such as those in Poland, because the West watched Polish, not German, ports.
In 1984, evidence of this system in operation surfaced in a report by the US House
Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, which stated: 'Methaqualone... has mostly been smuggled from Colombia where it is formulated into tablets from methaqualone powder originating in The People's Republic of China and Hungary and surreptitiously shipped to Colombia from the Free Port of Hamburg' 6 (Emphasis added).
The use of the TIR system for transporting weapons and drugs was also illuminated bv the defector and former chief of Romanian intelligence, Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa. He explained that most drivers of Romanian TIR trucks were agents of the Romanian foreign intelligence service, the Departamentul de Informatii Externe, or DIE, and that their operation
was based upon the model set up by Bulgaria, which also used TIR cover for the
transportation of drugs and weapons to the West. The DIE, which was run by Pacepa, made full use of TIR trucks:
'... for secretly bringing high-technology materials and military equipment into Romania, as well as for smuggling unmarked arms and drugs to the West. Most of these movements are carried out under the protection of international TIR agreements and foreign customs seals. Over the years every kind of seal and form sheet used by Western customs authorities has been duplicated by the DIE and kept on hand to use to replace any original customs seals destroyed along the way for operational reasons7'.
A description of the process was also provided by Lt. General G. C. Berkhof, of the Royal Netherlands Army. He was Chief of Staff of NATO's Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) until October 1986. Lt. Gen. Berkhof stated that there was much evidence of Bulgarian and East German involvement in drug-trafficking, and some evidence of Czechoslovak involvement. He confirmed that the TIR system was heavily exploited by the KGB and East Bloc intelligence services and that Dutch experts believed that over five percent of the TIR traffic was related to intelligence activities. He also said that similar findings emerged in Italy and other West European countries.
Thus, it would seem that the West European governments probably knew what was happening and yet 'officially' sanctioned the transportation of illicit drugs, narcotics and ter- rorist supplies across their territories. This TIR system and its use for the transportation of illicit goods, and a general awareness of what was happening, were further explained to the US Congress by General Lewis Walt in 1972, during hearings on global drug-trafficking8. In
1984, the US Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA], acknowledged in Congressional hearings that they had known about the use of Iranian, Turkish and Bulgarian TIR trucks for smuggling drugs and other contraband since 1972. They pointed out that 50,000 trucks per year transited Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, either to or from the Middle East and Europe. Of these vehicles, the DEA added, approximately half were TIR trucks. The DEA report also stated that Bulgarian customs officials had been implicated in assisting drug-traffickers9.
Drugs and narcotics trafficking were, as is the case with all intelligence operations, incorporated into the entire planning process. A long-term plan established priorities and cooperation for the development of scientific projects in parallel with the production of nacrotics and drugs. The targeted countries and their order of priority were identified. The long-term plan described how the distribution networks in different countries would be developed and when and how to exploit their vulnerabilities. The short-term plan was more specific and tactical. It specified which groups to cooperate with; who the agents were; and what the production and shipping schedules would be.
The monies were controlled via six highly classified organisations. The Interior Min- istry and Intelligence Administration of the General Staff had their own Finance Adminis- trations. Additionally, there was a special Main Finance Administration at the Ministry of Defence. Within this administration there was a special branch that handled the secret element of the budget, which included the budgeting of narcotics and other strategic intel- ligence operations. This part of the budget was kept secret from everyone else within the Main Finance Administration and from even the Politburo and Central Committee.
Only the Defence Council and special military sections of the State Plan Commission and Finance Department had access to the secret part of the budget. At the Ministry of Finance and the State Plan Commission there were special military sections, within which were intelligence subsections that handled the intelligence components of the budget, which were then coordinated directly and only with the Defence Council. To complete the circle, within the Finance Administration of military and civilian intelligence were special sections that handled the secret part of the budget. These special organisations were the only places where complete figures on the intelligence budget could be found.
