Can Afghanistan's Counternarcotics Efforts Survive NATO Withdrawal?
DuPee, Matthew C.
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On June 26, at a gathering in Kabul marking World Counter Narcotics Day, the mood was somber. Gone was the positive spin of last year's event, when Afghanistan's minister of counternarcotics, Zarar Ahmad Moqbil, proudly announced that poppy cultivation had been reduced by up to 50 percent and that 23 out of 34 provinces were then free from poppy cultivation. Sadly, the significant decrease in opium production last year has since been attributed to a convergence of environmental and climatic variables (/articles/5577/afghanistans-poppy-blight-could-mean-trouble-for-war-effort) (/articles/5577/afghanistans-poppy-blight-couldmean- trouble-for-war-effort) that devastated the crops late in the season, not to effective counternarcotics measures. According to the United Nations, Afghanistan remains the world's largest producer of illicit opiates and cannabis resin, known as hashish.
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