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US shifts focus on Opium from Eradication to Interdiction

The multi-million dollar program instituted by the US toward eradicating the Afghan Opium crop has made nearly no dent in the crop expected to be harvested in the coming weeks. The program, instituted under the Bush Administration focused on reducing the supply of opium on the world market. Some experts believe that sales from this opium funds terrorism. However, Special Representative Richard Holbrooke feels that opium is at best a minor source of income for terrorism.

The Obama Administration made the decision to shift its focus from eradicating the opium crop to interrupting its distribution. The reason behind this shift in policy was the reasoning that destroying the Opium harvest was alienating Afghan farmers and pushing them into the hands of the Taliban. The current policy seeks to allow farmers to harvest, thus make money for their crop, and then interrupt the transport of the Opium afterward. Read more on this at the Washington Post.


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