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Dec9-06, 08:44 PM
P: 46
Quote Quote by Astronuc
Just another failure by the Bush administration.
I don't mean to come across as a cynic, but you omitted some very important information.

Here's what you didn't quote:
Any disruption of the drug trade has enormous implications for Afghanistan's economic and political stability. Although its relative strength in the overall economy has diminished as other sectors have expanded in recent years, narcotics is a $2.6 billion-a-year industry that this year provided more than a third of the country's gross domestic product. Farmers who cultivate opium poppies receive only a small percentage of the profits, but U.S. officials estimate the crop provides up to 12 times as much income per acre as conventional farming, and there is violent local resistance to eradication.

"It's almost the devil's own problem," CIA Director Michael V. Hayden told Congress last month. "Right now the issue is stability. . . . Going in there in itself and attacking the drug trade actually feeds the instability that you want to overcome."

"Attacking the problem directly in terms of the drug trade . . . would undermine the attempt to gain popular support in the region," agreed Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. "There's a real conflict, I think."
You painted a picture of an Afghanistan where a resurgent opium trade somehow demonstrates a failure of the Bush administration. Within the same article you quoted, however, is information (above) that suggests the opium trade is the lesser of two evils. You also said that the funneling of drug money to al Qaida and the Taliban "raises questions" about the War on Terror. Again, there is a sentence from the same article that contradicts alarmist rhetoric about the Taliban:
Although the drug trade is believed to provide some financing to the Taliban, most experts believe it is largely an organized criminal enterprise.