The Plank

Afghan Minister: Nothing To See Here!


Afghanistan's counternarcotics minister says his country's drug policy is "perfect."

Khodaidad said Sunday that Afghanistan has achieved "a lot of success"
with its anti-drug strategy — which relies heavily on manual
eradication of opium poppy fields.

The U.S. on Saturday announced
it would no longer support efforts to eradicate poppy plants — branding
such efforts as a "waste of money."

Khodaidad, who goes by one
name, also said the Afghan government is waiting to see the new U.S.
strategy and that officials would work with their American counterparts
on it.

Still he says there is no "deficiency" in the Afghan strategy.

Or maybe not so much:

"Eradication is a waste of money," [Richard] Holbrooke
said [last week].... "It might destroy some acreage, but it didn't reduce the amount of
money the Taliban got by one dollar. It just helped the Taliban. So
we're going to phase out eradication," he said. 

Eradication efforts were seen as inefficient
because too little was being destroyed at too high a cost, United
Nations drug chief Antonio Maria Costa said.

You can see why the Afghan government leaves something to be desired.

--Michael Crowley

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