18 October, 2006

Senlis and the opium trade.

The Senlis Council, an international think tank has said that the ISAF' s ambition to destroy Afghanistan's opium trade is harming the country's prospects for recovery. It would be better, Senlis argues, to buy up the poppy crop to help solve the world shortage of opium-based medicines. Senlis used to have an office in Kabul; not any more. Afgha.com reports that the Afhganistan government has kicked them out. According to the BBC,

Correspondents say there has been tension over a recent council report blaming the government for a failure to stop farmers growing poppies.
Senlis' idea is not without merit. For many Afghans the opium trade is all that stands between them and starvation. Offering a defence to poverty and destitution must be a powerful propaganda and recruiting argument for the Taliban. NATO governments do not appear to have addressed the question of what is to to replace the opium crop.

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