The United States announced a new drug policy Saturday for opium-rich Afghanistan, saying it was phasing out funding for eradication efforts and using the money for drug interdiction and alternate crop programs instead.The previous policy was always short-sighted and more or less put our stupid war on drugs before the war in Afghanistan. It didn't reduce significantly the cash flow to the Taliban and just gave Afghans another reason to hate the U.S. for destroying their livelihoods.
The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, told The Associated Press that eradication programs weren't working and were only driving farmers into the hands of the Taliban.
"Eradication is a waste of money," Holbrooke said on the sidelines of a Group of Eight foreign ministers' meeting on Afghanistan, where he said it had been warmly received, particularly by the United Nations.
Maybe along with an increased force and a real policy to reduce civilian casualties, we might actually salvage our efforts there.