Admiral: Anti-drug effort in Afghanistan a failure

Agence France-Presse

05/21/09

NATO has failed to stem the vast opium trade in Afghanistan that helps finance Taliban insurgents despite an eight-year effort, the top US military officer said on Thursday. Countering narcotics networks is crucial to weakening the Taliban and allied insurgent groups, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate hearing. ‘Strategically my view is it has to be eliminated,’ Mullen said. ‘We have had almost no success in the last seven or eight years doing that, including this year’s efforts,’ he said. Afghanistan produces 90 percent of the world’s opium, the raw material for heroin across Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East while cash from the trade helps insurgents buy weapons, according to officials...

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Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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