run Manas.

IT APPEARS ALSO that the unrest in Kyrgystan puts pressure on Russia to intervene. But Russia is damned if they do, and damned if they don't.


Anonymous said…
Excellent! I shall borrow some of this.

- Aangirfan
Alhamask said…
AP I read somewhere just before the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Taliban had almost extinguished the drug trade, which in turn alienated the Banking Empire.
A. Peasant said…
thanks aan. please do.

yes Alhamask, that's correct. i should put that in, i was reminded and i forgot. ta.
A. Peasant said…
thanks Alhamask, i put that factoid right up top.
Anonymous said…
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A. Peasant said…
right, so the good news is there's plenty of oil. peak oil is now officially debunked.

the bad news is the oil won't stop coming, and we now have to watch our environment get destroyed to prove the abiotic oil theory.

a theory which all the people who sold us peak oil knew, as they gladly shook us down for every penny, telling us oil is scarce.

and now we're going to turn to those same people and ask them what to do. and they are going to say you can't stop this unless you explode a nuke.

and we're going to believe them because we have "no choice."

and then that will go horribly wrong also, and then when it's too late, people will say 'why did we ever listen to them?'
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
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the Silverfish said…
Perhaps one might also ask which country is the largest supplier of the chemicals such as MEK,(methyl ethyl ketone) and Acetone used to extract the alkaloids and opiates from opium in Afghanistan and the Cocaine in Colombia. Neither country btw has a large plastics industry.

Just a hint, look North.