Conflict & Justice

NATO takes on Afghan drug trade

QL told us what this new arrangement means for NATO: it'll free up some stabilization NATO soldiers to go after the drug trade. some of the forces, the British and U.S. in the south where the heroine crops are booming, have said the heroine trade finances the Taliban insurgency for about $100 million dollars in NATO. Some other countries in NATO are reluctant to get involved in anti-drug efforts and want to focus on counterinsurgency and nation rebuilding. So it'll primarily be just the U.S. and Britain in this effort. (Afghanistan's Defense Minister asked NATO to help in counter drug operations, so what does that indicate to you?) Afghan officials have long been worried about drug corruption. The Afghan police were responsible for counter drug operations and they're about the least trusted institution in the country. (Will the NATO plan work? How will the plan affect the regular Afghan farmer?) The price of wheat is right now competitive with heroine and there's so much heroine produced so that price has gone down. Many NATO member countries are worried killing this crop, which Afghans are so reliant on, will cause a backlash from Afghan farmers. the Americans and Brits have said this is funding the insurgency and if these drug crops can be hit, it'll help defeat the Taliban insurgency.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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