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stopthedrugwar.org 15 Sep, 2021 18:30 am

The Taliban Says It Will Stop the Opium Trade--Is That Likely? [FEATURE]

" But in addition to the general skepticism about the Taliban's plans for the country, the notion of them imposing a ban on opium production runs afoul of economic and political realities on the ground.Afghanistan has accounted for between 80 percent and 90 percent of global opium production throughout this century, a pattern that began, ironically enough, in the 1980s, when the CIA waged a secret war against the Soviet occupation of the country and enlisted both Islamic radicals and the opium trade in the battle.At the same time, the state department reported that resistance elements took up opium production and trafficking "to provide staples for [the] population under their control and to fund weapons purchases." As for how the much vaunted "international community" should approach Afghan opium production, that's a complicated question.

Outside of legalization of the trade, which does not appear even remotely likely, the only alternative for suppressing opium production is to cajole farmers to grow other crops in a bid to wean them off the poppy, but even those sorts of programs are now in question.(UNODC) At its first press conference in Kabul after entering the city and solidifying their control over the country, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid vowed that their new government would not let Afghanistan become a full-fledged narco-state: "We are assuring our countrymen and women and the international community that we will not have any narcotics produced," .

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