Three times as much opium was produced in Helmand last year as when British troops went there in 2006, and a new UN forecast says that this year's crop will be even higher. Opium is the raw material for heroin, and most of the illegal drugs for sale on the UK's streets come from Afghanistan.
So, what did you do in the war daddy? Oh, I helped further the Afghan Opium Poppy Industry.....
Most of the worldwide production of illegal heroin, the drug refined from opium, comes from Afghanistan, and the then Prime Minister Tony Blair cited this as a reason for the war in 2001, calling the drugs trade a part of the Taliban regime that "we should seek to destroy".
The UK took a lead role in counter-narcotics from the beginning, and sent troops to Helmand in 2006 partly because this was the largest area of poppy cultivation.
nope, first to stabalise the country then repair and re -new infrastructure. the head bods knew that if we stopped the opium from growing all those farmers would go talib.
Didn't ever see any sign of alternative crops being suggested in any meaningful way , cant grow spuds at twice the effort and a quarter of the revenue if the locals eat rice and not spuds. Bit like the Kenyan ground nut scheme of the 1950's and 60's
Beat me to it. Interestingly I googled the quote so I could be accurate and it appears to be different to yours. The clip I saw backs your version. I wonder if its just poor reporting or did he say the same thing twice with different words.
Er, no. ISAF's mission in relations to counter-narcotics is limited to:
"provide support to the Afghan government and internationally-sanctioned counter-narcotics efforts through intelligence-sharing and the conduct of an efficient public information campaign, as well as support to the Afghan National Army Forces conducting counter-narcotics operations. ISAF, however, is not directly involved in the poppy eradication or destruction of processing facilities, or in taking military action against narcotic producers;"
Of course, common sense tells us all that we (the rest of the world) should actually be paying the Afghans to grow opium by buying up the crops and processing it into painkillers like, well, morphine/codeine/fentanyl/etc instead of trying to wipe out the only thing they know how to grow because it's "big scary drugs" whilst increasing production of opium in Australia and India (at high cost) to make some companies rich when there is a worldwide shortage of opiate painkillers.....
As I say, that would be common sense and that ain't allowed. Not when "big scary drugs" are involved.