Posted By LambChop
In case Americans have forgotten, the United States is still at war in Afghanistan today. Obama promised that 34,000 troops (about half of the number currently there ) will no longer remain in country in 2014. This draw down is based on his belief that the United States has “achieved its mission of dismantling the core of al Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11.” Obama’s surge has cost about $30 billion per year and has resulted in many unintended consequences: the expansion of Al-Qaeda franchises and a remarkable success for the opium trade.
According to the ISAF Report released over the summer:
While the ANSF are making real progress in security, the challenges faced by Afghans and the international community are primarily psychological and political. There is still widespread uncertainty amongst the Afghan people and in the region concerning the post-2014 environment. This uncertainty causes unhelpful hedging behavior. The overall perception of security is affected by the Taliban’s high profile attacks (HPAs), which is nothing more than a campaign of fear, murder and intimidation.
The Haqqani Network (HQN) remains active and seeks to support Taliban objectives by conducting HPAs in Kabul. Overall, AQ and HQN maintain only limited capacity to train, plan and project influence beyond their safe havens in the East.
Interestingly since the United States has been in Afghanistan “nation-building,” Afghanistan’s GDP grew by 66%. It seems that democracy in action works? This miraculous growth of GDP is based on ONE commodity - opium. Interestingly the export raw opium is a thing of the past in Afghanistan, and now the main export is chemically produced heroin (from the opium) which has been possible with the advent of new factories designed to produce heroin from the raw opium. The heroin is available for export to Russia and Europe.
From Pravda: Since the start of the U.S. counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan, the volume of drug production in the country has grown 2.5 times. For the time being, Afghanistan supplies 93 percent of opium poppy, which is used worldwide for the production of heroin.
Obama’s actions have destabilized the region and emboldened Al-Qaeda, ensuring that Iraq is an Iranian client and helping to promote an alliance between a stronger Pakistan and a weakened Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda has morphed into a more sophisticated syndicate while Afghanistan’s opium trade has progressed from that of a third world grower to a first class heroin exporter. Mission accomplished.