Random News from Afghanistan

From a Wash Times story titled, "NATO Paces Afghan Offensive":

Government officials charged with eradicating the poppies also have their hands out, these growers said. Having apparently surrendered to the inevitability of a successful harvest, the government functionaries demanded stiff fees for not destroying the crop several weeks ago.

The huge profits to be made from the opium trade help explain why a U.S.-funded annual $800 million counternarcotics program has failed to reduce the output.

A much-anticipated Taliban offensive across eastern and southern Afghanistan this spring has yet to materialize, although NATO officials and Western diplomats warn that the Taliban should not be seen as a depleted insurgency.

Suicide attacks and guerrilla actions are commonplace across southern Afghanistan, even as Taliban leaders and fighters are preoccupied with the poppy harvest. Government officials say they think as many as six would-be suicide bombers are lurking in Lashkar Gah alone, searching for targets.

More here.

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  • ||

    DUUUGH!

  • ||

    Even if the Afghani government fully legalized heroin production, wouldn't there still be a significant criminal influence due to distribution issues?

  • ||

    Government officials say they think as many as six would-be suicide bombers are lurking in Lashkar Gah alone, searching for targets.

    So, Lashkar Gah is the Terre Haute of Afghanistan? "I really want to give my life for jihad, but there's nothing worth blowing up in this shithole!"

  • ||

    Why don't we just buy the stuff for medicine? Is it that much cheaper to synthesize opiates? Even if it is, wouldn't it be cheaper on whole to pay farmers for their poppies rather than waste funds on sisiphian eradication efforts?

  • ||

    The huge profits to be made from the opium trade help explain why a U.S.-funded annual $800 million counternarcotics program has failed to reduce the output.

    Great. Would any of the trolls who like to slag libertarians for not wanting to pay taxes please defend this colossal waste of money? Please?

    Imagine if we didn't have the War on Some Drugs. Our Afghani government pals could stop hassling farmers from growing the only crop that will allow them a decent living, and those farmers might actually turn their back on the Taliban, because they'd see a brighter future. Instead, the Afghani DEA is grabbing bribes, undoubtedly causing resentment and some support for the Taliban. The alleged public policy goal, limiting opium production, is a non-starter, and all it cost us was $800,000,000. Wow.

  • ||

    Looks like our failed war on drugs is conflicting with our failing war on terror. Maybe it is time to admit we can't have everthing we want? I like Matt's idea, way better than blowing $800 mil on something even the coveted dicktard demographic could see was going nowhere.

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    I wonder: If the Afghan farmers were allowed to harvest the resin from their poppy fields, and sell it to Merck or Lilly, would they use the proceeds to pay their Taliban membership fees, buy new burkhas for the wimminfolk, and a new "Mohammedan Scourge Brand" cat-o-nine-tails for self-flagellation? Or would they buy a satellite dish, a new teevee and some glass windows for the ol' mud hut?

  • ||

    Matt's idea is what we did in Turkey in the 1950s. I can't believe we're not doing it.

  • bill||

    Forget the poppies, where's the Afghani hash?

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    It is impossible to get anyone in any position of influence or authority to talk about how the Drug War is working against us in Afghanistan.

    Frustrating.

  • ||

    Chalk up my Weekly Agreement With joe.

  • han||

    I don't see it the latter as that uncommon on your side of the isle.

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