General Dempsey and Viktor Ivanov Urge for U.S.-Russia Collaboration in Counternarcotics; Obama Stands in the Way

General Dempsey and Viktor Ivanov Urge for U.S.-Russia Collaboration in Counternarcotics; Obama Stands in the Way

May 17, 2014 • 8:04AM

Both head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, and Viktor Ivanov, head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service came out with comments on the same day this week pointing to the need for cooperation on counternarcotics between the United States and Russia. At a May 14 Atlantic Council meeting in Washington, in response to a question from Russia’s RIA-Novosti on the U.S.-Russia conflict, General Dempsey replied,

“The way it should come out is we shouldn’t find ourselves back in a Cold War with Russia. I mean, we actually have an equal number and maybe a greater number of issues on which we collaborate with them, cooperate often but collaborate more often, whether it’s the future of the Artic or counternarcotics or counter-piracy.”

In Moscow, in midst of three consecutive international meetings devoted to fighting narcotics, Viktor Ivanov told RIA-Novosti that despite U.S. sanctions,

“I am not offended by the U.S., and my employees cooperate with those of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States. Unfortunately, productive cooperation at the White House administration level has been closed, but at the drug control organs we continue to work together.”

He also added that he has many friends among professionals in the U.S., and, there “are politicians who don’t make politically motivated decisions.” In January Sen. Dianne Feinstein ran a Senate Narcotics Caucus hearing on the Afghan drug boom, in which she called for increased cooperation with Russia and Iran to attack the problem.

Also on May 14, a helicopter-born Afghan counternarcotics unit, with an assist from Russian FDCS agents, seized 267 kilograms of heroin in Badakshan province, an area near Tajikstan and the infamous “Northern Route” used by heroin cartels to supply Russia’s large addict population. These raids use Russian helicopters purchased for the Afghans through U.S.-NATO channels. The raids are coordinated with largely U.S. military forces and DEA agents using intelligence from Russia and its allies such as Tajikistan in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Ivanov had announced the raid at that day’s Moscow CSTO counternarcotics meeting. He emphasized the strategic importance of the task by pointing out, that of the 1 million deaths from heroin addiction during NATO’s military presence in Afghanistan since 2001, and the resulting 40-fold increase in heroin production, 500,000 of them were Russian addicts.

On May 15, Ivanov hosted a Minsterial Anti-Drug Conference, which should have been attended by G8 countries in preparation for the now-sabotaged June, Sochi G8 Summit, where Ivanov’s “Rainbow 3” plan to shut down the easily identified cocaine and heroin “planetary centers of drug production” in South America and Afghanistan was to be adopted for eventual endorsement by the UN Security Council.

This is the cooperation on counternarcotics that General Martin Dempsey was talking about.

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