In the introduction of Transform's 2009 publication 'After the War on Drugs, Blueprint for Regulation' (p.7) the nature of the war on drugs is discussed:
"...the presentation of drugs as an existential ‘threat’ has generated a policy response within which unevidenced and radical measures are justified. Drug policy has evolved within a context of ‘securitization’, characterised by increasing powers and resources for enforcement and state security apparatus. The outcomes of this strategy, framed as a drug ‘war’, include the legitimisation of propaganda, and the suspension of many of the working principles that define more conventional social policy, health or legal interventions. Given that the War on Drugs is predicated on ‘eradication’ of the ‘evil’ drug threat as a way of achieving a ‘drug free world’, it has effectively established a permanent state of war. This has led to a high level policy environment that ignores critical scientific thinking, and health and social policy norms. Fighting the threat becomes an end in itself and as such, it creates a largely self-referential and self-justifying rhetoric that makes meaningful evaluation, review and debate difficult, if not impossible.
In this context it was interesting to see a confidential/not for foreign nationals CIA memo appearing on the Wikileaks website last week, titled: 'Afghanistan: Sustaining West European Support for the NATO-led Mission—Why Counting on Apathy Might Not Be Enough' . This leaked confidential memo details, as Wikileaks describe it, 'possible PR-strategies to shore up public support in Germany and France for a continued war in Afghanistan', and a 'recipe for the targeted manipulation of public opinion in two NATO ally countries, written by the CIA.'
There is only one drug reference (paragraph below from p.4), and whilst its not clear how much can be inferred from this, it does at least indicate the sorts of high level discussions and thinking that take place out of public view:
"Messages that dramatize the consequences of a NATO defeat for specific German interests could counter the widely held perception that Afghanistan is not Germany’s problem. For example, messages that illustrate how a defeat in Afghanistan could heighten Germany’s exposure to terrorism, opium, and refugees might help to make the war more salient to skeptics."