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PEPE ESCOBAR – Afghanistan; It’s the Heroin, Stupid

Here we go again. In yet another Pentagon precision strike, a residential building in Achin district of Nangarhar province was hit as a crowd welcomed home a tribal leader returning from the Hajj. At least 13 civilians were turned into «collateral damage». The Pentagon of course does not «discuss the details of counter-terror operations», but it’s «currently reviewing all materials …

Fallout from Reagan’s Afghan War By Paul R. Pillar

In a blast from the past in Afghanistan, a warlord who became a model for combining ruthless ambition and destructive methods with radical ideology, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, has advised his followers to support the so-called Islamic State or ISIS in fighting against the Afghan Taliban. While some in the West might see this as one more indication of ISIS spreading its tentacles with …

Islamic State: why so resilient? – PAUL ROGERS

Ten years after the attacks in London on 7 July 2005 (7/7) and nearly fourteen years after those in New York on 11 September 2001 (9/11) which provoked the “war on terror”, there is no end in sight to this long conflict. Today, the proto-caliphate of Islamic State – the latest manifestation of the al-Qaida idea – has done more than just …

Afghan farmers work on a poppy field in the Grishk district of Helmand province in this April 18, 2009 file photo. Once known as the bread basket of Afghanistan, the lush green irrigated fields of Helmand are the world's single largest source of opium.

Afghan Mission accomplished: more heroin for the world

The Guardian reports statistics on opium agriculture in Afghanistan (“Former Blackwater gets rich as Afghan drug production hits record high”): “…the US counternarcotics mission in Afghanistan stands out: opiate production has climbed steadily over recent years to reach record-high levels last year.” “Far from eradicating the deep-rooted opiate trade, US counternarcotics efforts have proven useless, according to a series of …