This is the main reason the USA is there in Afghanistan for 10 years, with additionally the chance to project itself significantly against Central Asia, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and of course China.
This heroin trade has dire consequences for the people of Pakistan, Iran, Central Asia......Ukraine and of course Russia with its 4 million drug addicts, Europe and North America.
What is surprising is Russia's weak response to the USA presence in Afghanistan, and the knock on negative impact it has on Russia. It is surprising Russia still assists the USA presence in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon quite simply is a criminal mafia organization, and in that sense Leon Panetta is thus the most appropriate Don of such an organization.
The real story was never about the AK-47 armed "Controlled Opposition" Taliban fighting the USA occupation of their country, directed and managed by the ISI for the USA, but this Pentagon criminal enterprise which affects vast swathes of people in several continents.
The world requires action on this global menace and crime.
'Afghan opium production soared in 2011'
Afghan farmers work in a poppy field in the troubled southern province of Kandahar.
A recent UN report says the production of opium and the illicit drug's value soared in Afghanistan last year, despite the presence of some 130,000 US-led foreign troops in the war-battered country.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), farmer income derived from cultivation of the poppy crop was USD 1.4 billion (EUR 1.09 billion) in 2011. The figure accounted for nine percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product.
"Opium is therefore a significant part of the Afghan economy and provides considerable funding to the insurgency and fuels corruption," UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said in a statement on Thursday.
The office also said that more than 131,000 hectares were used for opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan last year, up seven percent from the previous year.
The overall opium produce increased by 61 percent, from 3,600 metric tons in 2010 to 5,800 in 2011.
The value of the opium yield also rose 133 percent from 2010.
The high price of opium means poppy cultivation generated 11 times more revenue for Afghan farmers than wheat.
"A stronger commitment from a broad range of national and international partners is needed to turn this worrying trend around," Fedetov said.