Drug Interdiction- American Style: Gen. Craddock Calls For Shooting Drug Traffickers Without Proof of Association with Taliban

craddock2_150NATO countries are shocked by the proposal of a leading U.S. military officer on how best to handle drug dealers in Afghanistan. NATO’s senior military commander Gen. John Craddock does not understand why NATO should bother with the need to establish that any given drug dealer is associated with the Taliban. He believes that we should just shoot them all without proof in yet another example of how the United States has emerged as a perceived enemy to the rule of law.

Our allies were reportedly alarmed by the American proposal that was put into a confidential letter on Jan. 5 to Gen. Egon Ramms, a German officer who heads the NATO command center responsible for Afghanistan. Craddock wrote that “it was no longer necessary to produce intelligence or other evidence that each particular drug trafficker or narcotics facility in Afghanistan meets the criteria of being a military objective.” Our allies have correctly denounced the idea as a violation of the most basic principles of law and a radical change in their mission.

Craddock’s proposal is an example of the effect of eight years of Bush policies where such “shoot-first-and-let-God-sort-them-out” approaches were viewed as perfectly legitimate. It also shows that the Obama Administration will have to look closely at the people, like Craddock, who were promoted during these years.

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17 thoughts on “Drug Interdiction- American Style: Gen. Craddock Calls For Shooting Drug Traffickers Without Proof of Association with Taliban”

  1. As good a place to post this as any:


    Names of the Dead
    Published: March 1, 2010

    The Department of Defense has identified 994 American service members who have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations. It confirmed the death of the following American on Monday:

    RICKETTS, William S., 27, Staff Sgt., Army; Corinth, Miss.; 82nd Airborne Division.

  2. So, Buddha Is Laughing, we go back to my original question about WW2. After all, they were just factory workers – often forced by troops or circumstances into those factories – not soldiers.

    What makes an Afghan a more sympathetic victim than an European? Or is it just another case of Bush Derangement Syndrome or anti-Americanism?

    BTW: If I subscribed to the “kill them all and let God sort them out” method of warfare, I wouldn’t particularly care about specifically removing the opium infrastructure. Carpet Bombing, Armored units, and a strong stomach would achieve that end much faster and more efficiently. We could effectively depopulate Afghanistan in less than a year using those methods.

  3. Jonolan,

    You ignore where most of their money comes from, which is not opium, but from private pockets in Saudi Arabia. And your ignorance of how the drug trade actually works is staggering. But you go ahead and advocate a policy that will kill civilian farmers, including women and children, because the most profitable crop they can grow in their nearly subsistence economy just happens to be the crop of choice to the local warlords.

    1) You won’t be cutting off money they can’t replace.

    2) You’ll be doing so at the cost of innocent lives.

    If they could get for cotton or wheat what they get for opium, don’t you think they’d chose a crop that doesn’t require dealing with ANY armed parties from any side? THEY’RE FARMERS, NOT SOLDIERS. And if you think the warlords don’t threaten some if not many of them into production, you’re both stupid and naive.

    No, what you propose is kill them all and let God sort them out. Now where have I heard that before, Reinhard?

  4. Mike,

    I believe that “winning their hearts and minds” is fully and equivocally proven to be a useless doctrine when fighting in lands populated by people from completely “aliens” cultures to the outside forces. I would think that Vietnam had taught that to everyone.

    If we want to defeat the Taliban, than we have to “starve them out” or go in after them at a prohibited cost of lives to all parties involves. We’re not going to get a great deal of support from the Afghans no matter what we do due to that nationalism – really tribalism in the case of an area as fragmented as that region is.

    While we cannot permanently eliminate opium production, we can and should shatter the current production infrastructure (crops or factories are the same thing for these purposes). This would deny the Taliban and Al-Qaeda the funds they need to fight against us and give us a much better shot at reducing below the point of being a significant threat.

  5. Rush Limpburger ranted anti-drug hateful comments….until his 30 pills a day drug addiction came to light. Perhaps General – to hell with due process – Craddock has a problem (in addition to being a short-sighted idiot).

  6. jonolan, absolutely nothing said by anyone on this thread supports the conclusion you have reached. For Pete’s sake, can you actually cite a single instance in which an opium industry has been eliminated? Do you really believe that the destruction of entire factories and storage facilities is functionally equivalent to burning crops? Do you sincerely believe that you win the hearts and minds of a people by destroying their economy while simultaneously occupying their country? Have you ever heard of the concept of nationalism? Have you read a single history of Afghanistan, or of the Middle East in general? Ignorance produces bad foreign policy. Ignorance combined with hubris produced Bush’s foreign policy. If the results are not evident to you by now, it can only be due to a conscious refusal to accept the fact that democracy is not an export item.

  7. BAMA-BIMBO: You have chosen the wrong thread for your comments. Besides, do you really believe that anyone thinks U.S. strikes on Pakistani soil, regardless from where they are launched, have been accomplished without Pakistani cooperation and approval? Really, you remind me of another bimbo from Alabama I dated for a short time many years ago. She actually said to me on one occasion (I swear this is true), “Mike, don’t you know that when a girl says no, she really means yes?” Your first name isn’t Brenda, is it?

