The Obama Administration’s plan to fight the Taliban by fighting their drug production appears to be a practice in futility. Obama points at the poppy plant and its use for opium trade as the major resource for the Taliban’s cash flow. To address this, he has redirected a portion of the military effort to focus solely on the drug trade in Afghanistan.
Although this seems like a noble cause, it actually takes away from the more imminent threats in and around Afghanistan. Recent government statistics suggest that the Taliban receives at least as much from foreign donors as it does from opium sales. Close to 75% of its funding comes from legitimate business enterprises secretly owned by the group and from donations from foreign charitable foundations and individuals.
We need to focus our forces on the far graver problems occurring in and around Afghanistan. We need to discover the foundations and individuals aiding this terrorist group. We need to find out what businesses the Taliban owns and how they retrieve funds from them.
We cannot afford to waste resources on campaigns that will not directly help us win this war. It will be essential to take hold of the drug trafficking problem in Afghanistan once the war is over. Until then, let’s focus on discovering terrorists networks, protecting our American soldiers, and defeating the Taliban.