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Afghanistan is the world’s opium king. Can the Taliban afford to kill off their ‘un-Islamic’ cash cow?

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Markets > Afghanistan is the world’s opium king. Can the Taliban afford to kill off their ‘un-Islamic’ cash cow?

Opium cultivation has long been a source of income for rural communities across the country, a land besieged by decades of war. But for the United States, those same colorful scenes symbolized the enemy.

“When I see a poppy field, I see it turning into money and then into IEDs [improvised explosive devices], AKs [assault rifles], and RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades],” said Gen. Dan McNeill, commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

This narrative contributed to how the United States’ war on drugs was fought — and lost. Over 20 years, the US squandered nearly $9 billion on a counternarcotics policy that — perversely — helped to fill the Taliban’s pockets and, in some regions, fueled support for the insurgents.

Just two days after the fall of Kabul, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid pledged “full assurances to the world” that Afghanistan under Taliban rule would not be a…

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