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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Burma Became The New Frontline In America's War On Drugs

New US Drugs War, 2001 - This extraordinary feature explores US and Thai involvement in a new international drug war.

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This extraordinary feature explores US and Thai involvement in a new international drug war. "You've got Burmese troops actually guarding the plants, military intelligence providing escorts for the trafficking caravans." The US State Dept says drugs account for nearly 50% of Burma's foreign exchange. The Shan State Army is a Burmese rebel group fighting for independence. Deep inside Burma smartly dressed in crisp new uniforms the Shan proudly parade their revitalized troops Though the Shan used to be drug producers they have now joined the war against drugs in return for international assistance. US Admiral Blair describes the assistance the US has channelled through Thailand for the new anti-drug army; "We've provided training teams, upgraded equipment and increased intelligence sharing". But with China backing the Burmese this drugs conflict is rapidly becoming something much larger. Says renown Burma watcher Bertil Lintner, "you've got the Burmese army backed by the Chinese and the Shan by the Thais and Americans -- it's not far fetched to believe things could go awfully wrong if not handled carefully".

Produced by ABC Australia. Ref - 1048

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