Holbrookespeak, you listen!

This sounds a lot like sense to me. Richard Holbrooke thinks destroying Afghans’ poppy crop is stupid:

“It hasn’t hurt the Taleban one iota,” he said, “because whatever money they’re getting from the drugs trade, they get whatever they need whether we reduce the acreage or not.”

The US said last month that poppy cultivation had been reduced by 19% last year. Despite the drop, the UN estimates that Afghanistan accounts for 90% of the world’s illicit heroin supply.

“The United States alone is spending over $800m a year on counter-narcotics. We have gotten nothing out of it, nothing,” he said. “It is the most wasteful and ineffective programme I have seen in 40 years.” Mr Holbrooke said much of the money should be redirected to helping Afghanistan’s farmers.

He spoke of a “very significantly expanded agricultural sector job-creation set of programmes – irrigation, farmer to market roads, market places, seed.”

The most wasteful and ineffective programme of his career; and he went to Vietnam.


  1. Yes, the reason why we should not try to destroy illegal drug crops is because it will make the Taliban moderately rich instead of obscenely rich. Brilliant… the alternative crop program hasn’t worked because the farmers know where the money is. Yes, we need to offer the carrot, but we cannot and should not withhold the stick – and the stick hasn’t been used effectively at all.

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