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February 14, 2008

The Democracy Arsenal Stat of the Day
Posted by Michael Cohen

Today's stat of the day - 4,000.

According to a Financial Times article from this past weekend (I'm a little behind in my FT reading), Iran is dealing with a serious drug problem. Some international observers estimate that the country of 70 million people, may have as many as 5 million addicts.

As awful as that may be, this crazy stat jumped out at me:

The government is trying to stem the flow of drugs into the country, a struggle that has led to the killing of more than 4,000 police officers in the course of drug control operations since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

4,000 police officers killed since 1979! That's more than 130 police officers killed every year. Maybe it's just me, but is that not in an insanely high number? I like to keep pretty up on foreign affairs, but I simply had no idea that Iraq was dealing with such a serious drug problem or that efforts to stop the flow of drugs from neighboring Afghanistan were so violent. If any DA readers know more about this please offer comments below.


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As i understand most of those deaths occured in 1 province Sistan and Baluchistan.

The province is a 'perfect storm' for this sort of thing. It borders Pakistan & afghanistan, it's populated by minority groups who aren't great fans of the persians and whose closest relatives reside on the other side of the border and for whom smuggling and mayhem are national sports. It's also got rugged terrain and is dirt poor where drug smuggling is the main economic activity.

The policing in the area has been described as more 'counter insurgency' than normal policing. (on the pakistan side of the border the pakistan government has been known to conduct airstrikes against the balochis to try and keep order).

iraq; iran; eh they're all the same

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