Saturday

Policy Alternatives for Afghan Drug-trade

U.S. efforts favor the purge of Militants and burn of drug fields...
But as Western and NATO eradication teams work to free substantial areas from militants…Afghanistan’s multi-billion dollar yearly opium trade, which supplies 90% of the world's Heroin; is said to be exceeding its peak...

A British think-tank offers input related to farmers: See Video below
Click-Image-view interactive map of drug travel

-View Clip of today's troop Effort in Afghanistan (opens in new window)
Freedom Watch Afghanistan

VIDEO: Interesting alternatives sought by British 'think-tank'...

Hundreds of US trained, Western and NATO eradication teams remain committed to working with Afghan Government in the Taliban region. Long recognizing the serious complexities amongst Afghan farmers!
(Nice Humanitarian alternative in Video; but get the -FULL- RX plan first!)
Read: The Shifting allegiances Cross-border Militancy #
"Afghans have been known to denounce rivals or enemies as members of the Taliban for political or economic gain...One only has to look at the local power holders who feel marginalized may find themselves allied to the Taliban, at least in the short term. In some areas it's difficult to distinguish between attacks by the Taliban and those by other radical Islamic groups or individuals.

These include Hezb-e Islami, headed by former Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, or those loyal to Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former mujahideen leader who also served in the Taliban government. The situation is further complicated by a complex web of shifting allegiances, tribal, ethnic and local rivalries and feuds within Afghan society. (BBC-2006)
Read more
Eye-opening statistics from Timesonline.UK:
Good and bad news from the poppy fields
Bronwen Maddox sites drug-report figures from: incb.org
-In Afghanistan, one million Afghans take heroin or opiates, including 60,000 children under 15!

- In Afghanistan in 2006, the area of poppy-farming rose to a record 165,000 hectares, a jump of 59 per cent from 2005 and more than twice the figure for 2003.

- Only 6 of the country’s 34 provinces are free from illicit poppy cultivation. “The drug control situation is deteriorating.”

- A third of the Afghan economy comes from opium, and this is undermining political progress Farming of opium poppies in Pakistan is rising sharply, although it has not yet reached the heights of the early 1990s.

- One new trend is the smuggling of heroin from Pakistan into China.

- Afghanistan’s neighbors are experiencing soaring rates of drug abuse. Iran has the world’s highest rates of opiate abuse at 2.8 per cent of the adult population; Pakistan has 0.8 per cent In Iran, seizure of Afghan opiates increased to 350 tons in 2005, showing the steep rise in smuggling…

Figures state that in just only "one" province, Helmand; more than 40 percent of the 2006 record yield of 6,725 tons. Source
View the N.Y. Times "Taliban Slide-Show"
Before it goes membership (haha)

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