(The National Interest) -- A new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) confirms that the war on drugs in that country has been a failure, although few within the Obama administration are willing to admit it publicly. After more than a decade of reconstruction, and over $7 billion spent on counternarcotic operations, opium poppy cultivation reached an all-time high in 2013, surpassing its previous peak in 2007.
And, with the United States slated to reduce its presence in Afghanistan, the problem is likely to get worse. Special Inspector General John F. Sopko, in a cover letter to the report, predicts that, given the “deteriorating security in many parts of rural Afghanistan and low levels of eradication of poppy fields, further increases in cultivation are likely in 2014.”
The situation in Afghanistan should come as a surprise to no one. For more than a decade, Afghanistan has been the leading supplier of opium (the raw ingredient for heroin), displacing Myanmar (Burma) and other once-dominant source countries.
Advertisement - story continues below