Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Troubling Bumper Crop
     The success of the United States in establishing a sustainable democracy in Afghanistan depends not only upon military actions but also on an Afghan government free of corruption and a strong economy.  Last month the United Nations issued a report stating that Afghan opium cultivation increased by seven percent over 2013 and opium production increased by seventeen percent.  This increase followed a forty nine percent increase in 2013....the highest levels since the fall of the Taliban government in 2002.  In the late 1990's the Taliban government completely eradicated opium cultivation in Afghanistan.  Despite a US goal to eradicate opium production it has increased exponentially since our occupation.  Now the Taliban both tax and participate in opium production.  Opium production represents approximately twenty percent of Afghan GDP and recently three judges quietly released from prison an Afghan drug kingpin who was serving a twenty year sentence.
     The report represents another data point in engaging the question.....why are we still spending American blood and treasure in Afghanistan?

1 comment:

  1. The additional downside for the US and our allies is that the price of heroin has never been lower, fueling record numbers of addictions and deaths.