Afghanistan's Opium Poppy Crop Continues to Flourish
(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration's attempt at disrupting Afghanistan's booming opium poppy trade has largely failed, the Washington Post reports. The Post, quoting law enforcement officials and counter-narcotics experts, says that the efforts to convince growers to produce other crops actually started back in 2002 with a total of $7 billion spent by the U.S. to move Afghanistan away from opium poppies, which is responsible for most of the world's heroin.
However, lax security and the involvement of both Afghan government officials as well as the Taliban in the opium poppy trade have counteracted U.S. attempts at tamping down Afghanistan's narcotics industry.
The Pentagon has issued a report that predicts this year's poppy crop will be even more lucrative than 2012, thanks to better weather, higher prices for heroin and the drawdown of coalition forces.
It's also believed that as more U.S. and NATO troops leave Afghanistan, it will give the Taliban a better shot at controlling central Helmand province where most of the growing is done.
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