RealNews

Military urged to hit Afghan drug traffic

A leading Republican in the House of Representatives is calling on the U.S. military to play a greater role in combating drug trafficking in Afghanistan. Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., warns that the alternative could be the deterioration of the country, which already produces 70% of the world’s opium, into a “narco-terrorist state.” Hyde intends to read a statement today before taking testimony on the issue at the House International Relations Committee, which he chairs. He will call on the Pentagon to treat opium labs and storage areas in Afghanistan as “legitimate military targets and to utilize (the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s) narcotics-related intelligence to locate other such targets.” Hyde says the military’s role should be limited to going after traffickers. A full eradication program targeting opium growers would be the work of the Afghan government, he says, and probably would not be effective until that regime can extend its control beyond the Afghan capital, Kabul. Full Story

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