I listened to a USA independent radio program this a.m., they talked about the report, that USA military activity in Afghanistan, is officially declared to be over.. but they are leaving about 11,000 soldiers there (in a training & admin. role). The other thing that the report stated, was that 2014 has seen the biggest Opium poppy crop in recorded history in that country !
They talked about the fact that the Taliban, actually banned poppy cultivation in the early years of the war (unIslamic), but the USA & allies intervention has seen a boom in the poppy crop. The report said that when USA first entered Afghanistan the only area where it was still grown was in the north (controlled by the ‘Northern Alliance’) this is the group that USA went into coalition with. USA Govt. claim they ARE waging ‘war on drugs’ but I don’t see it in Afghanistan (in fact the opposite). The allegations are that the majority of the crop & its profits were/are controlled by the Afghan power brokers !! (the president & his cronies). They even mentioned a person (in the Govt.) who was sentenced to 15 years for opium dealing. He only served about 9 months & then was granted parole (for good behaviour) & escaped across the border to Pakistan (never to be seen again).
There was a time, when Afghanistan was also a centre for Hashish production, BUT this appears to be overtaken by Opium/Heroin production. The reporter said he interviewed a poppy grower, who had a ‘ball of raw opium’ the size of a basketball (worth $US600 on the local market) BUT once turned into Heroin & sold in gram bags (on the streets of USA & other western nations), could make up to $100,000 !!!
The reporter also mentioned the broad allegations that the CIA & USA military were involved in moving the drugs from Afghanistan to USA (?)