In reviewing the way the Soviet drug operation was organised, several important conclusions stand out. Clearly, the narcotics offensive is an intelligence operation of the highest importance. It is evident that the operation is directed by the State, specifically by the Administrative Organs Department, and that many agencies are involved - in the case of Czechoslovakia, no less than twenty agencies or organisations, as shown in Figure 1 on page
49. It is especially noteworthy that notwithstanding the distributed nature of the operation, security was very well maintained and access to information was tightly controlled. Again,
in the case of Czechoslovakia, less than thirty people really understood the full nature of the operation. To illustrate the effectiveness of Communist security measures, while the Soviet Bloc drug dimension was launched in 1955, and by 1965 at least five satellites and numerous surrogate organisations were participating, there was apparently no knowledge of the operation or even a suggestion of its existence within US or other Western intelligence services until 1986.
References to Chapter 5:
1. One example is a definition of strategic disinformation (deception) taken from a KGB training manual: 'Strategic disinformation assists in the execution of State tasks, and is directed at misleading the enemy concerning the basic questions of the State policy...' quoted in US Congress, House, Soviet Covert Action (The Forgery Offensive), Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Oversight on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 1980), page 63.
2. The principal initial objective of the Soviet narcotics strategy was to weaken the military forces of the capitalists by attacking the pop- ulation from which the military recruits its forces. An interesting elaboration of this objective was provided by Major Juan Rodriguez Menier, Chief of Security at the Cuban Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, who defected in January 1987. In an interview published in Miami's EI Nuevo Herald,
June 5-6,1988, which was translated into English and reprinted by the Cuban American National Foundation, Rodriguez explained Cuba's drug- trafficking objectives as follows: 'Drugs are the best way to destroy the United States. The [Cuban] Government is convinced that by undermining the will of American youth to resist they can destroy the enemy without firing one bullet. The foundation of any army is the youth and he who is able to morally destroy the youth, destroys the army'. This doctrine is identical to Soviet Leninist teaching in general, and to the programme for military and societal demoralisation described in satanic detail by Lavrentiy Beria, as cited in the Communist Manual of Instructions of Psychological Warfare, see Brain-Washing: A Synthesis of the Communist Textbook on Psychopolitics, published by Goff, 1956: see Introduction to the Second Edition of the present work, pages IX-XI; Note 10, page 23; and Note 11, page 44.
3. 'Intelligence component' or 'KGB intelligence' is used to refer to that element of the KGB that handles intelligence, in contrast to counter- intelligence and other non-intelligence functions.
4. For an insider's description of Communist organisations, see Jan Sejna and Joseph D. Douglass, Jr., Decision-Making in Communist
Countries. An Inside View (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Pergamon-Brassey's, 1985).
5. Crack is a form of cocaine which suddenly appeared in the United States and spread rapidly across the country. It is cheap, easy to use, very rapidly addictive, and has serious medical side-effects. It is an example of the new drugs that the Soviet Bloc's research programs were
designed to develop. 'Ice', a crystalline methamphetamine, is an even nastier example - as it is still cheaper, much easier to manufacture, has
longer-lasting highs, and even more serious side-effects.
6. US Congress, House, Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, International Study Missions Summary Report 1984 (Wash- ington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 1984), page 2.
7. Ion Mihai Pacepa, Red Horizons (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway, 1987), pages 87-88.
8. US Congress, Senate, World drug-traffic and Its impact on US Security, Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Admin- istration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1972), Part 4, page 134.
9. Drugs and Terrorism, 1984, op. tit, pages 62-63,69-70.
CHAPTER SIX 57
POLITICAL WARFARE & DRUGS IN VIETNAM
China and the Soviet Union competed for the drug business of US servicemen during the Vietnam War1. The Chinese dimension of this trafficking represented an extension of what they had learned in the early 1950s, not only in the Korean War, but in the French Indochina War as well.
During the Indochina War, which culminated with the defeat of the French at Dien
Bien Phu, the Chinese worked with the Vietnamese Communists to promote drug use by French troops. The tactic was even more successful in Indochina than it had been in Korea. In January 1954, the French Lt. General Cogny explained to an American Army operations officer, Molloy Vaughan, that drugs from China were having a serious effect on the morale of French combat units and that the growing use of drugs among French soldiers was also eroding support for the war back home in France. One of the chief distribution centres was the Chinese gambling city of Cholon, a suburb of Saigon, where the troops went for rest and recreation. Prostitutes there were especially effective in pushing drugs on the French servicemen.
