The recent deaths of soldiers have awakened another in the British public as to the relevance of the army in Afghanistan. And no wonder! The reasons for our presence have never been made clear apart from maintaining the “special relationship” with the USA, no matter what the current regime says or does.
One thing it’s NOT about is cutting down the supply of drugs to the addicts in the West, despite the confusion that some people have on that point.
This website, https://www.unodc.org/, the “United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime”, seem to know a thing or two. Let’s see what they have to offer.
This link to their pdf documentation (stored locally by me, originally at https://www.unodc.org/pdf/research/wdr07/WDR_2007_1.2_opium_heroin.pdf, contains several graphs, one I’ve reproduced below. It warrants careful study.
Examine the dark green data. This is Afghanistan’s output. You’ll notice that when the Taliban started implementing their horrible Muslim laws such as curtailing women’s freedoms and chopping hands off, production drastically dropped. This was just after they blew up the big stone cliff Buddha statues.
Now since the British have been there, opium production has accelerated, recently, a lot more than this chart shows, as it only goes up to 2006.
So despite all their horrible laws and oppression, the Taliban’s stated aims of making the highways secure and creating an atmosphere where people (i.e. men) could trade freely, actually decimated opium production.
In contrast, the West’s intervention, notionally for democracy and to stop opium production, has done nothing of the sort.
Heroin, (apparently), is now cheaper than ever, so maybe that’s the reason the British are in Afghanistan – driving down prices like in PC World.
Dick Cheney is richer, so maybe that’s why the British are in Afghanistan – charity for poor Americans.
People still die needlessly, so maybe that’s why the British are in Afghanistan – population control.
One thing they’re not there for is to stop opium production, or if they are, they’re crap at it.