Author Topic: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.  (Read 13580 times)

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Offline Sheep Dog AT

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To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« on: June 28, 2006, 13:07:56 »
http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/TopStories/ContentPosting.aspx?newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20060627%2fafghanistan_report_060628&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V2&showbyline=True

Futile American policies aimed at eradicating the opium poppy crop in southern Afghanistan are costing the lives of both locals and Canadian soldiers, a think-tank charged Wednesday.


CTV.ca News Staff
 
"Canadian troops have been handed an impossible mission which can only lead to significant casualties," says the report by the policy think-thank.

"Until Canada fundamentally re-evaluates its approach and creates its own new strategy for its presence in Kandahar, with a clear split from the failed US policies there, the Canadian mission in Afghanistan is blindly following a path that will lead to senseless military and civilian casualties."

The policy group criticized the efforts of the Canadian military, including the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar City to help rebuild the economy.

The report's author denounced American operations such as the poppy eradication campaign, saying they have made the situation worse by driving rural formers into extreme poverty, increasing local hostility and boosting support for the Taliban.

"The current approach of not only the afghan government but also the international forces, who have a supporting role in that, is to eradicate these poppies, which means you're taking away the livelihoods of the local population," Senlis Council spokesperson Jorrit Kamminga told CTV's Canada AM.

"And without the consent of the local population, you can never create stability. That's our main point of criticism," he said.

Opium poppies, which do not require irrigation in the drought-stricken region, are a cornerstone of the local economy.

The drug harvest brings in 10 times as much money as a crop of wheat.

Production of opium, which is the main ingredient for heroin, has soared since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001.

But the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released a report earlier this week indicating the area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan decreased for the first time since 2001.

Still, the UN watchdog pointed out that the war-torn country accounts for 89 per cent of the worldwide production of opium.

Though Canadian troops aren't actively involved in poppy eradication, the report says Afghan farmers see them as complicit in the American-backed campaign.

The policy group also accused the Canadian military of accidentally killing innocent civilians during security raids.

"The deaths of innocent Kandahar civilians at the hands of the Canadian military has come to symbolize to the local population Canadian indifference to the Afghan people and to symbolize the failing mission in southern Afghanistan," the policy group says.

The report's authors offered a list of recommendations aimed at making progress in Afghanistan:

Provide immediate financial aid for people living in extreme poverty.

Meet more regularly with community leaders to better grasp how international policies are affecting them.

Grant a grace period to allow farmers to continue cultivating poppies until alternative crops are developed.

Allow farmers to grow poppies for medicines such as morphine and codeine.

Balance use of military force with economic development projects.

The report was harshly received by military officials in Afghanistan.

"It is completely off. This report -- from what I've read -- tries to place the blame for the insurgency on those who are here to help Afghans instead of the insurgents," said Lt.-Col. Ian Hope, commander of the Patricia's battle group in Kandahar.

Hope called the report a subjective political document immersed in an anti-American sentiment.

"I think the people who wrote this report are jealous of the Canadian efforts here. It makes me angry because it trivializes the efforts of soldiers on the ground who are doing the right thing every day," he said.

Apparently infamous for his one liners.
Oh Giggity Well...........Giggity

Offline zipperhead_cop

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2006, 14:08:39 »
So what do we know about the Senlis Counsel?  I like the part about:


Lt. Col. Ian Hope, commander of the Princess Patricia's battle group in Kandahar, scoffed at the report.
He called it a subjective political document that is steeped in anti-Americanism and belittles the service of Canadian soldiers in the field.
Hope said that while there are some minor problems with the poppy eradication programs in Kandahar, the campaign is having anywhere near the negative impact set out in the report.
"I think the people who wrote this report are jealous of the Canadian efforts here. It makes me angry because it trivializes the efforts of soldiers on the ground who are doing the right thing every day," he said. 

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/28062006/2/world-u-s-policy-afghan-mission-costing-canadian-lives-think.html

Yeah, letting the opium drug lords continue business as usual until there is an elaborate irrigation system is a stellar idea.  How often can we predict that would be blown up after it was in place? 
Boy, the cry baby Lieberals just can't let it go, can they? 


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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2006, 15:04:22 »
I'm not the biggest Ian Hope fan -- but I agree with his comments on this one 110%

The "report" is a true piece of crap.

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Offline BulletMagnet

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2006, 15:15:16 »
You would think with a name like "Think Tank" they might put some real thought into what they write....

