RealNews

US weighs role in heroin war in Afghanistan

The burgeoning illegal opium trade in Afghanistan has become the biggest single threat to democracy, surpassing Al Qaeda and the Taliban and prompting US officials to consider military intervention against the traffickers, US and Afghan officials say.Even as the Bush administration hails Afghanistan as a major foreign policy success, the country’s soaring drug profits now equal about half of its gross national product and have become the principal source of funds for reconstruction, outpacing foreign aid. The drug trade also is fueling corruption at the highest levels of the government, involving army generals and other top officials who routinely work with the US military on antiterrorism operations, according to the officials. In Washington yesterday, the senior American ground commander in Afghanistan said the United States is considering expanding the role of the roughly 18,000 American troops in the country to help crack down on the skyrocketing drug economy.Full Story

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