Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs' Counternarcotics Programs in Afghanistan

Fact Sheet
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
May 4, 2012

Public Information: The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) supports the Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MCN) Counternarcotics Public Information Program (CNPI) through the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program (CPDAP), as well as through grants to media companies, non-governmental organizations, and Afghan government organizations. Since January 2011, the CNPI program has raised awareness about the harms of the drug trade through 411 provincial outreach activities reaching an estimated 107,135 people across Afghanistan. The CNPI program has supported a nationwide media outreach program, including 5,098 radio and TV spots and 64,466 print materials over the past year. In 2011, the Preventative Drug Education program was implemented in 300 schools and reached over 60,000 boys and girls. In April of 2012, the Ministry of Education agreed upon an elementary school curriculum.

Demand Reduction: INL-sponsored drug treatment centers provide residential, outpatient, and home-based assistance to more than 10,000 addicts per year, including services for women, children and adolescents. INL is the largest international donor to addiction prevention and treatment services in Afghanistan, funding 29 in-patient drug treatment centers. INL routinely conducts independent, science-based outcome evaluations of its major drug treatment initiatives. Over 500 mullahs have been trained on the problems of drug addiction and how to conduct community shuras on the dangers of drug consumption, cultivation, and trafficking. With INL support, mullahs have opened outreach centers in their mosques and are now a major source of referral of addicts into treatment.

Supply Reduction: The MCN’s Good Performers Initiative (GPI) provides development assistance to provinces that meet annual counternarcotics goals. In 2011, 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces received GPI awards totaling $19.2 million for achieving poppy free status, reducing poppy cultivation by more than 10 percent, and/or demonstrating other exemplary counternarcotics progress. The MCN’s Governor Led Eradication (GLE) program provides funding to Governors who undertake Afghan-led eradication. During 2011, 18 provinces participated in the GLE program (up from 10 in 2010), resulting in a more than 65 percent increase in nationwide eradication from the previous year.

Interdiction: INL, DEA, and DOD partner to build the capacity of the Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA), the Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU), National Interdiction Unit (NIU), and the Technical Investigative Unit (TIU). NIU and SIU officers are now able to request and then execute their own warrants. Evidence gathered by the TIU through court-ordered surveillance operations increased the number of large-scale drug trafficking and related corruption cases brought to the Criminal Justice Task Force. In 2011, these specialized units were a critical piece in the interdiction of over ten metric tons of heroin and 82 metric tons of opium in Afghanistan.

Counternarcotics Justice: INL supports Department of Justice mentoring and operations at the Criminal Justice Task Force and the Counter Narcotics Justice Center (CNJC), which investigates and tries counternarcotics cases. Overall, the CNJC has a conviction rate of over 90 percent (712 primary court convictions in 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available, including 35 government officials), with all those convicted serving jail time.

International and Regional Cooperation: INL supports multilateral and bilateral efforts to study and improve Afghan-led and regional counternarcotics efforts, including through the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Colombo Plan. With INL funding, UNODC and the Afghan government publish the annual Opium Cultivation Survey as an authoritative resource on illicit cultivation in Afghanistan. INL is also a strong supporter of regional law enforcement and policy coordination efforts through the UNODC’s Paris Pact Initiative.

Counternarcotics Capacity Building: INL’s efforts to build capacity at the MCN began in 2010, with results including an infusion of Afghan and expatriate mentors and action officers. Additional materiel and capacity building assistance are in process, including information technology assistance and a vehicle acquisition that will enable MCN’s provincial offices better to perform their core functions. A key element of MCN’s mandate is the development of a National Drug Control Strategy, a rewrite of which is in the final stages of development.