Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Opium and the Taliban

In a previous post, I referenced an article by the writer Christopher Hitchens in Foreign Policy in which he asserted that attempts to eradicate poppy crops in Afghanistan are grievously undermining our fight against the Taliban. Anyone who harbors doubts about the reliability of that observation should read this sobering piece in today's New York Times, captioned, "Poppy Fields Are Now A Front Line in Afghanistan War" by James Risen. This passage is as striking as it is disheartening:

It is a measure of this country’s virulent opium trade, which has helped revive the Taliban while corroding the credibility of the Afghan government, that American officials hope that Afghanistan’s drug problem will someday be only as bad as that of Colombia.

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