So much has been heard the past 20 years re Afghanistan. Especially the past few weeks.
Little reference to the poppy fields, however. Think hard how many times in the past few weeks you have heard or read about them and their significance.
Seasonal planting begins in a few weeks. Grown will be a white/pink resplendent flower. From whence opium will be produced. Heroin the derivative.
This crop will be the first grown in 20 years without interference from the U.S. and coalition forces.
The Taliban has exploited the poppy crop over the years to fund its insurgency. The Taliban now needs the poppy fields even more. One of the few dependable sources of income available to them.
One hundred twenty thousand Afghans earn their livelihood from planting and working the poppy fields.
The new Taliban government is not going to put them out of work. Accept not what the Taliban is presently saying. They lie when they claim they want no part of the drug trade. Their survival depends on it.
The war lords own the poppy fields. Farmers operate them for the war lords. Workers are locals who reliably year after year work the fields, processing the seeds, and operating the drug laboratories.
When in the recent years or ever in 20 years have you heard of a poppy field being bombed, workers killed by U.S and coalition forces, the labs destroyed. Rarely. Washington supplied fanfare funds occasionally for the military to wipe out the fields. Such action made it look like the U.S. saw the evil involved and were committed to its destruction.
I doubt such was the case. The reasoning for the additional monies to be spent in Afghanistan I suspect was as a cover up by non identifiable sources of the profitable drug trade. Such made it appear the U.S was doing the right thing.
A joke. Those allocating the money may not have known. However there had to be those inside and outside of government who benefited.
Private funds flowed freely into Afghanistan to support the pinnings of the drug trade.
The drug trade that now will totally be in control of the Taliban. Eighty percent of the heroin trade worldwide begins in Afghanistan.
Fifty percent of all U.S. drug deaths in 2019 were the result of Afghanistan heroin produced and supplied. Afghanistan was responsible for 70 percent of heroin related deaths worldwide. Ninety percent of the heroin sold on the streets of the U.S. is Afghanistan originated.
The Taliban cannot do without the income produced by the opium and heroin. It will be the Taliban’s primary source of income for the next few years. The Taliban’s need for cash flow is and will be so great it will not be able to turn its back on the drug income.
China is waiting to move into Afghanistan. I suspect as a partner, not a conqueror, in certain areas.
Afghanistan sits on a gold mine. Literally. China wants to develop and share the income certain minerals and metals will supply.
Lithium is first. Afghanistan has much. It is used in battery technology.
Gold, platinum, silver, cooper, iron, aluminum, and uranium are also available in Afghanistan soils.
China recognizes the money to legitimately be made. Makes me wonder why the U.S. did not. The mineral and metal wealth to be had legitimately is in the trillions in comparison to the billions produced illegally by the poppy fields.
Saudi Arabia has been known for its oil wealth. In 2010, a U.S. Department of Defense memo recognized certain mineral wealth available in Afghanistan with this comment: Afghanistan could one day be known as the “Saudi Arabia of lithium.”
Enjoy your day!