ONE WAR AT A TIME
I did a rant before (Nov. 3 2005) on this subject *HERE* titled Why They Hate Americans (scroll down). I have for several days been thinking about doing the subject again when lo and behold, today I find this on the internet. An English ‘think tank’ says everything I would say but much better.
Afghanistan Anti-Drug Policies Aid Taliban, Says Report
Thursday, September 7, 2006
A new report (PDF) by the Senlis Council, a U.K. think tank, finds that counter-narcotics policies in Afghanistan over the last five years have facilitated insurgency, laying the groundwork for the Taliban to return to power. The report says that the internationally backed strategy of poppy eradication has undermined the stability of the government and driven the country further into poverty.
Poppy eradication has failed to reduce the amount of production in Afghanistan, with poppy cultivation currently at its highest level in recent history. In 2006, about 165,000 hectares are devoted to growing poppy, compared to under 60,000 hectares in 1996.
Much of rural Afghanistan is deeply impoverished, and poppy farming is the only viable source of income for many farmers. Without alternative means of livelihood, farmers are unable to give up growing poppy. Therefore, eradication does not actually do away with poppy farming, but leads to its relocation to more remote areas. There is no end in sight for this pattern--only three percent of Afghanistan's irrigated land is currently used for poppy farming, but much of the country is well-suited for it.
Not only does this approach fail to reduce growth of illicit crops, but it also damages rural economies, having the greatest negative impact on the farmers who benefit least from the opium trade.
I’ll go one step farther. If they end their idiotic “War on Drugs,” the “Taliban” would dry up. Right now they are fighting little farmers trying to feed their families. You can read the entire article *HERE*.
UPDATE: This from the Telegraph today 9-16:
With a mandate to bring schools, police posts and medical clinics to the villages of southern Afghanistan, Nato quickly fell foul of local rumours that foreign forces were out to destroy the poppy crop. To farmers with no other means of gaining cash, such claims became a rallying cry for the insurgency.
Liam Fox, the Conservative defence spokesman, said the Government should abandon any pretence of prosecuting a counter-narcotics policy in Afghanistan.
"This Government was living in cloud cuckoo land on this," he said. "To tell Parliament and the Labour Party that this deployment was part of the war on drugs was self-delusion.
"This is the Government belatedly catching up with reality. It was not going to happen. The military didn't believe it.
"Stability and military victory should come first to extend the writ of the Afghan, so that it can run its own counter-narcotics policy."
Read the entire item *HERE*