Afghanistan: March 27, 2003


 Farmers continue to grow poppies, despite this being banned by the government. Farmers can make about $6,000 per acre of poppies. Thus a government offer of $500 an acre of destroyed poppies did little good. The Taliban banned poppy growing for one year, and did it via the threat of force. This made the Taliban even more unpopular and played a role in the defeat of the Taliban in 2001.  The government is threatening to use force against the poppy farmers, but will need a larger army for that, and this won't be available for several years. Even then, it will be a major military operation, as several tribes are getting rich off the drug trade and will not give it up without a fight.

In the south, Operation Valiant Strike continues, with a ninth Taliban suspect being arrested. 


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