Afghan Poppy is a Deadly Source of Taliban Funding, US and NATO Attempting to Stop Drug Trafficking
Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium poppies, about 93% is grown in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Helmand is mostly a lawless region; it has no form of government and has been over-taken by the Taliban insurgents, who headquarter there. In Afghanistan, the poppies are not considered flowers; rather they are called crops, crops used to make the narcotic drug heroin.
It is no coincidence that the Taliban controls much of southern Afghanistan, where the poppy crop is farmed. These poppy farms keep the Taliban in control by providing it with crop sales. The sales of
the poppy crop produce enormous profits which are used by the Taliban insurgents to fight US troops by its purchase of expensive and sophisticated weaponry. The money is also used by the Taliban to recruit new jihadists or holy warriors. The Taliban is said to have control over the poppy farms by substantially taxing the farmers and taking control of the distribution of the final product.
For years, the US has attempted to eradicate the poppy farms in Afghanistan. However, this plan has backfired for the US because attempting to stop harvest and production by the Afghan farmers was only causing the farmers to join the Taliban. Why do farmers opt to join the Taliban instead of discontinuing production of the crop? While some farmers say that Taliban militants force them to grow poppies under threat of death, other farmers say that they are proud to be supporting “jihad” against Americans.
The US, concerned about the rising risk of insurgencies and weaponry in Afghanistan, are also concerned about the trafficking of this highly addictive substance. Large quantities of heroin have been spread all around Europe from Afghanistan after at stop in Iran. The drug has become widely available due to the Taliban farming and distribution. The drugs Heroin and Opium, both from the poppy, are considered to be dangerous narcotics, according to the World Health Organization which is also studying ways to prevent health risks from these drugs.
The US has been trying a dangerous new tact, the U.S. and NATO forces are attempting to stop the trafficking and warehousing of the drug before it leaves southern Afghanistan. The mission is top secret, the details are not being revealed by the Pentagon. But this might be the only way to stop the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan and return it back to its people, according to a US Envoy in Afghanistan.
The poppy is widely used to make the drug heroin. However, the poppy has medical uses as well. It is used to make pain medicines such as morphine and codeine.
Poppies are a decorative flower that comes in many different colors. The seeds of the poppy are used for all sorts of culinary recipes. However, the drug is harvested from the milky latex sap of the mature seed bulbous capsule. When the pod is cut, the sap drips from the fresh cuts. Once the sap oxidizes in the air it turns black, the net result is the resin to make heroin.