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 recent official inquiries. Other aspects of the billions that the US has poured into Afghanistan over the last 13 years of war have even contributed to the opium boom.”
“In December, the United Nations reported a 60% growth in Afghan land used for opium poppy cultivation since 2011, up to 209,000 hectares…”
“…the [UN] inspector general also noted that US reconstruction projects, particularly those devoted to ‘improved irrigation, roads, and agricultural assistance’ were probably leading to the explosion in opium cultivation.
“'[A]ffordable deep-well technology turned 200,000 hectares of desert in southwestern Afghanistan into arable land over the past decade,’ the inspector general found, concluding that ‘much of this newly arable land is dedicated to opium cultivation.’”
Who’s kidding who?
In Colombia, the US government proved it could eradicate coca and opium-poppy growing fields. One of the solutions was an herbicide called Roundup. You may have heard of it.
But in Afghanistan, the US just didn’t remember that. It skipped their mind. Oops.