Comrades in arms: South Africa, Russia, and the new global war on drugs

As the West throttles down on its 45-year-old war on drugs, acknowledging that the trillion-dollar price tag has only fuelled civil conflict in Latin America, crowded the prisons at home, and harmed more addicts than it has healed, another bloc of nations is gearing up to implement the self-same failed policies. So guess who’s with China, Indonesia, Russia and the Middle East on this? Yup, South Africa, under the inspired guidance of the Hawks. KEVIN BLOOM reports.

I. The Hawks and the Kremlin Drug Czars

“Home page of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation”. That’s what it says above the URL address bar where the announcement that forms the backbone — or, more accurately, the central bone of contention — of this article appears. As per the announcement, there is a new acronym in the global war on drugs, which at first glance seems as bland and inoffensive as any other...

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