NATO agrees to fight drug trade in Afghanistan

Monday, 20 October 2008, 13:59 | Category : Crumbs, Politics, Human Rights & Other Serious Stuff
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Afghanistan is the biggest opium producer in the world. It is estimated that in 2007 93% of the drugs made from opium and its derivatives on the world market came from Afghanistan. Apparently there is more land in Afghanistan used for opium production than there is land used for cocaine production in Latin America…
For the first time, NATO has decided to do something about it. What interests me is that they’re not doing it to combat drugs, but because they think some of the opium factories are financing the Taliban. They have specifically stated that they will target only the factories linked to the Taliban and nobody else.
This, of course, is very reasonable. I just kind of suspected them of being more short-sighted. The problem in targeting the opium industry in Afghanistan is, of course, that you’d be taking away the livelihood of about 10% of the population. In a country that has an unemployment rate of as high as 60% in some areas that is obviously not the way to go about it…

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