How long has the US been fighting the Taleban in Afghanistan? Don’t hurt yourself…..15+ years…..and by all reports it is not getting any better.
We have been fighting for a long time and our promise of destroying the opium production of the Taleban which is used to fund their ops has been a dismal failure…….
Opium production in Afghanistan rose by 43 per cent to 4,800 metric tons in 2016 compared with 2015 levels, according to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey figures released today by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the UNODC. The area under opium poppy cultivation also increased to 201,000 hectares (ha) in 2016, a rise of 10 per cent compared with 183,000 ha in 2015.
The higher production can be explained by the larger area under opium poppy cultivation, but the most important driver is the higher opium yield per hectare. The largest yield increase occurred in the Western region where the average yield grew by 37 per cent and the Southern region, with a 36 per cent rise. Since these two regions account for 84 per cent of the total opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, the yield increases in these regions had a strong impact on the national potential opium production.
That is not the only problem……the allies are losing territory at an alarming pace….whole provinces have been lost to the Taleban.
But what can the US and its allies do to end this?
Cambodia in the 1970’s comes to mind….well at least to my mind….and that is what is important…….
In Afghanistan, as in Cambodia, bombing has hardened and radicalized the insurgents. Dean hoped that including elements of Prime Minister Marshal Lon Nol’s government, as well as religious leaders, in a coalition government would countervail the power of the Khmer communists and force them to temper their extremist ideology. The Taliban are a rural insurgency and incorporating them into a coalition government would expose them to huge changes that have taken place in Afghanistan’s cities in the past 15 years.
America’s continuing failure in Afghanistan, as in Cambodia five decades earlier, remains “the refusal to find an alternative to military solutions.”
Sadly, a solution to our Afghanistan problem will not be on the table….for the winner of this election will just double down on the tactics used today……
There is an answer….but few want to pursue it.