Opium cultivation has surged since the ouster of the Taliban in late 2001. The former regime enforced an effective ban on poppy growing by threatening to jail farmers -- virtually eradicating the crop in 2000.Great. What a mess we've made.
But Afghan and Western counternarcotics officials say Taliban-led militants are now implicated in the drug trade, encouraging poppy cultivation and using the proceeds to help fund their insurgency.
Aug 16, 2006
The Reverse Midas Touch
So, opium cultivation in Afghanistan is up by record levels, according to this AP article.