Author Archive | Mark Mansfield

U.S. to Take Control of Opium Smuggling in Afghanistan

Click on this map from PBS for interactive features showing Afghanistan's opium production.

Click on this map from PBS for interactive features showing Afghanistan's opium production.

Sometimes the news speaks for itself. I have long contended that one of the main reasons we are in Afghanistan is for the almighty opium poppy dollars.

It’s interesting that by 2000 the Taliban had cut the amount of poppy growth by 90%. But then, by 2002, poppy production increased by about the same amount. Coincidental timing, I’m sure, considering that something historically monumental happened between that time to give the United States a reason to go into Afghanistan.

This is from Al-Jazeera.net in 2008 on opium production:

“The Afghanistan Opium Survey 2008, made public by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Wednesday indicated that there was a decline of 19 per cent in the areas known for poppy cultivation.

The report, also released in conjunction with the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics, said that in the past year five more provinces had become “poppy-free” raising the total to 18 of 34 provinces where poppy cultivation has been stamped out.

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