By: Salman Khan
In his 1972 book, The Politics of Heroin, Alfred McCoy coined the phrase the “suppleness of the state.” He discussed the history of heroin discovery, production, and existence until today. Among the many discoveries he made was that the CIA actually had a heavy hand in the production and distribution of heroin throughout the world. Interestingly, he found that the CIA’s complicity in the global drug trafficking ring actually worked against many other US policies and organizations. For example, 10%-15% of lower ranking US Army men serving in Vietnam were heroin users as a result. This affected morale and actually harmed the US military. Additionally, organizations that sought to stop the spread of drug trafficking worked in direct contradiction to the CIA. This is what McCoy meant in his phrase the “suppleness of the state;” there were so many different parts of the state that in many instances they worked in contradiction of each other, instead of in benefit of the overall state.