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Cruel Harvest: US Intervention in the Afghan Drug Trade [Paperback]

Julien Mercille

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Book Description

December 24, 2012 0745332323 978-0745332321
Mainstream commentators claim that the Taliban are the main culprits behind Afghanistan’s skyrocketing drug trade and that the US military is waging a war on drugs in Afghanistan to weaken the insurgency and keep our streets free of heroin. Cruel Harvest lifts the lid on the reality behind the mainstream narrative, showing that the United States in fact shares a large part of the responsibility by supporting drug lords, refusing to adopt effective drug control policies and failing to crack down on drug money laundered through Western banks. Julien Mercille argues that the United States is not concerned about waging a real war on drugs, and that alleged concerns about narco-terrorism mostly act as pretexts to justify occupation. In a powerful conclusion Mercille contends that US intervention in Afghanistan is motivated by power imperatives, not benign intentions.

Editorial Reviews


Julien Mercille rips the cover off one of the dirtiest secrets of the war on Afghanistan: the corrosive relationship between the CIA and the opium trade. This is hard-boiled history from the front lines of America's longest and cruelest war. -- Jeffrey St. Clair, editor of CounterPunch, co-author of Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs and the Press (1998) Mercille's meticulous research and writing are an indispensable part of the story of this war - his book exposes an issue that has been undercovered for far too long. -- Sonali Kolhatkar, author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence Cruel Harvest is an excellent addition to the library of anyone interested in comprehending the intertwined world of great power foreign policy, regional and civil wars, and the world-wide narcotics trade. Mercille gives the reader a well-balanced and nuanced understanding of the reality of the Afghan and Central Asian drug trade. Cruel Harvest should be required reading in Washington DC. -- Matthew Hoh, Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy, Washington DC Mercille provides a useful exposition of the counter-narcotic rationale for the West's continued war in Afghanistan and its wider relationship to American primacy. -- Doug Stokes, author of America's Other War: Terrorizing Colombia (2005) Exposing the faces of Jehadi fundamentalists is very important so the world is aware that the US ... continues to keep them in power. Mercille's book breaks this taboo. -- Malalai Joya, former member of Afghanistan's parliament Cutting edge: a much needed update to an issue critical to numerous disciplines, interests and growing social concerns and provides the reader/researcher with valuable tools. -- Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story (2009)

About the Author

Julien Mercille is a lecturer in the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin, Ireland. He has had articles published in Third World Quarterly, Geopolitics and Political Geography, amongst others.

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