Seriously though they can espouse and lament all they want on what were doing wrong but until they grow a spine and start actually helping I think we can just ignore them.
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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2006, 15:39:13 »
Seriously though they can espouse and lament all they want on what were doing wrong but until they grow a spine and start actually helping I think we can just ignore them.

No, I don't think we can afford to just ignore them. That is precisely how they have come to be listened to by so many, because in the past we dismissed the wackos. There is a large segment of the population out there that will absorb their rhetoric as gospel, if there is NO alternate voice or the Waco's are not confronted. (want an example?   Look how many people still believe the Liberals were doing everything right!)
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Offline Wootan 9

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2006, 16:39:47 »
Hi all...I'm a new member but an old soldier currently deployed in Kabul.  Readers of the Senlis report should be aware that the organization is an advocacy group for the legalization of the poppy crop in Afghanistan.  Every single thing that they do, every article or paper that they write is directed to discrediting the Government of Afghanistan and the international effort to control poppy cultivation.  A member of my team and I have analysed some of their previous efforts and have found them to be universally slanted, biased and lacking in any research credibility. 

In recent months the Government in Kabul has threatened to expel them from the country simply because as an "NGO" they contribute nothing to making the lives of Afghans better.  Instead, they have a single tune to beat on their drum. That tune is opposed to Afghan national interests and the will of the international community as expressed in the UN Security Council "endorsed" AFGHANISTAN COMPACT.  The Compact is the deal between the international community and Afghanistan and it's fairly specific about the need to replace poppy with legitimate crops.  Senlis, of course, has its own agenda.  I'm amazed (but not surprised) that the media seems to have swallowed the report whole without even checking out Senlis' agenda!

Cheers

Offline devil39

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2006, 16:42:56 »
I am certain that the Btl Gp in Qandahar is doing the absolute best job possible under the circumstances.  Suggestions were made in interviews from Afghanistan that Senlis council personnel had not visited the BG AO.  I would suggest that the Senlis Council therefore is unlikely to be able to substantiate their comments with anything other than second hand observation at best and hearsay at worst.

The Senlis Council made a number of recommendations as posted above....

Quote
The report's authors offered a list of recommendations aimed at making progress in Afghanistan:

Provide immediate financial aid for people living in extreme poverty.

Meet more regularly with community leaders to better grasp how international policies are affecting them.

Grant a grace period to allow farmers to continue cultivating poppies until alternative crops are developed.

Allow farmers to grow poppies for medicines such as morphine and codeine.

Balance use of military force with economic development projects.

I personally find it difficult to disagree with these recommendations.  From my reading of progressive counterinsurgency theory and nation-building doctrine, the military component must be the smallest of the considerations to defeating insurgency.  Economic, rule of law, governmental, judicial, etc must all be considered and should have greater emphasis placed on them than on the military component.  Very little or no weight should be placed on body counts.  The military should create security, and a foreign military should operate in support of local militaries if at all possible.  That being said, if we expect to have the same security success that we achieved in Bosnia or Kosovo (?) we should likely have similar military/civilian ratios.  We are nowhere near those numbers in Afghanistan as we achieved in Bosnia or Kosovo.

I don't agree with the Senlis Council conclusions, but I can't disagree with the recommendations as stated above.  If the West wants to conduct opium eradication, then they should focus on the Western junkies sticking heroin in their veins and the high level organized criminal elements who process and traffic the opium... not the farmer.   

The West should be spending far more money than is currently being spent in Afghanistan.  Throw money at the problem, crank up the reconstruction effort, and expect that some of the money will be wasted.  Buy the opium from the farmer.  Initial estimates of cash required in 2002 were never met, and the international community was slow (as usual) in following through on their promises.  To paraphrase Wm S. Lind... Cash is the most important supporting arm of Fourth Generation Warfare.

Some random thoughts... I'm sure I will hear that all we have to do  "is kill them all and let God sort them out."  Thanks for that in advance.

Offline GAP

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2006, 17:00:55 »
PM dismisses critique of Afghanistan mission
Last Updated Wed, 28 Jun 2006 09:04:21 EDT
CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2006/06/28/afghanistan-canada.html
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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2006, 17:19:34 »
Quote
Harper dismissed the report Wednesday from the Paris-based Senlis Council

I think this just explained the whole direction their coming from. Paris based think tank is about on par with another oxymoron from there, French Resistance.

