Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Afghanistan’s Opium Business Boomed Under US Occupation

By Matthew Gault, Vice

The Taliban banned production of the poppy in 2000. After twenty years of war, Afghanistan is now responsible for 82% of the world’s opium supply.

Before the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, around 82,000 hectares of Afghanistan cultivated poppy, the plant that produces opium which can be turned into heroin and other opiates. United Nations and U.S. estimates put the current poppy crop at around 224,000 hectares. According to the UN, that number is up 37 percent from 2019. The U.S. spent $8 billion trying to eradicate the plant in Afghanistan only to watch as it became the most profitable crop the country produced. Afghanistan now produces 82 percent of the world’s supply, according to the UN.


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