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The Wars on Drugs and Terrorism Meet in Afghanistan

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The U.S. government’s wars on drugs and terrorism are now coming together in Afghanistan, a nation famous for the production of opium. Prior to the Taliban regime, Afghanistan had been the world’s largest producer of poppies. But under the Taliban regime, the Afghan government waged a war on drugs as fiercely as the U.S. government does, and opium production in Afghanistan plummeted.

Since the newly installed Afghan government took over, however, poppy production has once again soared, much to the chagrin of U.S. officials. Of course, one primary reason production has soared is because of the enormous black-market price of opium arising from the U.S. government’s war on drugs.

So, what are U.S. officials doing to solve the problem? No, they’re not installing Taliban officials in the Afghan Drug Enforcement Administration. You guessed it—they’re throwing U.S. tax money at it! (Isn’t that the way the feds handle all problems?)

Under this newest drug-war plan, the U.S. government will funnel American taxpayer monies to Afghan government officials (who of course will not pocket any of it), who in turn will pay Afghan farmers $500 per acre to destroy their crops. What happens if the farmers refuse? The farmers get their crops destroyed anyway. (Talk about an offer they can’t refuse!) Ashraf Ghani, a senior advisor in the Afghan government, was quite direct: “State power is based on the legitimate use of force. We hope it doesn’t reach that point.” Yes, but isn’t the problem that government officials of all stripes think that ALL use of force by the state is legitimate as a matter of definition?

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    Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.