The Afghan Poppy Problem

Prior to the US invasion of Afghanistan, anyone with even a glimmering of understanding of the nation understood the importance of poppy to the average farmer. A recent letter to the Stars& Stripes contained the argument for burning poppy fields. In response, Sgt. 1st Class Danielle Belliveau stated what President Bush should have understood six years ago: “the problem lies in there not being enough troops here, U.S. or coalition. The country is just too vast (and troops) simply are not available to eradicate the poppy problem.”

Critics told Bush at the beginning that Afghanistan was a large nation and it would require extensive troops to pacify the region. Instead of focusing on Afghanistan, President Bush made his ill-advised decision to invade Iraq. We are now living with the legacy of his mistakes– drug production is soaring in Afghanistan and violence is soaring in Iraq.