Small Wars Journal

Latest SIGAR Report - U.S. Poured Millions Into Afghanistan Drug Treatment Programs, it’s Unknown if they Made a Difference

Latest SIGAR Report - U.S. Poured Millions Into Afghanistan Drug Treatment Programs, it’s Unknown if they Made a Difference by Diana Stancy Correll - Military Times

The U.S. poured more than $50 million into drug treatment programs in Afghanistan between 2013 to 2018 — but it’s unclear if the programs are making a difference, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Afghanistan is one of the world’s top producers of opioids and approximately 2.9 million to 3.6 million people in Afghanistan are users of drugs like opium and heroin, according to the 2015 Afghanistan National Drug Use Survey conducted by SGI Global LLC.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is battling an opioid epidemic at home. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates approximately 1.7 million people faced substance use disorders connected to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2017.

In total, SIGAR said the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs dished out at least $50.5 million on 41 drug treatment programs implemented by its partners, the Colombo Plan and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, from January 2013 to April 2018.

Despite these efforts, SIGAR determined INL was not measuring the projects’ performance and impact as State Department and Government Accountability Office guidance suggest…

Read on.