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US to focus on drugs, rule of law beyond 2014

US to focus on drugs, rule of law beyond 2014

Feb 07, 2014 - 10:25

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States will remain committed to Afghanistaninfo-icon on issues related to illicit drugs and rule of law post 2104, an Obama administration official said on Thursday.

“We will remain focused on three issues related to drugs and rule of law in Afghanistan beyond 2014. The first is counternarcotics. The second is the justice sector and support for reform and professionalisation of the justice sector.”

Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William R Brownfield told reporters the third issue involved corrections to the detention system. "That is to say a prison and detention center system that can be brought more into the 21st century in terms of how it detains and handles those people within the system itself.”

Brownfield, who was recently in Afghanistan, said his conclusion was tht a drug program, to be effective, must address all elements of the problem, starting at one end with cultivation; processing through production, transit and transportation; the system of selling the product; and eventually the process by which proceeds are laundered through a financial system.

He stressed the strategy must address alternative development, eradication, investigation, interdiction, prosecution, incarceration and then the so-called soft-side programmes of awareness, treatment and rehabilitation.

Brownfield said the US would attempt develop projects that were managed as much as possible by the government of Afghanistan itself and its own personnel.

“The programmes will be flexible in terms of how many dollars are made available to support them so that if more resources are available, they can ramp up. If fewer resources are available, they can be ratcheted back...

“Our programmes will be portable to the extent that they can be moved in response to changes on the part of the narcotics trafficking industry. In other words, if focus shifts from Province A to Province B, we have a strategy; we hope that will allow us to shift our efforts to where the narcotics traffickers are actually operating,” the US official concluded.



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