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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
November 17, 2004
Contact: DEA Public Affairs

DEA to Play Key Role in New Heroin Interdiction
Program for Afghanistan

Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) joined with coalition partners, the State Department, and the Department of Defense (DOD), in announcing its involvement in the U.S. Embassy Kabul Counternarcotics Implementation Plan. This Five Pillar Plan provides DEA opportunities as never before to reduce heroin production in Afghanistan and contribute to the stabilization and rebuilding of this war-torn country. Afghanistan is the world’s leading opium producer.

Under the “Interdiction Pillar,” DEA will assist with the goal of destroying clandestine labs and seizing precursor chemicals, opium, and opiate stockpiles. To achieve that, DEA is expanding its presence in Afghanistan by permanently stationing additional Special Agents and Intelligence Analysts to enhance that country’s counternarcotics capacity.

Further, by early next year, DEA will deploy FAST teams (Foreign Advisory and Support Teams) to Afghanistan to provide guidance and conduct bilateral investigations that will identify, target, and disrupt illicit drug trafficking organizations. These teams are supported and largely funded by DOD and will also help with the destruction of existing opium storage sites, clandestine heroin processing labs, and precursor chemical supplies.

Under the Five Pillar Plan, DEA will also continue lending its expertise by providing drug enforcement training to our counterparts in the Counternarcotics Police Afghanistan (CNPA). This effort will build Afghanistan’s institutions of justice and strengthen internal counternarcotics capabilities.
DEA’s participation in the Five Pillar Plan is an expansion of the DEA-led Operation Containment, in which the agency is working with 19 countries from Central Asia, the Caucuses, Europe, and Russia for the first time to choke off the flow of drugs and precursor chemicals into and out of Afghanistan before they can spread to broader markets. This strategy has been enormously successful: Prior to Operation Containment, in 2002, only 407 kilograms of heroin were seized. During the first 9 months of 2004, seizures under Operation Containment had skyrocketed to 14,932 kilos of heroin.

In September, partnering countries held a strategic planning meeting in Turkey to support bilateral, regional, and multilateral law enforcement initiatives that clearly focus international efforts against the most significant heroin trafficking organizations in the region.

Administrator Karen P. Tandy stated, “The tremendous successes we’re enjoying regionally gives hope that this Five Pillar Plan can likewise be successful in combating the long entrenched opium trade within Afghanistan. DEA is proud to be on the ground in this struggling country to assist the Afghan people in their fight against the opium and heroin warlords. With dedicated CNPA officers and the crucial assistance of DOD, we are setting the stage for a more lawful and stable Afghanistan.”



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