War is Boring: Afghanistan Financial War Escalates

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The Taliban is running out of money. That was the conclusion some observers reached when the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reported last week that Afghanistan’s poppy crop is down nearly a quarter compared to last year. But other experts caution against declaring financial victory. If anything, the behind-the-scenes campaigns to dry up Taliban funding are only now catching up to the extremist group’s sophisticated financial operations. Poppies, the basic ingredient in opium, represent Afghanistan’s biggest export — albeit an illegal one. They “fund the activities of criminals, insurgents and terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere,” according to the UNODC […]

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