American Samizdat

Tuesday, September 05, 2006. *
British and US efforts to decimate the opium industry in Afghanistan have "hijacked" nation-building attempts in the country, and are driving support for the Taliban, a report said today.

The highly critical study of the five years since the US-led invasion found that Afghans are starving to death despite international donor pledges and that the foreign military presence was "fuelling resentment and fear" among the local population.

The report, by the Senlis Council, an international policy thinktank, said that the US-led international community had "failed to achieve stability and security" in the war-torn country and that attacks were perpetuated on a daily basis.

"Prioritising military-based security, the United States' and United Kingdom's focus on counter terrorism initiatives and militaristic responses to Afghanistan's opium crisis has undermined the local and international development community's ability to respond to Afghanistan's many poverty-related challenges," the report said.

""By focusing aid funds away from development and poverty relief, failed counter-narcotics policies have hijacked the international community's nation-building efforts and undermined Afghanistan's democratically elected government. Poppy cultivation is a food survival strategy for millions of Afghans, and the United States' and the United Kingdom's poppy eradication policies are fuelling violence and insecurity."

[Article continues at link. Hooray for prohibition!]
posted by Trevor Blake at 10:01 AM
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