This week, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported that opium production in Afghanistan rose by 43 percent in 2016.
Afghanistan’s soaring drug production is occurring not in spite of our best efforts but because of them.
The report is disturbing on many levels. But it is especially disturbing considering the billions of dollars the U.S. government has thrown into Afghanistan attempting to eliminate poppy production. Since 2002, the U.S. has spent a staggering $12 billion trying to eliminate opium production in Afghanistan, a number four times the size of the entire economy in 2002.