The effort to win over Afghans on former Taliban turf in Marja has put American and NATO commanders in the unusual position of arguing against opium eradication, pitting them against some Afghan officials who are pushing to destroy the harvest.
From Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal on down, the military’s position is clear: “U.S. forces no longer eradicate,” as one NATO official put it. Opium is the main livelihood of 60 to 70 percent of the farmers in Marja, which was seized from Taliban rebels in a major offensive last month. American Marines occupying the area are under orders to leave the farmers’ fields alone.
Translation: American and NATO commanders have not been put"... in the unusual position of arguing against opium eradication."
The control and distribution of Afghan drugs, from which so many profit so handsomely, was one of the expected outcomes of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.
And please note that before the US/NATO invasion and occupation, the Taliban had managed to almost completely eradicate opium poppy production.
Do you believe that it was merely coincidence that after the US and NATO invaded Afghanistan, opium production soared?!?
As reported in:
"The spread of opium has not been curtailed since the United States invaded Afghanistan. In fact, the spread of opium, which is typically processed into heroin, has actually increased since the United States invaded Afghanistan. “In 2004, according to the United Nations, opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose by two-thirds, climbing to 320,000 acres and producing a yield of 4,200 metric tons (a metric ton equals 2,205 pounds)” (Williams, 2005, p. 58)"
This exponential growth can hardly be attributed to "coincidence".
And when the drug trade is controlled, where the drugs wind up is also controlled.
In fact, that part of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is working so magnificently well that, as reported on 12 March 2010 in:
"Russia's envoy to NATO has sharply criticized the alliance's shift away from fighting drug trafficking in Afghanistan, saying the resulting surge in heroin smuggling is endangering Russia's national security."
"(Russia) is losing 30,000 lives a year to the Afghan drug trade, and a million people are addicts," Rogozin said. "This is an undeclared war against our country."
Rogozin is absolutely correct in his assessment.