The Opium War
"It's bad news and we need to improve it," said Thomas Schweich, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for international narcotics. "But we don't feel it's a hopeless situation, and we don't think the overall strategy is the wrong strategy." He was describing a possible 40 percent increase this year in land under opium poppy cultivation, despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent in counternarcotics efforts in a country which produces more than 90% of the world's opium and heroin supply. Wikinews has an overview of the 2005 Afghan opium crop and highlights the tug of war between the Bush administration and the Karzai government over opium policy. It would be ironic if the US effectively recognizes a legal trade in narcotics abroad while fighting it at home.