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Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?

By THOMAS SCHWEICH, The New York Times
On March 1, 2006, I met Hamid Karzai for the first time. It was a clear, crisp day in Kabul. The Afghan president joined President and Mrs. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ambassador Ronald Neumann to dedicate the new United States Embassy. He thanked the American people for all they had done for Afghanistan. I was a senior counternarcotics official recently arrived in a country that supplied 90 percent of the world’s heroin. I took to heart Karzai’s strong statements against the Afghan drug trade. That was my first mistake.
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Taleban's '$100m opium takings'

By Kate Clark, BBC News
The Taleban made an estimated $100m (£50m) in 2007 from Afghan farmers growing poppy for the opium trade, the United Nations says.
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UN urges crackdown on Afghan officials in drugs trade

AFP - The United Nations called Wednesday on Afghan authorities to target corrupt senior officials involved in drug trafficking after a new report said heroin and opium production here hit record levels.
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US Afghan poppy drive a 'failure'

BBC News - A former US ambassador to the United Nations has criticised President George Bush's attempts to eradicate the opium poppy fields in Afghanistan. Richard Holbrooke has described the US policy as "spectacularly unsuccessful".
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Afghanistan cannabis crop up 40 percent

By RAHIM FAIEZ, Associated Press Writer
The fields of Balkh province in northern Afghanistan were free of opium poppies this year, a success touted often by Afghan and international officials. But one look at Mohammad Alam's fields uncovers an emerging drug problem.
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UN: Opium surge to hit Afghan neighbors

By AMIR SHAH, Associated Press Writer
A "tsunami" of opium will hit Afghanistan's neighbors if border security remains weak and officials fail to intercept the drug, whose profits fund terrorism, the U.N. anti-drug chief said Wednesday.
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Afghanistan urges foreign troops to join anti-opium drive

KABUL (AFP) — The Afghan government said it had asked international military forces based here to clear Taliban-led insurgents from opium-growing areas before Afghan troops move in to destroy poppy crops.
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British anti-drug effort a failure: Afghan official

Reuters - British efforts to combat opium production in southern Afghanistan have completely failed, Afghanistan's first vice-president said on Sunday, calling for tougher measures, including aerial spraying.
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Afghan leader urges world to boost anti-drug efforts

AFP - Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai accused the international community on Wednesday of failing to coordinate efforts to fight his war-torn country's spiralling production of opium.
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Report to show Afghan opium rise

By Alastair Leithead, BBC News
The amount of opium produced in Afghanistan has broken records again, official figures are due to reveal. Helmand province, where UK troops are based, is expected to be named as the world's largest drug-producing area, surpassing entire countries.
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Taliban Push Poppy Production to a Record Again

By DAVID ROHDE, The New York Times
Afghanistan produced record levels of opium in 2007 for the second straight year, led by a staggering 45 percent increase in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand Province, according to a new United Nations survey to be released Monday.
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Afghanistan poppy cultivation skyrockets

By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer
Afghanistan will produce another record poppy harvest this year that cements its status as the world's near-sole supplier of the heroin source, yet a furious debate over how to reverse the trend is stalling proposals to cut the crop, U.S. officials say.
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U.S.: Afghanistan to break opium record

By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer
Afghanistan's heroin-producing poppy crop set another record this season, despite intensified eradication efforts, the American ambassador said Tuesday.
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U.N.: Afghan opium production up

By VERONIKA OLEKSYN, Associated Press
Afghanistan produced dramatically more opium in 2006, increasing its yield by nearly 50 percent from a year earlier and pushing global opium production to a new record high, a U.N. report said Tuesday.
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US under fire over Afghan poppy plan

By Guy Dinmore and Rachel Morarjee, Financial Times
The US is proceeding with plans for a big crop-spraying programme to destroy opium poppies in Afghanistan, in spite of resistance from the government of President Hamid Karzai and objections from some senior US military officers who fear it will fuel the Taliban insurgency.
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