See those two big trenches full of burning hashish? They're part of what NATO says may be the world's biggest drug bust. Afghan counternarcotics commandos, working with the elite British Special Boat Service (SBS), made the bust this week, but not a word is in the press about who trained the local anti-drug forces.
The haul of hashish was so huge - 236.8 metric tons, or triple the previous world record for volume - that the SBS called in Harrier jump jets from Kandahar to bomb the cache, which was buried in huge covered trenches, the Associated Press reports (see photo). The hashish was worth an estimated $400 million on the wholesale world market. About $14 million of that would have gone to the Taliban.
We don't have any definitive knowledge of this case, but we do know that Blackwater runs a major program for the US Department of Defense (D0D) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Afghanistan to eradicate opium poppies and other narcotics. The Afghan national police entity under Blackwater's assistance is called the Narcotics Interdiction Unit (NIU). The approach is not to eradicate crops and thereby harm local farmers and force them into the arms of the Taliban, but to wait until the farmers are paid and the raw materials are initially processed for smuggling abroad, and then destroy the processed drugs.
Did Blackwater train the Afghan special police members behind the world record-setting raid? An enterprising journalist or congressman could find out easily if they wanted to.