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Profits and Poppy: Afghanistan’s Illegal Drug Trade a Boon for the Taliban

The United States spent more than $8 billion over 15 years on efforts to deprive the Taliban of their profits from Afghanistan’s opium and heroin trade, from poppy eradication to airstrikes and raids on suspected labs. That strategy failed.

As the United States wraps up its longest war, Afghanistan remains the world’s biggest illicit opiate supplier and looks certain to remain so as the Taliban is on the brink of taking power in Kabul, said current and former U.S. and U.N. officials and experts.

Widespread destruction during the war, millions uprooted from their homes, foreign aid cuts, and losses of local spending by departed U.S.-led foreign troops are fueling an economic and humanitarian crisis that is likely to leave many destitute Afghans dependent on the narcotics trade for survival.

Read the full story at Reuters

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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