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Last modified Saturday, September 2, 2006 7:50 PM PDT
At the same news conference, the Afghan counternarcotics minister, Habibullah Qaderi, said the government had the will to make arrests, but lacked the capacity to gather evidence to prosecute "the big fish."
In an indication of the alarming extent of official complicity in the trade, a Western counternarcotics official said about 25,000 to 30,000 acres of government land in Helmand was used to cultivate opium poppies this year.
The official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said police and government officials are involved in cultivating poppies, providing protection for growers or taking bribes to ensure the crops aren't destroyed.
Originally posted by xpert11
Its a diffcult situation to say the least the amount of Opium being grown wont fall untill the security improves and the profits from the Opium aid the insurgency. In about 15 years time the security situation may have improved and we may see the likes of roads and other means of transport appearing on a wider scale.
The likes of Roads would allow people to grow other crops and deliver them to a market. Once there is a market in the form of demand and a sales point it may become more profiable to grow other crops.
25,000 to 30,000 acres of government land
NATO's top commander, Gen. James L. Jones, on Thursday called for allied nations to send reinforcements to southern Afghanistan, saying the coming weeks could be decisive in the fight against the Taliban.
Jones will meet top generals from the 26 NATO nations Friday and Saturday in Warsaw, Poland, in an attempt to generate hundreds of troops, with planes and helicopters needed for the mission.
"We have to give the commander additional insurance in terms of some forces that can be there, perhaps temporarily, to make sure that we can carry the moment," he said.
Originally posted by Icarus Rising
These are not "rogue elements" supporting the insurgency and "protected by the Taliban." That is straight up propaganda, and anybody who is paying attention should be able to see that.