Assessment: Additionally, the Biden administration’s failure to evacuate skilled Afghan soldiers who worked for the country’s former fighting force has likely led to them joining the ISIS terrorist group, according to the SIGAR report …
Afghanistan’s opium production skyrocketed in 2021, potentially providing the Taliban government a source of revenue between $1.8 billion and $2.7 billion, according to a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
The war-torn nation’s illegal opiate production in 2021 ranked as the third-highest recorded since the United Nations began reporting it in 1994. It comprised between 9 and 14 percent of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product and exceeded the value of all of the country’s officially recorded legal exports in 2020.
The surge in opium production comes as the U.S. government allocates millions to combat the spread of illicit drugs in the country, according to SIGAR’s latest report, released on Wednesday.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15
While the Taliban has vowed to combat opium production—even though it could serve a lucrative source of revenue for the terrorist regime—SIGAR says it “has seen no evidence that the Taliban are enforcing or can enforce such a ban. On the contrary, the opium trade in Afghanistan appears to be flourishing.”
In fact, opium dealers, who once operated in the shadows while the U.S.-backed former government was in power, are now selling their drugs from “stalls in village markets,” according to SIGAR’s report. “Opium poppy farmers, a key constituency for the Taliban, are likely to resist a ban,” the watchdog said.
The report quoted one opium seller as saying that the Taliban have “achieved what they have thanks to opium. None of us will let them ban opium unless the international community helps the Afghan people.”
The Biden administration, meanwhile, has renewed its efforts to inject millions of dollars in U.S. aid into the country without formal ties with the Taliban or officially recognizing its rule.
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