The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade : Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Central America, Colombia

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade : Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Central America, Colombia

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade : Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Central America, Colombia

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade : Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Central America, Colombia

Synopsis

The first book to prove CIA and U. S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, "The Politics of Heroin" includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U. S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U. S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.

Excerpt

Writing this book has been a long journey, from America to Asia, from youth to middle age. In 1970, then twenty-five and in my second year at Yale Graduate School, I set out on a voyage around the world to study the politics of the global heroin trade, particularly the covert alliances between drug lords and intelligence agencies. Somehow I survived the unanticipated adventures that followed and, two years later, published The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, a book that was more expose than explanation. Over the next fifteen years, I returned to Southeast Asia several times to research articles on the drug trade and to gather material for a second book, titled Drug Traffic, a study of crime and corruption in Australia. Then, in the mid-1990s, I began working on the revisions for this edition, focusing on the U.S. drug wars fought in the decades since The Politics of Heroin was first published in 1972.

My work on the heroin trade began back in the fall of 1970 as an outgrowth of an academic book that I had edited on Laotian politics. Elisabeth Jakab, an editor at Harper & Row publishers in New York, suggested that I use my knowledge of Southeast Asia to write a quick analysis of the history behind the heroin epidemic then sweeping U.S. troops in South Vietnam. What began as a short book based on library research soon mushroomed into a much more ambitious project after four chance encounters in the first months of research.

During spring break 1971, I took time off from research in Yale's Sterling library to fly to Paris for interviews with French officers about the opium trade during their Indochina War of the early 1950s. With brashness . . .

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