Thursday, October 30, 2014

Afghanistan's Addiction to Opium

There is widespread agreement that the $7.6 billion effort to eradicate poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has failed. In fact, the problem is getting worse every year. The Afghan economy has a heavy criminal component, criminal patronage networks involve provincial governors, district sub-governors and high-ranking members of the Afghan National Police (ANP). The Taliban are funded to a large degree from the drug trade. In 2012 Afghanistan produced 95 percent of the world's opium - exporting it to Russia, Europe, and Iran. The increase in yield from 2012 to 2013 was 50%; from $2 billion to $3 billion. Read more in "Afghanistan's Unending Addiction", The New York Times, October 26, 2014.

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