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GHUNDY GHAR, Afghanistan – The gunfire and explosions echoing across this Taliban-infested district in southern Afghanistan on Friday signaled the end of the opium poppy harvest as militants again turned their attention from agriculture to attacking NATO and Afghan forces.
Building up resources is especially important for the Taliban this year as NATO is ramping up its latest military operation in Kandahar, the group's spiritual heartland. Military commanders have characterized the Kandahar mission as the make-or-break battle of the nearly 9-year-old war.
Karzai is going to Washington as the 30,000 U.S. reinforcements Obama dispatched to the war continue to stream into the country. About 4,500 have deployed, with another 18,000 due to arrive by late spring and the rest by early fall. The military buildup is aimed at routing the Taliban from their strongholds, especially in the south, and bolster security needed to start development projects and offer public services so Karzai's government can win the support of residents.
Thousands of U.S., NATO and Afghan forces just finished a major offensive to oust the Taliban from central Helmand province in the south. They now are ramping up pressure on the Taliban's birthplace of Kandahar province next door.
UNITED NATIONS, May 18— The first American narcotics experts to go to Afghanistan under Taliban rule have concluded that the movement's ban on opium-poppy cultivation appears to have wiped out the world's largest crop in less than a year, officials said today.
The American findings confirm earlier reports from the United Nations drug control program that Afghanistan, which supplied about three-quarters of the world's opium and most of the heroin reaching Europe, had ended poppy planting in one season.
The sudden turnaround by the Taliban, a move that left international drug experts stunned when reports of near-total eradication began to come in earlier this year, opens the way for American aid to the Afghan farmers who have stopped planting poppies.
''We will continue to look for ways to provide more assistance to the Afghans,'' he said in a statement, ''including those farmers who have felt the impact of the ban on poppy cultivation, a decision by the Taliban that we welcome.''
Originally posted by buni11687
Well, summer is pretty much here, opium harvest is pretty much over, and its looking like its going to be a pretty bloody summer in Afghanistan once again.
There is no winning situation for the USA. Kharzai is corrupt. The police force is a joke...
Originally posted by oozyism
reply to post by SLAYER69
You made a lot of predictions in different threads Slayer, and don't forget, one of them was, if I say by memory, that the offensive would succeed, but as we all see it failed..
Originally posted by azrael36
What's even more interesting is that under the reign of the taliban opium production was practically destroyed.