Richard Holbrooke, a special representative sent by President Obama to survey the situation in Afghanistan has come to a conclusion sensible people have been saying for years — the current American eradication of heroin program is a bust. The United States has been spending about $800 million each year on counter narcotics, but according to Holbrooke, “we’ve got nothing out of it. Nothing. It’s the most wasteful and ineffective program I have seen in 40 years in and out of government.” Gee, is this a surprise, given that many have urged abandonment of the effort and rethinking of our anti-drug laws. He concludes that all the anti-heroin program does is get people angry at the United States, “and by forced eradication we’ve all been pushing farmers into Taliban hands.”
How about a more sensible program and this will not require extensive study or spending any money on consultants? The United States government should purchase the entire Afghanistan poppy crop, this will please farmers, and take money out of the hands of the Taliban. Of course, it is time to rethink the entire American approach to prohibition of drugs, but that would require a brave leader who is willing to tell Americans the truth– our anti-drug program has done more to spread crime than any prior program in human history.