  8. So…You all would have preferred to live under Nazi rule in a comfortable, all White, Aryan-dominated society?

    There’s no functional difference between destroying the Afghans’ and Pakistanis’ opium industry and destroying the factories and rail yards of Germany, Italy and Japan during WW2.

    In order to win a war, it’s best and most effective to eliminate the enemy’s ability to wage war. The only other alternatives are to either hope that they get tired of fighting – not likely in this case – or to kill all of those who would fight for them.

    Despite your assertions, I’d rather leave more people alive than the last option allows for, and eliminating the opium crop and industry is th best way of doing that.

  9. When one reads comments like those from jonolan and Gen. Craddock, one hardly knows where to begin, but I’ll try. First, Afghani farmers grow poppies for the same reason that South American farmers grow coca plants and destitute Mexicans cross the border looking for jobs. They have families. They love their families. They feel the natural obligation to care for them. In short, they do what most of us would do in the same situation. Second, farmers earn several times as much from cultivating poppy than they would from raising food crops, thanks in large part to U.S. demand for their product. They are following a traditional law of capitalism by maximizing the economic return on their investment. Third, even if the proposed solution were moral (which it is not), why would anyone in his right mind conclude that it would be any more effective than any of the other stategies we continue to employ in the ridiculous War on Drugs? People will always come forth to produce what is in demand when it is profitable to do so. Fourth, such a policy is politically stupid. It would do nothing except increase hostile attitudes toward the U.S. and encourage young Afghanis to align themselves with the Taliban. Fifth, the proposed policy is identical to the approach taken by the Taliban when they were in power. If Talibani rule is the preferred model for Afghanistan, why are we even over there? Finally, jonolan’s comment about “civilian sensibilities” merits nothing more than “duh.”

  10. First of all, drugs are about the only cash crop left in Afghanistan. The money we spend “erradicating” it and the lives we’re willing to expend to “stop” it is immoral and unjustifiable. The war on drugs, like the war on terror must end. They both bring dissolution of the rule of law and make human life cheap and full of misery.

    Spend the money on resources to provide education and work. Use it to rebuild that country. (The same for the US!) This plan reflects the will of contractors and defense companies in league with govts. to make unlimited profits from ongoing chaos. I’m glad our allies are speaking out but their govts. and corporations need to get out of the act just as ours does. The uparming and total disregard for human life needs to be replaced by valuing human life and the real desire to make it better.

  11. boboo,

    You are a truly brainwashed little troll. You are way out of the shallow end of the pool, sport. And the water keeps getting deeper every time you spout your ridiculous nonsense. And your hate and lust for violence is palpable as evidenced by the totality of your posts.

    You need psychiatric help.

  12. jonolan

    Just what part of our American values do you not understand or hate? Of course your idea would control things more easily. Repression almost always does have that effect. Ask Hitler or Saddam or the Taliban itself if repression works. Is that why we sought to rid the world of these despots, to become them? This is the same approach taken by brutal monarchs and militartistic thugs in places like Zimbabwe and Darfur and Burma and North Korea. That’s the lineage with which you’re aligning yourself.

    We fought a revolution and multiple wars to rid ourselves of these kinds of actions, to establish the rule of law and become a beacon for a higher level of credibility and ideals as a people. You seem perfectly willing to endorse un-American values for expedience while still wanting to call yourself an American.

    Do you not see the connection between the idea of an oppressive power shooting first and asking questions later and an increase in the kind of deep seated bitterness and resentment that created anti-American terrorists in the first place and continues to this day? Have you learned nothing from experience?

  13. janolan:

    “If we kill the dealers and destroy the poppy fields used to manufacture opium, we’ll cripple a lot of the terrorists’ ability to fund their operations.”

    Well let’s see the logic in action. Most little Afghans grow to become big Afghans (fewer than before due to our presence) and some of them will become Taliban. If we kill all little Afghans before they become big Afghans, we will cripple the manpower supply to the Taliban. Ipso facto we should become child killers. Er….well we are in a war, aren’t we, sir?

  14. Oh, please.

    The ends justify the means?


    I sure hope you’re ready for the trouncing about to get to that one. In short, this is why you are about to receive it. Someone in Germany once said something along the lines of “Because we need cheap labor to continue the military effort and we’ve got all these filthy Jews to contend with, it might be time to go round ’em up so we can work them to death. Grab all the Roma and homosexuals you can find too. Let’s scrub that gene pool of all the mentally handicapped while we’re at it. And if any of those pesky liberal Christians protest, take them as well.”

    His name was Reinhard Heydrich and he was a monster that walked like a man.


    Careful there, jonny. One is often judged by the company he keeps.

  15. It’s a quite effective tactic to break the back of the Taliban since the Taliban draws the majority of their funding from the drug trade. If we kill the dealers and destroy the poppy fields used to manufacture opium, we’ll cripple a lot of the terrorists’ ability to fund their operations.

    It’s a war, sir. Civilian sensibilities serve little purpose other than to cripple the US Military and further the causes of America’s enemies. I’m fairly sure you’re not actually advocating something that would harm America and help the Taliban, but it sure sounds that way.

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