24 October 2009

a blind eye to drugs

before our invasion of afghanistan, opium production had been banned by the taliban government. at the time, the poppy fields were providing 75% of the world's opium, but taliban retaliation kept the risk high enough to result in decreasing production.

it was in the eight years that followed, under the direction of our NATO-led military coalition, that afghanistan's opium business grew faster, farther, and wider. no to mention its benefit to the very insurgency we were fighting. we ignored the opium trade because our mission was to "fight the taliban and al-qaeda, not drug dealers" (see 'dubya misses big picture. again.').

the neo conservatives were too busy selling the claim that americans' drug use was supporting terrorists,to notice the real problem. had they been paying attention to the growing drug cartel in afghanistan, they mighta noticed that its poppy fields had grown in abundance, supplying 90% of the world's opium. and then might've followed that thought to its inevitable conclusion that much of that profit was going directly to the taliban and al qaeda.

so, i guess what i'm trying to say is that this is an easy example of just how in over their heads dubya's cowboys were. amongst their many other failure (a.d.h.d. anyone?), they couldn't see how ignoring afghanistan's drug trade would exacerbate stability efforts on the ground. and impair our end game in the bigger picture.

assuming they'd even drawn a bigger picture...


1 comment:

  1. Instabilty and war are the primary factors responsible for increased opium production in Afghanistan. Before the Soviet invasion, and during the brief rule of the Taliban, opium production was either very limited, or deliberated curtailed. Soon after the war is over, production is likely to plummet.