Friday, May 12, 2006
How's That War On
Terror Drugs Whatever Workin' Out For You, George?
From the UK's Independent daily:
Afghan poppy farmers expect record opium crop and the Taliban will reap the rewards 11 May 2006 Two hours' drive from the Afghan city of Kandahar, "the perfect storm" is about to break in the fields of Helmand province. Here, in the place where British troops are to spend the next three years, a combination of factors have conspired to produce what is probably the biggest opium harvest in the history of a province that, last year, produced more than 20 per cent of the world's heroin on its own. A law and order vacuum has allowed an increasingly well-organised drugs cartel, a corrupt local government and resurgent Taliban to structure the poppy cultivation of the province as never before. That has combined with fine growing conditions this year to produce what, if these were wine producers, might be considered a memorable vintage. And, country-wide it is now clear the poppy harvest will be close to record levels again. It is a dispiriting blow for the international counter-narcotics effort as 86 per cent of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan.Hey, but at least we've got all those neato super-bases and other permanent bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least, until the Iraqis and the Taliban evict us.
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