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The growing drug problem in Afghanistan is far more difficult to address than U. officials have acknowledged, as the opium economy is pervasive in much of the country. cooperation with warlords and militia commanders tied to trafficking has sent the wrong signal about the U. It is essential that the United States, the international community and the Afghan people implement an effective strategy to decrease and eventually eliminate Afghanistan's dependence on illegal opium production and trafficking.International efforts at drug control have been insufficient thus far, as have security and reconstruction assistance. This paper examines the historical context of Afghanistan's opium industry, its current nature, and the past missteps of the United States and the rest of the international community in addressing the narcotics threat.C.-based Center for American Progress and New York University's Center on International Cooperation (CIC), Barnett R. As President Bush's own special envoy and ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, recently admitted, "[r]ather than getting better, it's gotten worse.Rubin of CIC argues that "the booming opium industry jeopardizes not only Afghanistan, but also the United States, Europe, and the entire volatile region of Central Asia." Please see the full report at: Ruin Bush declared recently that "the people of Afghanistan are now free." While the president boasts, Afghanistan's opium industry, which fosters terrorism, violence, debt bondage, and organized crime, has expanded to the point that it could undermine the entire U. There is a potential for drugs overwhelming the institutions - a sort of a narco-state." While al-Qa'ida and the Taliban use drug money to finance their operations, Afghan warlords and militias fattening off of the drug sector create insecurity and block efforts by the national government to extend its authority.

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However, the longer reform is delayed, the more endemic they will become.

It also offers recommendations for a more effective counter-narcotics strategy based on three principles: counter-narcotics policy must be integrated with broader international efforts; increased security and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan remain essential; and countering the drug threat in Afghanistan will require a full and long-term commitment.

The Afghanistan Reconstruction Program (ARP) is a project of the Center on International Cooperation, an independent research institute established at New York University in 1996.

As the chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Rep.

Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), stated, "The drug lords are getting stronger faster than the Afghan authorities are being built up." Rubin, Director of Afghanistan Reconstruction Program at CIC, argues that though the opium industry provides livelihoods to many of Afghanistan's poor, an economy based on the production of illicit drugs can never foster real development. focus on crop eradication is dangerous and counter-productive, Rubin argues.Although largely concentrating on contemporary life, the book also discusses historical materials and Soviet influence on Tajik society. The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a bi-weekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Johns Hopkins University-SAIS.