Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, June 30, 2006

Report says Afghan Mission is Failing

Tom Regan of the Christian Science Monitor reports that the “U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan is failing because U.S. policies on eradicating the Afghan poppy crop aren’t working.” The Senlis Council, a Paris-based international security and policy advisory group who specializes in drug policies, “predicts violence in the south of the country will escalate because the Taliban has been so effective at exploiting the anger felt by farmers at the destruction of opium crops and by civilians who have suffered in U.S.-led operations.”

“Despite the efforts to destroy poppies, the Southern Afghan province of Helmand is heading for a bumper crop,” Regan reports. Additionally, corruption is a serious problem hurting the anti-drug program. Senlis, which used the field work of nearly two dozen Afghan researchers to compile a report, says that there are “many cases where Afghan officials ignored the crops of large producers who could afford to pay them tribute, but wiped out the crops of poor farmers who couldn’t.”

In his article Regan reports that there are “widely differing views on how the U.S.-led eradication program is going.” He reports that the United Nations News Service says that Afghanistan is a ‘narco-state’ with drug production as the country's largest employer; conversely, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says that the “organization is making ‘great progress’ in targeting the drug lords and criminal organizations that control the heroin supply.”

To read this article in full click here.


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