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What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline Genetk44

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2006, 17:24:31 »
I'm going to stick my 2 cents in here.....past history has shown that prohibition doesn't work and past history has shown that crop eradication doesn't work, as a matter of fact it only drives the farmers into deeper poverty and engenders hostility by the local population..and haveing the local Afghan population pi**ed-off at our troops would be a really really bad thing.....so i would have to say that i would prefer to see our troops stay as far away from the poppy eradication program as possible and stick to killing the bad guys and doing constructive humanitarian work.
Cheers
Gene

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2006, 17:33:49 »
Why eradicate it? Turn it into a legitimite crop. Cooperatives monitored and controlled, with the product being sold to the major international drug companies at set prices. Everyone wins. Security may be a pain, but certainly no worse than now. It must be happening somewhere right now for the current supply of morphine, etc. Follow and modify that example.
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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2006, 17:34:47 »
Since poppies are a secondary concern compared to Taliban and A-Q why not just buy the poppy crop from the farmers in the meantime and use it to make legal medicines? Obviously much cheaper than firepower and wins the hearts and minds. Alot of these bozos will defect for a little cash.

Damn beat me to it recce

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2006, 17:35:50 »
Why eradicate it? Turn it into a legitimite crop. Cooperatives monitored and controlled, with the product being sold to the major international drug companies at set prices. Everyone wins. Security may be a pain, but certainly no worse than now. It must be happening somewhere right now for the current supply of morphine, etc. Follow and modify that example.

Turkey did it 30 years ago, and is presently the major supplier of medical morphine
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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2006, 17:37:24 »
Alot of these bozos will defect for a little cash.

A lot of these 'bozos' are simply trying to survive and provide for their families. No need to demean them for that.
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2006, 17:48:53 »
Why bozo’s?
They grow the world’s most physically addictive drug for a living. They know what its for. The drug trade has been buying arms for militant Muslims in Afghanistan since the Russians. Back then they were so proud of it they would stamp their hashish FOA Freedom of Afghanistan. The probability that they are narcoterrorists is very high.

Offline Genetk44

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2006, 17:53:22 »
The farmers that do the growing are just that....farmers who are growing a crop so they can buy food,pay the rent,clothe their kids and pay their school fees....hardly narco-terrorists.

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2006, 17:55:02 »
You've obviously never been in a position where one US dollar is all you have to take care of your family for a week. Go ahead and blame the go betweens and end users, the farmer, while maybe not blameless, at least has an excuse. Try wrap your head around the situation before you beak off. I'd tell you to spend some time in their shoes, but they likely don't have any.
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2006, 19:50:45 »
How big a deal is Opium in Afghanistan ? I once read it's 50% of the national product. It's that true or it's highly exaggerated ? Anyone knows ?

Because if it's really big banning it is likely to cause problems. Especially if you can't provide any replacement.
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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2006, 19:56:09 »
It is a major crop (somewhere around 60-70% of GDP), but until you secure the area, identify and build the needs to provide an alternative, there is little you are going to accomplish by destroying this years crop....(see Marjuana grow ops in Canada, and WE HAVE ALTERNATIVES).  i don't know if you will ever totally eradicate it.
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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2006, 19:59:43 »
For anyone wanting to study the source material....

http://www.senliscouncil.net/modules/publications/013_publication

Canada in Kandahar: No Peace to Keep - A Case Study of the Military Coalitions in Southern Afghanistan

New Field Report
June 2006

Canadian troops and Afghan civilians are paying with their lives for Canada's adherence to the US government's failing military and counter-narcotics policies in Kandahar. The US-led counter-terrorist operations and militaristic poppy eradication strategies have triggered a new war with the Taliban and other insurgent groups, and are causing countless civilian deaths.

To a large extent, it can be said that Operation Enduring Freedom and the related militaristic counter-narcotics policies are significant contributors to the current state of war in Kandahar and the other southern provinces.

Canada and the international community continue to unquestioningly accept America's fundamentally flawed policy approach in southern Afghanistan, thereby jeopardising the success of military operations in the region and the stabilisation, reconstruction and development mission objectives.

A little more on who these guys are:
http://www.senliscouncil.net/modules/about_us
The Senlis Council is an international security and development policy think tank, established by The Network of European Foundations. One of the key projects of the Council is the Drug Policy Advisory Forum - a programme dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness of the current global drug policy. By convening politicians, high profile academics, independent experts and Non-Governmental Organisations, The Senlis Council aims to work as the dialogue partner with senior policy-makers at national and international levels in order to foster high-level exchanges and new ideas on bridging security and development.

