Opium and the Insurgency

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released a new report warning of another huge opium harvest in Afghanistan this year. This from the New York Times

Afghanistan will produce another enormous opium poppy crop this year, close to last year’s record harvest, and Europe and other regions should brace themselves for the expected influx of heroin, the United Nations warned in its annual winter survey of poppy planting patterns.

Cultivation is still increasing in the insurgency-hit south and west of the country, the report said, and taxes on the crop have become a major source of revenue for the Taliban insurgency.

“This is a windfall for antigovernment forces, further evidence of the dangerous link between opium and insurgency,” Antonio Maria Costa, the executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, wrote in the report’s preface.

Full report here.