December 21, 2008

Canada's troops in Afghanistan high on drugs

CANADA - An increasing number of Canadian soldiers may be using, dealing and becoming addicted to drugs, say reports from Canadian Forces officials.

Marijuana remains the most commonly used, followed by cocaine, XTC (ecstasy) and a rise in meth addiction, says three internal reports obtained by the CBC. The first report say soldiers who become addicted "pose a significant security and operational threat", noting methamphetamine addiction poses a "high" threat to Canadian military personnel.

According to the second report, called Task Force Afghanistan Criminal Intelligence Overview, Canadian troops stationed in Afghanistan continue to use drugs and are involved in drug trafficking, especially in heroin, and have developed contacts within Afghanistan poppy-heroin trade. A scary aspect of this report is that Canadian forces are believed to be transporting heroin back to Canada for a profit, and sharing some of that profit with their Afghan contacts, who in turn might be funding terrorism.

A third report, the National Criminal Intelligence Assessment is a review of Canadian troops at home and aboard, which cited 198 drug offenses in 2006, including 28 for trafficking and 170 for possession of drugs, said an "alarming number" of Canadian troops are involved in drug trafficking and that the problem is growing.

"Compared to previous years, trafficking offenses have seen a steady increase, while possession offenses demonstrated a significant spike for 2006," that report said.

In 2007 the Canadian military kept an additional 250 soldiers in Canada because they tested positive for drug use. The military started mandatory drug testing of troops headed for Afghanistan began in September 2006, which means the troops over there trafficking drugs and using them are either new to the business or they slipped through the cracks in testing (ie. faked urine samples).

Canadian politicians are now asking for a probe into more recent offenses in 2007 and 2008 to determine just how bad the drug trafficking in Canada's armed forces has become.

It has reached a point where, as a matter of military security, Canadian troops should be undergoing monthly drug screening and troops which fail mandatory drug tests should be sent to rehabs, places that provide services similar to an inpatient methamphetamine rehab center. That way we can lower the chances of our military becoming involved in drug trafficking and illicit scandals whereby drug addicted troops might be giving away military and/or government secrets.

The further up the ranks this problem goes the more at risk Canada's military is.

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