Taliban raise poppy production to a record again
By David Rohde, New York Times, August 26, 2007
Afghanistan produced record levels of opium in 2007 for the second straight year, led by a staggering 45 percent increase in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand Province, according to a new United Nations survey to be released Monday.
The report is likely to touch off renewed debate about the United States’ $600 million counternarcotics program in Afghanistan, which has been hampered by security challenges and endemic corruption within the Afghan government.
“I think it is safe to say that we should be looking for a new strategy,” said William B. Wood, the American ambassador to Afghanistan, commenting on the report’s overall findings. “And I think that we are finding one.” [complete article]