New U.S. Counternarcotics Strategy for Afghanistan Leaves Critics Dissatisfied

On August 9, the Bush Administration issued its revised U.S. Counternarcotics Strategy for Afghanistan. The main innovation is the explicit use of enhanced “sticks and carrots” to change Afghans’ behavior. Protracted infighting within the administration in recent weeks about timing and tactics had twice delayed the new strategy’s publication. Despite the extra editing time, senior Democrats and Republicans in Congress called the revisions inadequate given the magnitude of the problem. Preliminary assessments of the data the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime plans to release next month indicate that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has increased by 15 percent during […]

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