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Ambassador Jawad Addresses Afghan Counter Narcotics Police Graduates

Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad attended a graduation ceremony for the Counter-Narcotics Police of Afghanistan Sensitive Interdiction Unit (CNPA-SIU) trainees at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Academy in Quantico, Virginia on June 7. DEA has worked closely with the CNPA, offering training, mentoring, and investigative assistance since Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior established the CNPA in 2003. The NIU is a specialized unit that focuses on interdiction and investigations targeting command and control structures of mid-value and high-value drug trafficking organizations in Afghanistan.

The GOA, with the support of DEA, created The DEA trained the sixth NIU class of 50 new recruits in 2006, and the unit now has more than 125 officers. The DEA provided support to the NIU throughout the year by continuing its program of Foreign Advisory Support Teams (FAST) for mentoring and assistance. FAST teams are rotational deployments of specially trained DEA Special Agents and Intelligence Research Specialists who are assigned to Afghanistan for 120-day periods to support the Kabul Country office of the DEA and the NIU in furthering DEA intelligence and law enforcement operations. The NIU also works with the Afghan Special Narcotics Force (ASNF), a UK trained and supported paramilitary interdiction unit used to attack large, hard targets. With this cooperation, the NIU is developing the ability to perform specialized narcotics interdiction and investigative functions capable of disrupting and dismantling major trafficking organizations. NIU operations began in October 2004.

Addressing the SIU graduates, he said: “Your graduation from DEA’s first-class training marks an important step toward the development of much-needed, indigenous law enforcement capacity within Afghanistan.” The Ambassador asked the graduates to make the best of their new skills to combat drug trafficking and to bring to justice major traffickers that maintain the drug trade in Afghanistan in alliance with the Taliban. “The success of our counternarcotics program as a whole hinges on effective enforcement.  On-the-ground, you are the leaders of the fight against drugs,” said Ambassador Jawad.


While opium production is illegal in Afghanistan, approximately 13% of the Afghan population continues to harvest opium poppy, according to a February 2007 report by the UN Office of Drug and Crime. Those farmers surveyed cited the high sale price of poppy and endemic poverty as the principal reasons driving their decision to grow the illicit crop. The Ambassador emphasized Afghanistan’s broad, multi-faceted strategy for fighting narcotics. “We must all recognize that our efforts in counter-narcotics law enforcement and interdiction will be most effective when combined with longer-term development strategies…International cooperation is key to fighting the transnational problem of drug trafficking to end narcotics production in Afghanistan,” he said.

Ambassasdor Jawad thanked the DEA and other institutions within the U.S. government who facilitated the SIU training. “Your partnership is testament to the fact that Afghan opium poppy cultivation is truly a global problem, and your expertise arms our countrymen with the skills to develop self-sufficient law enforcement capacity,” he said.

Other participants in the graduation ceremony included DEA Administrator Karen Tandy, Deputy Minister of Interior Mohammad Daud, Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Edward Frothingham.

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