U.S. Comes around to Dutch Way of Thinking, on Afghan Poppies

29.06.09

Categorie: Afghanistan, COIN, David Axe |

by DAVID AXE

Afghan poppies — easy to grow and transport in the country’s harsh conditions — account for a majority of the world’s heroin. The poppy biz, concentrated in southern Afghanistan, pours more than $50 million into Taliban coffers, per year. The U.S. government has pursued an eradication policy, sending American drug-enforcement agents and Afghan police to destroy field. Under George W. Bush, Washington insisted that eradication was the only way to combat a rapidly expanding drug culture.

That resulted in clashes with the Dutch forces (pictured) that occupy key poppy regions. “There was concern that it might crosscut other activities focused on security and development,” a U.S. eradication official said, of the Dutch. Amsterdam worried that eradication — besides being logistically impractical — was only angering impoverished farmers, and driving them into the Taliban’s arms.

Turns out Barack Obama agrees with the Dutch.

As part of its revamped Afghanistan strategy, the Obama Administration will cease eradication, and instead boost funding for alternative crops, including almonds and saffron — and also boosting efforts to interdict Taliban drug smugglers.

(Photo: David Axe)

Related:
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Afghanistan, by the Numbers
Afghan Reserve Police = Tribal Militia, Redux?
Afghan Super-Bases Undermine U.S. Strategy?
World Politics Review: In Afghanistan, U.S. Experiments Again with Tribal Militias
Kandahar = “Black” Plane Playground?
As with Iraq, Brits Losing Afghanistan?
World Politics Review: Pakistan Drone Campaign Might Expand, Despite Risks
CNN Wants Only Blood and Guts in Afghanistan

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2 Responses to “U.S. Comes around to Dutch Way of Thinking, on Afghan Poppies”

  1. ELP says:

    More follies with Operation: USELESS DIRT 1

  2. [...] Related: U.S. Comes around to Dutch Way of Thinking, on Afghan Poppies Obama Administration Mum on Civilian Dead in Drone Strikes Afghanistan, by the Numbers Afghan Reserve Police = Tribal Militia, Redux? Afghan Super-Bases Undermine U.S. Strategy? World Politics Review: In Afghanistan, U.S. Experiments Again with Tribal Militias Kandahar = “Black” Plane Playground? As with Iraq, Brits Losing Afghanistan? World Politics Review: Pakistan Drone Campaign Might Expand, Despite Risks CNN Wants Only Blood and Guts in Afghanistan No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

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