US to Change Tactics in Afghan Drug War

By Jess Kilby,  Newser User
Posted Jun 27, 2009 5:29 AM CDT
An Afghan anti-drug policeman stands, right, as the drugs are seen burning during a drug-burning ceremony on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, April 26, 2009.    (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
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(Newser) – The US is changing tactics in its war against the Afghan opium trade, the AP reports. Rather than targeting crops for eradication, the US will focus on interdiction and alternative crop programs. A top administration official called eradication “a waste of money” that failed to divert “a single dollar” of the roughly $70 million militants made in the opium and heroin trade last year.

"The farmers are not our enemy, they're just growing a crop to make a living," said Richard Holbrook, the US envoy to Afghanistan. "It's the drug system. So the US policy was driving people into the hands of the Taliban."
(Read more Afghanistan stories.)