U.S. Joins Afghan Leaders for Grand Opening of Counternarcotics Police Compound

Posted by Jennifer Vitela
June 18, 2010
Ambassador Wayne Joins Afghan Leaders for Opening of Counternarcotics Center in Kabul

About the Author: Jennifer Vitela serves as Assistant Information Officer at U.S. Embassy Kabul.

In support of Afghanistan's fight against illegal drugs, Deputy Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne participated in the Grand Opening Ceremony for the new Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan Headquarters Compound in Kabul on June 17, 2010.

“The international community, together with the citizens of Afghanistan, applaud the Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan. We appreciate the fact that CNPA officers put themselves at great risk to fight the scourge of illegal drugs,” said Ambassador Wayne.

During the ceremony, Ambassador Wayne announced that the U.S. government's support of $12.9 million to build the compound in Kabul will be augmented with $3.9 million annually for operations and maintenance at the facility. The CNPA's new headquarters will improve coordination efforts to combat the illegal drug trade because now the organization's leadership will be located in a single facility.

“The narcotics trade and its resulting negative effects are among the greatest challenges facing Afghanistan today. The illicit drug trade funds those who stand against Afghanistan and harms many innocent Afghans,” said Ambassador Wayne.

Ambassador Wayne announced that the Embassy has asked the U.S. government for $250 million this year to support counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan. This figure is in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the international community and the United States Agency for International Development to support licit economic opportunities in recent years.

Mohammed Fahim, the First Vice President of Afghanistan, thanked the United States for its support and said he hoped in the future that Afghanistan would be able to stand on its own feet and be an equal partner in fighting illegal drugs. He added, “The trade and cultivation of narcotics is banned under Islam and we should do everything in our power to stop it.”

The CNPA is mandated as the lead agency charged with enforcing the counternarcotics laws of Afghanistan. The new five hectare CNPA Headquarters facility will bring together in one location major counternarcotics and rule of law-related institutions, including the Counternarcotics Justice Center, the National Interdiction Unit Compound, the Sensitive Investigations Unit Compound, and the Afghan Marshal Service Compound.

The CNPA is currently allocated 3725 positions and is expected to grow in the coming year. In addition to the uniformed force, the CNPA features three specialized units: the National Interdiction Unit (NIU) and the Sensitive Investigations Unit (SIU), mentored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as the Aviation Interdiction Unit (AIU), mentored by the Department of Defense.



Haji K.
June 21, 2010

Haji J.K. writes:

A step in the right direction!

CNPA is finally getting the attention it deserves. CNPA has been neglected since its creation in 2004. The USG was heavily focused on eradication and failed to realize the potential of the regular CNPA.

According to a recent GAO report, the USG has spent U.S. 1 billion dollars on interdiction and another U.S. 1 billion dollars on eradication. Where are the strategic effects?

Roughly 90% of the Counter-narcotics Judicial Center (CNJC) cases are from regular CNPA. The specialized units are too small to create strategic effects. Development and sustainment of regular CNPA is the answer to long term strategic and sustainable strategic effects.

The relationship between insrugency and the drug trade is becoming stronger, according to news reports. How is the USG and and GIRoA going to turn the tide against narcotics-insrugency-corruption nexus? Time is running out!

United States
June 28, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

This is an interesting concept but how does it work if Karzai and his brother are the region's biggest heroin dealers?

United States
June 28, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

I was wondering too if America set up a sort of tool loaning library as big as Home Depot and only loaned tools to legitimate (non heroin producing farmers) if this in some way might entice some farmers to crossover to the other side. They could have fun little lamb, chicken raffle events to entice farmers to join the produce coalition instead of the heroin coalition. They can have workshops on building big chicken coops that maximize a farmer's profit or a lesson on grafting cherry trees. Constantly engaging and helping farmer's improve their farms keeps them busy so their not building bombs. If every week there is something new to learn, the farmer's will come, wondering what cool new, giveaway they might get. After a time, a farmer will have so many farm animals to take care of that he won't be able to leave his farm which increases overall security.

New Mexico, USA
July 1, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Jennifer,

I was wondering how folks @ Embassy Kabul were going to cope with a 4 billion dollar cut in developmental funding, since Congress is all about doing a backflip on supporting the mission while questions of accountability exist.

Do you have the funds to sustain the programs in place through a period of congressional audit?

In my opinion, if this results in half-built hospitals and schools left standing idle as mute testiment to people's greed, then those who claim our efforts pointless will have the monuments to failure erected in their honor they so dearly crave to see become reality.


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