Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How to win the Afghan war to everyone's advantage - except drug lords

Trump declares that he will win the Afghan war. The Guardian describes that war as unwinnable and unlosable (Leader, 23rd August).  If the war is to continue indefinitely, then the world faces a miserable future, because the so-called War on Terror is one of the main drivers of Islamic terrorism.

However, there is a way of bringing the misery to an end. To win a war we need to win the hearts and minds of the people. We cannot do this while the most valuable crop they are growing is illegal. The economy of Afghanistan is now heavily dependent on opium, and at present the trade is run by the Taliban, who are sustained by its profits, and export it to feed addiction and crime in the West. The illicit opium trade is one factor in the endemic corruption that is holding the country back.

Meanwhile, about 6 million of Africans die of cancer each year, their agony unrelieved by morphine or heroin.

Five problems, one simple solution. Buy the opium crop from the Afghan farmers, medicalise it, and use it in Africa. Everyone benefits, except the Taliban and the drug barons.

When asked why this is not done, the stock reply from Government is "Some of the medical morphine might leak onto the drugs market".

So sad, as Trump would say.

(More on this)

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