Opium and Afghanistan: Reassessing U.S. Counter-Narcotics Strategy
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
Cultivation and production of opium in Afghanistan has skyrocketed since the Taliban was toppled in 2001 such that Afghanistan now supplies 92 percent of the worlds illicit opium. The expanding opium trade is threatening to destabilize the Afghan government and turn the conflict-ridden country back into a safe haven for drug traffickers and terrorists. This paper examines the nature of the opium problem in Afghanistan and analyzes the strategy to counter this growing crisis. In analyzing the current counter-narcotics strategy, it points out pitfalls including the counterproductive aspects of opium eradication. Finally, changes to the strategy are proposed which include the following increasing troop levels and eliminating national restrictions substantially increasing financial aid de-emphasizing opium eradication focusing on long-term alternative livelihoods aggressively pursuing drug kingpins and corrupt government officials and exploring the possibility of Afghanistan entering the licit opium market.
- Sociology and Law
- Agronomy, Horticulture and Aquiculture