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Offline ArmyRick

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2006, 20:03:37 »
If I wanted ridicolous opinions about the afghan mission I would hire a couple of circus clowns and ask them.

Maybe I should start a think tank about accounting.  What do I know about accounting? I have seen a few hollywood movies and I could study for two hours on the internet, you know enough to become an "armchair expert"
M'eh

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2006, 20:15:35 »
Devil39,
I find their observations rather innane,  I could offer those ideas too -- but simply offering an idea does not given any thought to implementation.

Wootan 9 or others closer to this issue - could give a better idea on how the Afghan gov't is approaching it.

I can offer some insights into one method from the US DOS, in alternative crop supplying and education to help the transition for the farmers.  The British are doing a similar issue and as well have suggested that a certain portion of the Opium be redirected and used for provide legal supplies of Narcogesics.

From my own observations in a few provinces wrt Opium Erradication.

1) I would target (kill) ANY gov't official who is caught dealing in illicit drugs (I may run out of ammo...)
2) Interdict Russian Cargo planes who are "alledged" to be moving a lot of the Opium
3) Bolster aid to the outlying areas -- and further point out to the Farmers etc that one of the problems with the aid not coming is they and their sponsors are killing off the aid workers (gee I cant figure out why the aid dried up here Mohamed... -- which is of cource what the AGE want.
4) Buy the opium off the fields (destroy some - refine some into morphine etc.) until Comonex etc. can get the alternative crop rolling.

5) Send the troops out in small detachments like MACV-SOG and the CIDG in Vietnam -- live and work with the locals and help them better themselves

6) Crush some of the NGO/Western excesses that go on (while they should be helping, not sunning themselves at a beach resort etc.
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Offline devil39

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2006, 20:27:46 »
Infidel-6,

Thanks for your observations.  I cannot find much with which I would disagree with you.

Implementation and money are the crux of the matter I would think.  I hope that the money is there to carry this out effectively, without creating unnecessary adversaries.  The amount of money spent on counterdrugs would go a lot farther if we just bought the crops methinks.

Take care and keep in touch.

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2006, 20:43:07 »
I agree. The major concern I have is not that our forces can stabilize the AOR, but the reconstruction gets bogged down in bureaucracy, corruption, missed chances, etc. Once an area is secure, and we have developed a budding relationship with these villages, the last thing we need is a long, drawn out process before something happens. That is part of the reason the discretionary funds of the US Commanders are so important. Immediate action that the Afghan people can feel and see. If the Taliban destroy it, they do it at their own peril.
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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2006, 22:27:03 »
And how important is it to stop the opium farming right now ? Can that wait for 5-10 years ? By then the government should be stronger and better alternatives for the farmers should be available. I know we have drug addicts here and all, but we had them 5-10 years ago and we survived.

Or are the Talibans involved in the traffic, using the money for weapons and such ? I guess to some degree they are. I should have a quick look at that report.
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Offline Genetk44

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2006, 22:39:11 »
it's probably impossible to definativly say that the taliban/al queda is getting financed through the opium trade...however common sense dictates that some at least some of their funding is through the drug-trade. i submit that even if that source of revenue dried up completely they would, without too much difficulty, find funding through other sources to make up the deficit. one of the longstanding traditional sources of money-makeing throughout afghanistan,pakistan,india and the gulf-states has been the smuggleing of gold and gemstones.
cheers,
gene

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2006, 22:56:50 »
Taliban funding is covered in great detail in many other threads on the boards. Peruse at your leisure.
...time to cull the herd.

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Re: U.S. Afghan policy costing Cdn. lives: think-tank
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2006, 00:49:23 »
Just because a problem is difficult, and may take multiple attempts to deal with, does not mean it should be disregarded. 
Stopping the opium is not going to affect the nations economy, because the money mostly goes to organized crime.  When talking about the GDP, the percentage of legit opium versus illegal is going to be small.  And no, I can't quote sources.  They are illegal ops.  Criminals tend to be notorious paperwork schluffers. 
Infidel has a good plan.  But the bottom line is that the poppy production needs to be shut down.  Take that out, and you can put a real crimp on world wide heroin.  Find a way to not hang out the farmers, and take out everyone else.
God loves stupid people.  That's why He made so many of them.

