The United States has been fighting the War on Drugs ever since President Nixon declared warfare in 1971. But drugs and war have been inseparable for centuries, from ancient Rome, to imperial Britain, to the Vietnam era, and up to today. Drugs have been taken, taxed, fought over, and exploited – not just by illegal traffickers and narco-terrorists, but by powerful states.
Political science professor Peter Andreas argues that six psychoactive drugs have been particularly potent war ingredients. His new book is “Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs.”