Britain's drug policy in Afghanistan's Helmand province lay in tatters yesterday as the UN declared a "frightening" explosion in opium production across the country, led by Taliban-backed farmers in the volatile south. Opium production soared by 34% to 8,200 tonnes, accounting for 93% of world supply and most of the heroin sold in Britain and Europe, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported.
The record crop was fuelled by Helmand, where, despite the deployment of 7,000 British soldiers and millions of pounds in development spending, opium cultivation surged by 48%.
The sprawling and violent province is now the world's single largest source of illegal drugs - greater than coca from Colombia, cannabis from Morocco or heroin from Burma, countries with populations up to 20 times greater.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Business is Booming in Afghanistan. The Opium Business.
A recent article in the Guardian that I didn't have time to link: