re posted from There Are No Sunglasses
American Resistance To Empire
“If there is no opium cultivation in Helmand, there will be no war”
Mohammad Gulab Mangal, who served as the governor of Helmand province between 2008 and 2012, talks about the anti-narcotic campaign and why it has proved a big disaster.
Q: According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), Afghanistan continues to be the top opium producer in the world and Helmand is the largest producer of opium in Afghanistan. Why has the anti-narcotic campaign failed to produce results in this country?
A:During my tenure as the governor of Helmand province between 2008 and 2012, with the help and assistance of international partners and the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics, the cultivation of drugs decreased significantly. However, since 2012, it has again witnessed an alarming surge.
Different strategies and approaches have been used in the fight against drugs in Afghanistan. In 2004-2005, in order to dissuade farmers from cultivating opium, the government and its international partners used to pay them money. However, that policy did not work as farmers started cultivating more opium to get more money from the government and its foreign donors.
The other approach involved the use of force against farmers, which again back-fired as farmers developed antagonistic feeling for the government. They were supported by armed insurgents and hence the drug production witnessed an alarming surge.
The massive production of drugs in Helmand is because of the suitable weather conditions and also it helps armed insurgents continue war against the government.
Q. How much money was spent on the anti-narcotic campaign in 2004-2005, which eventually proved a disaster? Do you think that gave impetus to the culture of corruption in Afghanistan?
A:The exact amount is not known to me as the money was paid directly to farmers by foreign donors. Also it was not my direct responsibility. Based on the information and reports I received that time,it was clear that the strategy of dissuading farmers by paying them money did not work. It only led to rampant corruption.
The forged documents were also provided in that process. For example, Ahmad cultivated opium on one acre of land but he mentioned 15 acres of land in documents, so he ended up receiving more money than he ought to receive. That strategy proved a major disaster.
continue reading HERE https://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/if-there-is-no-opium-cultivation-in-helmand-there-will-be-no-war/