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Think Tank Wants CAN to Lead "Legalize Opium" Movement in AFG
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2006, 06:03:55 »
"Buy Afghan morphine!" is apparently the answer?

http://www.senliscouncil.net/modules/media_centre/news_releases/72_news

Canada should create a Special Canadian Emergency Task Force for Kandahar

Immediate action on poverty relief in Afghanistan is necessary to win the battle for the hearts and minds of the population, and fight the growing Taliban insurgency

People are dying of hunger in Kandahar province for which Canada is responsible

Canada should take leadership in developing a new initiative in Afghanistan – Canada should call for an emergency NATO Meeting to reset international community’s course

Canada should oppose forced opium poppy eradication and promote a “Buy Afghan Morphine” fair trade program

OTTAWA – Canada should increase its commitment to Afghanistan and take leadership within the NATO alliance to develop a new initiative there, said The Senlis Council, an international development and security think tank as part of a series of recommendations for Canada’s role in Afghanistan, made in a paper released at an International Symposium held in Ottawa tuesday.

“Canada took on responsibility for Kandahar and should see it through. We all should be deeply concerned about the return of the Taliban and Al Qaeda to Afghanistan, if not for the Afghan people themselves then for what that would mean for our own security.” said Canadian-born Norine MacDonald QC, Founding President of Senlis, who is also the group’s lead field researcher in Kandahar province.

“There has been a dramatic deterioration in the military situation in Kandahar in the last months, Kandahar is a complete war zone, the Taliban are winning both the military battle there and the battle for the hearts and minds of local Afghans. We have made a commitment there and must stay the course, but we must immediately implement a new approach. To pull out is to make Canada complicit in a crime against humanity in Afghanistan. If the international community leaves now we are making a gift to Al Qaeda of a geopolitical home for terrorist extremism.”

“Mr Harper should take some leadership on the crisis in Afghanistan and convene an urgent meeting of the NATO countries to develop a new type of approach for Afghanistan.” said MacDonald. “The longer we leave changing our approach, the more deaths and injuries there will be – including for Canadian troops.”

Extreme Poverty is fuelling the insurgency
The poverty crisis arising in Kandahar and the rest of southern Afghanistan is due to several factors – loss of livelihood through US led forced poppy crop eradication, displacement of the population due to US bombing and military violence, and recurrent drought.

Make-shift, unofficial camps have sprung up, and a starvation crisis akin to those usually witnessed on the African continent, is jeopardizing the survival of many – especially the young. Children are starving to death literally ‘down the road’ from the Canadian military base in Kandahar. The people in these makeshift camps have received no aid from anyone – not the Canadians, nor the UN.

“Extreme poverty is leading to growing anger and resentment against the international community and is directly fuelling the insurgency and support for the Taliban,” said MacDonald. “People feel abandoned by the Canadians and all internationals, who they believed were there to help them. Canadian troops in Kandahar are fighting the Taliban insurgency against a backdrop of an increasingly hostile local population.”

Forced Eradication of poppy crops is generating support for the Taliban
The forced eradication of opium poppy crops, which has been taking place in Kandahar Since 2002, has significantly contributed to the levels of poverty and the large numbers of displaced people in the province. The main source of income in rural Kandahar is opium poppy farming. The US-led forced eradication of poppy fields has fuelled poverty – many farmers have lost their livelihoods and are struggling to feed their families.

As Afghans are not able to differentiate between American and Canadian soldiers, the eradication of farmer’s crops fuelled anger against the Canadian Military. Eradication is endangering the lives of Canadian troops.

“Many of the people we met in the refugee camps had had to leave their villages because they had lost everything when their crops were eradicated,” said MacDonald, who has lived and worked in Afghanistan since early 2005 and who has spent much of the past six months in the South. “The southern provinces have been the hardest hit by this because there is so little else other than poppies which can grow in the harsh climate and desert plains found there.”

This year, about 3,000 hectares of poppy were eradicated in Kandahar. It is often the poorest farmers whose livelihoods are lost because they were unable to pay the necessary bribes to stop their crops being destroyed.

“The Taliban have seen a political opportunity in the anger against the NATO presence that eradication triggered and used that to their advantage in building political support in the south, said MacDonald.

A recent Report release by Senlis showed that the Taliban frontline of control now cuts though half of the country.

Emergency poverty relief would calm the growing Taliban insurgency and protect Canadian troops
Senlis said that Canada should move away from the aggressive US-led military approach and focus on poverty relief and development in order to engage with the local population and quell the rising insurgency. Canadian values and Canada’s experience in dealing with multicultural and bilingual issues is a unique asset that could be used to deal with Afghanistan’s tribal and ethnic challenges.

