The group’s ban on poppy farming has reportedly slashed Afghanistan’s opioid manufacturing by 80% in a single 12 months
The Taliban has reportedly achieved in a single 12 months what America’s “battle on medication” failed to drag off in 5 a long time: eliminating the overwhelming majority of Afghanistan’s opium output.
Because the Taliban banned poppy farming nationwide in April 2022, Afghanistan has carried out “essentially the most profitable counter-narcotics effort in human historical past,” the UK Telegraph newspaper reported on Saturday. Afghan poppy manufacturing has dropped by an estimated 80% previously 12 months, the report mentioned. Poppy cultivation has plunged by greater than 99%, to round 2,500 acres, in Helmand province, which British troops occupied for a lot of the 20-year, US-led battle in Afghanistan.
The Telegraph famous that no such provide reductions have been achieved throughout Washington’s 50-year battle on medication, together with 20 years of US presence in Afghanistan. The Central Asian nation traditionally accounts for greater than 80% of world opium manufacturing and 95% of European opioid provides. The United Nations, amongst different observers, has raised concern that the ensuing shortfall may result in extra use of artificial opioids, corresponding to fentanyl, that are probably much more harmful than heroin.
With the US in charge of Afghanistan in 2004, the Washington-backed authorities in Kabul set a purpose of eliminating poppy cultivation inside 10 years. As an alternative, cultivation and output really rose in the course of the US occupation, whilst American taxpayers reportedly spent at the least $9 billion to eradicate the trade.
The US Central Intelligence Company (CIA) has an extended historical past of involvement within the narcotics commerce. A US State Division report in 1991 discovered that covert CIA operations in Afghanistan had reworked the area from a “self-contained opium zone into a serious provider of heroin for the world market.”
However, US media retailers pointed fingers on the Taliban for allegedly permitting opium manufacturing to rise after the Islamist group retook management of Afghanistan in August 2021. As an example, US state-funded Radio Free Europe claimed as lately as Might 2023 that Afghan poppy cultivation had jumped as a result of the Taliban authorities was unwilling to implement its ban on the crop.
Sarcastically, the US authorities’s United States Institute of Peace faulted the Taliban final month for being too profitable in slashing opium output. “The temptation to view the present ban in a very constructive gentle — as an necessary world counter-narcotics victory — should be averted,” the institute claimed. “That is notably true given the state of Afghanistan’s economic system and the nation’s humanitarian scenario. Certainly, the ban imposes large financial and humanitarian prices on Afghans and it’s more likely to additional stimulate an outflow of refugees.”