Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Drugs Are Bad
Well, yes, they are, but it is not clear that blowing them up is the best approach during a counter-insurgency campaign. There are few good choices. For instance, the effort by Canada to renovate/rebuilt a key dam near Kandahar City will improve irrigation in the region and employ lots of locals in the process, BUT improved irrigation means that the yields of all crops will improve. That might mean more poppies in the short term. Since some of the opposition is funded by the drug trade and corruption is a big challenge to governance, the drug trade cannot be ignored. Attacking labs is a much better way to go than going after poppy fields and alienating farmers. Blowing up big stacks of poppies is good TV, but is it good COIN? I am not so sure.