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Oct. 22, 2014

Poppy Industry Grows Back in Afghanistan

The American government gave the Afghani government $7.6 billion to squelch the poppy industry in the land because poppies are used to create opium and heroin. For a time, it worked, but now, like the War on Drugs in America, the crusade over there has taken a turn for the worse. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) wrote in a report, “After a decade of reconstruction and over $7 billion in counternarcotics efforts, poppy cultivation levels are at an all-time high.” (Pun not intended?) The report continued, “Due to relatively high opium prices and the rise of an inexpensive, skilled, and mobile labor force, much of this newly-arable land is dedicated to opium cultivation. Poppy-growing provinces that were once declared ‘poppy free’ have seen a resurgence in cultivation.” There is some dark irony here involving a poem about poppies written by John McCrae, but we haven’t found it yet. More…

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