Thursday, November 18, 2004

And this is the success story

The Beeb reports this morning that poppies are back in Afghanistan in a big, big way:

"The UN has warned that Afghanistan could become a 'narco-state' after opium cultivation rose by two-thirds this year.

A UN report released on Thursday urged the US and Nato forces to fight drugs as well as Taleban insurgents.

It said Afghanistan now supplied 87% of world opium. In 2003, the trade was worth $2.8bn, representing more than 60% of gross domestic product.
It said opium cultivation had increased by 64% compared to 2003.

Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said the report was a wake-up call to the world....Mr Costa said the Afghan government was too weak to tackle the problem alone. He called on US and Nato-led forces to carry out military operations against drug traffickers.

The UN report came as the US announced a major new offensive against drug production in Afghanistan.

Washington expects to spend an extra $780m in the next financial year on measures including the eradication of poppies and alternatives for farmers.

US officials describe the new plan as a full-board commitment to support the new Afghan government in its battle against the growing drugs trade."

All the best to them, but it's hard to take the U.S.'s commitment all that seriously when much of the country is still off-limits to anyone without an AK-47 and lots of friends, we're still bogged down in Iraq, and we now appear to be packing for Iran.


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11:19 PM  

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