Afghan heroin trade brings $50 billion into the US each year
Thu, 27 Aug 2009 17:25 UTC
The US is not going to stop the production of drugs in Afghanistan as it covers the costs of their military presence there, says Gen. Mahmut Gareev, a former commander during the USSR's operations in Afghanistan.
RT : General, you were in Afghanistan when the Soviet troops were there. In your opinion, what was the most difficult task that our troops faced in that country, what was the hardest thing for them to accomplish?
Mahmut Gareev: For the Soviet troops, the most difficult thing was the uncertainty of their status. Immediately after our paratroopers landed in Kabul, Marshal Sokolov, Chief of the Defense Ministry's Task Force, said at the meeting of unit commanders, "We did not come here to fight. Do not engage in any hostilities. Establish garrisons, carry on combat training and be vigilant. That is all." But the very next day, then-Minister of Defense Colonel Rafi came running to him. Panic-stricken, he said there had been a rebellion in Gerat, and the rebels had disarmed the army command and seized the artillery. He begged for urgent help. Well, we didn't come to fight, did we? The situation was getting catastrophic: if the same happened in two or three other places that would mean that the government army was defeated and disarmed by rebels in front of Soviet troops. So, Sokolov ordered a battalion dispatched to Gerat for that one and only case, but then it became a habit, with units being sent here and there.