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Published: February 28, 2014
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Source: Phantom Report

via: Politico

Editor’s Note: M41 Highway/ Pamir Highway route through Tajikistan likely a  route for opium/weapons for local warlords,  however the big boys- US Special Forces, Intel operatives, GKNB/Armed Forces are airlifting opium from undisclosed location – hint Afghanistan. Take a look at a portion of the M41 highway. Not a very economic/efficient/strategic route for smuggling/drug-trafficking large amounts(tons) of opium/weapons. Read:U.S. COVERT WAR IN TAJIKISTAN: U.S. SPECIAL FORCES, FREEDOM HOUSE, GKNB AND DRUG TRAFFICKING


The Pamir Highway between Dushanbe and Khorugh-wikipedia

It’s perhaps not surprising that Tajikistan,which shares a poorly guarded, 750-mile border with opium-rich Afghanistan, has become a major global drug-trafficking hub—in fact, more than 80 percent of Afghanistan’s heroin exports to Russia and Europe now pass through Tajik territory. Over the past decade, the United States, worried that the drug trade would soon be accompanied by all the other security problems that plague Afghanistan, has cooperated closely with Tajikistan’s government to help it stem the narcotics trade. Seems reasonable, right?

Unfortunately, that government is such a dubious partner that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid have done little to solve the country’s problems or stop the drug business—while helping to shore up its apparatus of repression. The United States has spent nearly $200 millionsince 2001 on security assistance for Tajikistan, increasingly focused on training and arming special military and police units. In 2012, for example, U.S. Special Forces trained 350 members of the State Committee of National Security, the successor agency of the Soviet-era KGB, including courses in marksmanship, close-quarters combat and weapons.

But while the GKNB is on the front lines of fighting drug traffickers, it is also the primary organ of political repression in the country—and many observers see it as more engaged in the latter. That includes the detention and torture of dozens of dissidents, according to human rights groups.

And besides, a substantial portion of the drugs that transit through Tajikistan—accounting for as much as 30 percent of the country’s GDP—do so through legal border crossings. No surprise, as the largest drug traffickers in Tajikistan are widely believed to be closely tied to high-level officials in the deeply corrupt Tajik government. The man thought to be founder of Tajikistan’s first major drug-trafficking group, for instance, was the lieutenant to the founder of the political party that brought President Emomali Rahmon to power in 1992. “In no other country of the world, except perhaps contemporary Afghanistan, can such a superimposition between drug traffickers and government officials be found,” a 2007 research paper concluded.


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