The U.N. believes about 1 million Afghans between the ages of 15 and 64 - roughly 8 percent of the population -- are addicted to drugs. The publication Development Asia estimates 2 million Afghan addicts.
Depending on whose figures you read next, some staggering number of these same addicts ends up in the Afghan National Police (ANP). Fully "half of the latest batch" of police recruits tested positive for narcotics, the Independent reported in March, drawing on Foreign Office Papers from late 2009. Also in March 2010, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported, depending on the province, 12 to 41 percent of Afghan police recruits tested positive. The GAO added: "A State official noted that this percentage likely understates the number of opium users because opiates leave the system quickly; many recruits who tested negative for drugs have shown opium withdrawal symptoms later in their training." The problem was dire enough, the report continues, to place under consideration "the establishment of dedicated rehabilitation clinics at the regional police training centers."
Pederasty, misogyny and corruption aside: This drug-addled ANP is part of the Afghan National Security Forces that the U.S. government fully expects -- no, completely relies on -- to secure Afghanistan against "extremist networks" and is spending $350 million per day in Afghanistan until that happens.
My question: Who's high here? Illiterate Afghans on drugs, or educated Americans on fantasy?...Both, obviously.