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How the "economic fundamentals" of opium undermined U.S. strategy in Afghanistan

Aug 24, 2021
The U.S. spent billions trying to suppress Afghanistan’s illicit opium and heroin trade. It didn’t work.
A U.S. Marine sergeant patrols in an Afghan poppy field in 2011. With many farmers dependent on the opium trade, Jeffrey Clemens says, "the effort to win hearts and minds" was set back by the U.S. eradication program.
Bay Ismoyo/AFP via Getty Images

From taxes to the drug trade, how the Taliban paid its way

Aug 16, 2021
The Taliban has taxed everything from government projects to international trade.
An Afghan opium poppy farmer at work in 2011. While the Taliban receives income from taxing opium, most of its recent income has come from taxes on legal goods.
Bay Ismoyo/AFP via Getty Images

Afghanistan increases opium production

Jun 29, 2015
Taliban threatens farmers, who also grow the crop for their own economic survival.