This was the first time that the French had run into this use of drugs, Lt. Colonel Cogny explained to Vaughan, and the effects of trafficking were proving to be extremely serious. Not only had drugs upset morale and fighting efficiency, but additionally, many soldiers were too ashamed to return to France and, instead, had elected to be discharged in Indochina - where they remained, which had a further debilitating effect on morale2.
According to Soviet intelligence, in 1957, at the third meeting of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese decided to expand their narcotics offensive. This expansion was designed as part of the 'Great Leap Forward'. The principal subject discussed at the meeting was the economy. The decision to expand drug production was adopted as one solution to China's economic problems3. In the decision document, one paragraph reviewed Chinese experience in Indochina and explained that drug-trafficking was beneficial because it had undermined the morale of French troops, had introduced combat weaknesses, and had provided the Chinese with a significant profit.
The decision was now made to expand opium poppy farms by 100 percent and, similarly, to double research and production activities. To further ease economic prob-lems, instructions were sent out to have emigrants invest in business in China and sup-port China's policy and interests - including the marketing of drugs and narcotics. Primary targets were to be Mexico, the United States and Canada.
In addition to stated economic objectives, there was another motivation of particular importance from a US perspective: preparation for the growing US military presence in Vietnam. As Chou En-lai explained in 1958 during a pep talk he delivered at a meeting in Wuhan to discuss increasing opium production:
The Centre has decided to promote poppy cultivation on a large scale.... Every one of you must awake to the fact that the war in Vietnam is likely to escalate and US imperialism has determined to fight against our revolutionary camp by increasing its military force in Vietnam.... From the revolutionary point of view, the poppy is a great force to assist the course of our revolution and should be used; from the class point of view, the poppy can also become a powerful weapon to win the proletarian revolution.... By exporting large quantities of morphine and heroin, we are able to weaken the US combat force and to defeat it without even fighting at all...'4.
Chou's observations on what was likely to happen in Vietnam were not without justification. Following the Korean Armistice, US shipments of military equipment headed to Korea were re-routed to Vietnam to support the French operation. Simultane- ously, the US military presence in South Vietnam began to expand. By 1957, the steady increase in US military personnel in South Vietnam was clear to the people at the head- quarters of the US Pacific Command who were responsible for war plans. Indeed, 1957 was the year when the first war plans for US forces in Vietnam were developed. Given the highly successful use of drugs against the French troops in Vietnam, and the success of the Chinese in promoting drug usage by US forces in Korea, Chou's remarks should come as no surprise5.
Chou's observations at the 1958 meeting were remarkably consistent with reports on his discussions with President Gamal Abdel Nasser during a visit to Egypt seven years later, in 1965. At a banquet given in his honour, Chou is reported to have said:
'We think that US involvement in the Vietnam War provides a good chance for us to fight against US imperialism. Thus, the more troops it sends to Vietnam, the more satisfied we are.... At present US servicemen are experimenting with opium eating and we are helping them in this respect. We have already grown the best quality opium for them.... We will use opium to shatter the morale of the US troops in Vietnam and the effects on the United States will indeed be beyond prediction'6.
The Soviets and Czechs were rather well-informed about Chinese trafficking, both through Soviet intelligence agents in China and North Korea, and through intelligence collection operations in Vietnam, Laos, Burma and Afghanistan, where Czechoslovak agents were assisted by the North Vietnamese, Laotians, Burmese, Cambodians and Afghans. The development of Soviet intelligence capabilities in China specifically oriented to the drug trade was the product of a long-term recruitment operation. Even before Mao Tse-tung came to power in 1949, the Soviets had become concerned about Mao's loyalties and had initiated measures to recruit spies among the Chinese Commu- nists. During the Korean War, these efforts were expanded, specifically to collect data on Chinese drug-trafficking operations.
As discussed earlier, the Soviets became extremely interested in the Chinese drug strategy and its effectiveness during the Korean War. With effect from 1951 and continu-
ing until 1962, a significant focus of Soviet espionage activity was to recruit spies to report on the Chinese drug business - research, production, manufacturing techniques, distribu- tion and finance. Sejna first learned of this Soviet espionage operation during a Defence Council meeting, while planning for a forthcoming visit by a delegation of the Communist Party of Japan.