Afghanistan opium harvest at record high - UNODC


The UNODC report said the harvest was 36% up on last year, and if fully realised would outstrip global demand.

Most of the rise was in Helmand province, where British troops are preparing to withdraw.

One of the main reasons the UK sent troops to Helmand was to cut opium production.


MugenOne - So what do you wish the Brits to do? Beef up and not downsize the military presence for an undetermined stay, and keep throwing lots of money and human and material assets at the problem? That way would lead to an escalation of the British national debt and not a downsizing. The rest of the world is more ‘tolerant’ of US debt, mostly because as such a big customer and debtor if the rest of the world called ‘time’ on the US debt, they would all go down the fiscal abyss as well.

ps. I believe that Helmand has always been the major opium poppy growing area for Afghanistan [comes down to soil, climate and poverty - there is more profit in poppy growing], and while the Brits. were there in strength poppy output was lower.

pps. It isn’t just opium that is on the rise - the current price and availability of weed and cocaine etc. on the streets is an indicator of this.


The current Afghan Government and its fellow travellers know that the Brits. [and indeed the Americans] have to tread a bit carefully when in comes to interfering with their internal ‘drug mafias’ as many of them are involved and implicated and profit in what is going on. I don’t think the Taliban are lily white at present regarding the use of ‘drug money’ for their war effort, and ‘when’ they get back into Government they can always apply the strictest and most severe ‘Sharia’ punishments to those who don’t do their bidding or who don’t follow any change in official direction.


Can’t say I blame the Brits.

Bush should have gotten in, torn the place up, killed as many AQ and Taliban as possible, then left, leaving a sign saying “If you attack us again, we’ll come back and do much, much more.”

Because the Dems (contrary to their prior votes) decided to condemn the Iraq war as “Bush’s war”, but support the Af/Pak war, Obama was stuck by his own rhetoric and that of his party in Af/Pak; a country that isn’t a country, that lives in the 7th Century and whose economy consists of smuggling, drugs and brigandage.

Obama will walk away in 2014, right after the elections so nobody will see the “last helicopter out” scenes. In the meanwhile, American soldiers are dying there for nothing.

Because of NATO commitments, the Brits were stuck in it too, but since Obama has given them the green light to leave that impossible place, that’s what they’re doing. They can’t be blamed at all.


What was important after 9/11 was the world was shown that Americans would come with both guns smoking in response to terror attacks like that, and that countries would fall as a result. It wasn’t just Bush; it was the American heartland and the American people as a whole that were for a violent response to such violence, and that decision was confirmed by Bush’s re election the next cycle.

Bush was all about compassionate conservatism, so of course he wasn’t only about smashing heads, but also about trying to rebuild an alternative vision of a country in the ME.
Obama confirmed that with following up in Afghanistan at least, even if his foreign policy overall has been erratic.

Rebuilding those countries though, is not really an American responsibility.It is really up to the locals now what they do with the water that they have been led to.

The compassionate conservatism/neo-liberal response was really mostly just a one time thing. If it succeeded great. Now, almost a generation later, c’est la vie.

What was important was to show the world that Americans will not take such attacks lightly, and that other people will suffer when the hatred that they engender against America turns to violence.

America will punish those who strike at her cities. Beware.
Lesson learned.

Compassionate conservatism does not work at rebuilding certain nations.
Well, that lesson have been learned too.


In my view, Bush made a terrible mistake in supposing that one could build a civilization in Afghanistan, let alone a liberal democracy.

Obama’s continuation of that effort was less idealistic. In condemning Iraq as the “bad war”, he hailed Af/Pak as the “good war”. 180 degrees wrong on both counts, but his decision was purely dictated by an attempt at political advantage turned sour; rather like the “red line” in Syria and “you can keep your insurance” in the U.S.


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