Afghanistan’s Opium Cultivation Jumps 10 Percent In 2016

Afghanistan’s cultivation of opium poppy has risen by 10 percent in 2016, according to a new report released by the United Nations.

HAWAII INTELLIGENCE DIGEST, 24 October 2016, 23:00 hrs, UTC, Post #5.

Source: Afghanistan’s Opium Cultivation Jumps 10 Percent In 2016 9hppt://www.rferl.org/a/afghanistan-opium-poppy-up-10-percent/28069981.html).

Accessed on 24 October 2016, 23:00 hrs, UTC.

Source:  Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Please click link to read the full report.

Comment:

The growth of extremist groups, such as the Taliban, is being fueled by the opium poppy–most of which is being grown in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

The UN’s office on Drugs and Crime says opium production is at least 10 percent from last year.  Poppy farmers are often taxed by the Taliban, which uses the money to support attacks against government and NATO forces in the country.

The UN report says the spread of the opium crop in Afghanistan and nearby areas is due largely to excellent growing conditions, absence of a strong government security presence in many provinces, and loss of international support for anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan.

As long as the Taliban makes a decent profit from the sale of opium, they will be able to sustain themselves in the region.  U.S. military forces have been in the country almost 15 years with little to show for our efforts.  Attempts to have farmers grow other cash crops have failed, because opium brings a high price on the world market.  Unless a way is found to remove opium-derived profits from Afghanistan, terrorist groups such as the Taliban will continue to prosper at our expense.

Perhaps nothing will be done.  There’s too much money to be made.  To find the cure for this international ailment, just “follow the money trail.”


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Until next time,

Russ Roberts

HAWAII INTELLIGENCE DIGEST

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