Afghan Opium Fields Show Failure of U.S. Economic-Aid Efforts

Foil hat time: Is it possible the goal isn’t to stop the opium trade, but to control it? It’s not so far-fetched; journalist Gary Webb exposed the CIA’s role in introducing crack to the U.S., and it wasn’t so long ago that opium was the centerpiece of the West’s policies toward China. Besides, if we succeed in wiping out the poppies in Afghanistan, somebody loses a billion-dollar-a-year contract. — PID

Feb 13, 2008 (BLOOMBERG) — The strategy combined economic development, drug control and security: two Afghan-American brothers with a factory in Kandahar and a plan to give opium farmers an incentive to grow cotton instead. For two years, Yosuf and Abdul Mir pleaded with U.S. officials for a $1.5 million grant for their project, arguing that it meshes perfectly with a billion-dollar-a-year American opium-eradication program. Then, last year, they were turned down. Full Report