Record opium haul in Afghanistan; Wolfie thinks "War on terror is Dope!"

Scott McDonald of Reuters reports today:

Opium output hit a record high in Afghanistan in 2003, with another increase expected this year in the war-torn country that does not have any other real exports, a conference was told on Sunday.

Two years after the ruling Taliban were ousted from power by a U.S.-led coalition, opium production has skyrocketed as farmers in lawless provinces crank up output, threatening efforts to strengthen the government and establish a proper economy.

Karzai has banned opium cultivation and trafficking and set up the Counter-Narcotic Directorate, but with the country and international donors still scrambling to build an infrastructure after two decades of violence, opium output has climbed again.

UNODC estimates that Afghan opium production last year hit 3,600 tons, up six percent over the previous year, and said that surveys of farmers show a further increase is likely this year.

Afghan output accounts for two-thirds of world opium production, and officials have voiced concern because it is spreading to areas in the country where it has not been grown before. UNODC has estimated that the output could be worth $2.3 billion, compared to Afghanistan's official exports of $40 million to its neighbour Pakistan.

This brings up a few ideas. Firstly, our military strategy seems to be to provide opiates for the masses. Second, since our friendly warlord allies control most of the territory in question, by purchasing black tar opium and H can we back up the Good side of the war on terror? I propose an investigation into how the Pentagon tacitly allows MOST OF THE WORLD'S opium production within its very domain. There must be memos piled up somewhere in Rummy's office.

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