Watchdog: U.S. $8.6 Billion Antinarcotics Campaign in Afghanistan a Pricey Failure

No. An “anti-drug” campaign in Afghanistan was unsuccessful? Man, how could ANYONE have predicted this? What’s $8.6 billion anyway?

(From The Washington Free Beacon)

The drug trade in Afghanistan has strengthened in recent years despite billions of dollars in U.S.-funded counternarcotics operations aimed at choking the Taliban’s top revenue source, a government watchdog said Thursday.

The United States alone has spent $8.6 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan since 2002, but the country remains the world’s largest producer of opium, with poppy cultivation reaching a record high last year.

According to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), opium cultivation in 2017 reached 1,265 square miles—more than 20 times the size of Washington, D.C.—marking a 63 percent increase from the year before. The unprecedented harvest could produce 900 tons of export-quality heroin and helps to fuel insurgent violence, SIGAR said.

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