The war-torn tribal nation of Afghanistan provides fertile fields for training terrorists and growing poppies, it is home to the Taliban, al Qaeda, and now ISIS. Why? Money. Heroin production funds terrorism on the battlefield and destroys civilization from within. But sadly, in the worst kept secret in Central Asia, the US condones and encourages the growing of poppies, the base ingredient for heroin and its byproducts. We do so, not to keep the poor farmers happy, but to line the pockets of the Taliban, warlords, and the Afghan government.
It’s no surprise that Mexico is considered the drug cartel capital of the world, but something most Americans may not know is Afghanistan produces the lions-share of the poppies used to produce heroin. The mythical American-inspired anti-drug program is especially problematic in Afghanistan. Not only does the corruption associated with illegal drugs undermine the rule of law, but also anti-opium actions such as crop eradication generate hostility from local farmers rather than winning their hearts and minds [General Petraeus’ Counterinsurgency (COIN) Program].
The dangers of the worldwide drug trade were even prophesized in the 1939 release of the Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch of the West accurately described the dangers of poppies: “Something with poison in it, but attractive to the eye and soothing smell, Poppies, Poppies.”
According to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the US is losing the war on poppy production. Despite spending $7.6 billion in counter-narcotics programs in Afghanistan, many US troops have taken pictures while they patrolled the poppy fields. The latest UN report on poppy production shows an increase in poppy fields from 8,000 hectares in 2001 to a peak of 224,000 hectares in 2014.
Under the Taliban’s ban on opium-poppy cultivation, the terror group nearly wiped out “the world’s largest crop in less than a year,” officials told the NYT in May of 2001. It was reported that the tribal nation previously provided the world with three-quarters of the opium supply.
According to Colonel (ret) Eugene Khrushchev (son of the former Soviet Premier) writing for the Salem-News.com, “What Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) called the ‘best decision in the face of an array of less-than-perfect options’ has set in motion the worst-case nightmare scenario – a boon for the drug lords, a bane for the drug busters.” Colonel Khrushchev contends that America’s drug eradication policy is nothing more than a ruse. Instead, it supplies criminal elements with the means to destabilize the Afghan government while destroying the tribal population to ensure terrorists