Piersante, 46, was one of scores of DEA agents deployed to Afghanistan after the U.S.-led war began in 2001. Their goal was to stem the county’s massive opium trade, which helps fund the Taliban insurgency and terrorism. Agents have worked side-by-side with U.S. and allied military personnel, conducting joint counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics raids in full battle attire with helmets, flak jackets and automatic weapons. Their efforts have yielded mixed results…
For his part, Piersante says he doesn’t think too much about whether he made a real difference in Afghanistan. A self-described adrenaline junkie, he says he just loved his job — and still does, even though it doesn’t include the type of field work he once took on.
“My biggest thing, my satisfaction, is that if I can do my work I can help somebody,” Piersante said. “If I can save one person from perils of drug addiction, that made it worth it. I’m still able to go out there and motivate other people and contribute.”
I’m not sure Mr. Piersante really believes that he’s saving people from drug addiction, but that’s what DEA agents are taught, and obviously, some of them still believe it. I’m not sure if that’s sad or just ignorant. If the drug war saved people from addiction, then why are we in the middle of an opioid and heroin “epidemic”?