US should say yes to drugs in Afghanistan
Sunil Ram: A rational policy requires buying poppies from Afghan farmers, and cutting out warlords Pt.3
Drugs and Afghanistan
In part three of our interview with security expert Sunil Ram, Sunil provides his answer to the hypothetical 3a.m. phone call from the new US president over what to do in Afghanistan. Sunil advocates for the replacement of the Karzai administration with a western military rule along with the open engagement in the Afghani drug economy, thus removing the financial lifeline of the warlords and the Taliban as well as providing economic stimulus to the Afghani population in a more effective way than the aid programs that are already in place. The opium could be marketed as a pharmaceutical product, as advocated by the Senlis Council, or even burned immediately, believes Sunil, but it must be taken out of the hands of the traffickers. Sunil attributes the unwillingness to pursue an active drug strategy not to a state of ignorance of the role of drug money, but rather to a combination of corruption and a general preference within the administration toward focusing on Iraq, a preference that has been present since day one.
Sunil Ram is a military and security expert with Alexis International, an international consulting firm. He is the Contributing Editor of SITREP, the private defense journal of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, and has served in the Canadian Forces as both a soldier and officer between 1980-86 and 1997-99. Sunil also served as a military adviser to the Saudi Royal Family for over ten years, including involvement in the 1991 Gulf War and the Yemeni conflict in the 1990s. He has won a series of awards, including the UN Global Citizen Award presented to him in 1995 by the UN. He has also published a variety of articles and books and has had columns on military affairs published in newspapers, such as Canada’s Globe and Mail.