“We must send immediate food relief to Kandahar province. If we do not do this out of a humanitarian response to a province we took responsibility for we should do this a part of a smart military strategy. This is not a war that can be won through military means alone,” said MacDonald.

Senlis said an emergency food and aid package should be prepared for Afghanistan.

Under US leadership, development and poverty relief have taken a back seat – until now, security has taken priority, with 82 billion USD spent on military operations in Afghanistan since 2002, compared with just 7 billion USD on development.

“This is not the way to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people,” said MacDonald.

Three Recommendations for a new Canadian approach

Three levels of action needed: International, in Afghanistan and in Canada.

In a Report released by Senlis at the Symposium, Senlis recommended that Canada should create a Special Canadian Emergency Task Force for Kandahar. This would include a specific Economic Emergency Plan for Kandahar with a specially appointed non-partisan Special Envoy with the authority to coordinate the military and development responses. A Canadian group of experts and organizations should be formed as part of the Emergency Task Force on Kandahar issues.

Senlis made three key recommendations for Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan:

1. Canada should take the lead at the international and NATO level in Afghanistan - to formulate a new Afghanistan policy approach, tailored to really tackle the “hearts and minds” campaign. This new approach should avoid any actions which antagonize the Afghan population such as bombing villages and injuring or killing civilians, and poppy crop eradication. Canada should convene an emergency meeting of NATO countries to reformulate the approach in Afghanistan.

Canada should support the implementation of a poppy licensing system in Afghanistan for the production of much-needed pain relieving medicines such as morphine and codeine. An Afghan Brand of Fair Trade Morphine and codeine could help developing countries to deal with their pain.

2. In addition to the Economic Emergency Plan to be developed by the Special Canadian Task Force for Kandahar, Canada should deliver an emergency food and aid package – this will help calm the insurgency and engage with the local populations.

A series of Kandahar Jirgas (community meetings) should be organized in order to listen to the needs of the Afghan population – in this way, policy decision will be tailored to the populations’ real needs.

3. The emergency Task Force should organize the necessary infrastructure to enable Canadian citizens and organizations to be involved in helping Kandahar in very practical ways – exchange programmes could be developed, expertise exported and community support programmes installed to facilitate a closer relationship between Canadians and the people of Kandahar and contribute positively to the creation of a positive future for Kandahar and a durable peace.

Ordinary Canadians should be provided with the means to do more to assist average Afghans “Canadians have shown their commitment and concern with the situation in Afghanistan,” said MacDonald. “The Canadian government should give them every opportunity to directly help the people of Afghanistan.”

Senlis suggested stimulating help programmes and professional exchanges between Canadians and Afghans to increase mutual understanding and to empower ordinary Canadians to provide support to Afghan communities in need. “Everything must be done to set up the necessary infrastructure for Canadian citizens to help Afghan citizens in whatever way they can. Canada urgently needs to engage positively with the population of Kandahar.”

Contact in Canada:
Jane Francis or Julian Mattocks
613 783 4244/4248

Jane Francis cell: 613 262 5183
Julian Mattocks cell: 613 796 1075
media@senliscouncil.net

Contact in Europe:
Jane Francis
Office : +33 (0)1 49 96 63 70
Mobile : +33 (0)660 261 982
francis@senliscouncil.net
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Offline MCG

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Re: Think Tank Wants CAN to Lead "Legalize Opium" Movement in AFG
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2006, 10:23:07 »
Canada should support the implementation of a poppy licensing system in Afghanistan for the production of much-needed pain relieving medicines such as morphine and codeine.
It is not a bad idea.  A similar program could be started for the marijuana crops over there (and maybe introduce some genetically modified plants that can produce hemp for rope & clothing, but not be converted to drugs).

Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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Re: Think Tank Wants CAN to Lead "Legalize Opium" Movement in AFG
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2006, 10:26:22 »
Senlis has been arguing this for ages.  They're the same organization that stated Canada was "committing suicide" in Kandahar and they have a very specific political agenda, something that the media fails miserably to mention.  ::)

They were thoroughly debunked here:  http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,46480.0.html

As Wootan9 indicates on the original thread, Afghanistan tried to kick them out of the country, which should give you some idea of their credibility.
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Offline North Star

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2006, 10:52:26 »
Hmm. Where does Senlis get its funding? What are the academic qualifications of its members? Are any involved in partisan politics? I have not been able to find any information on them online beyond comments on their work, and I need more in depth information as to their biases before I can read their reports critically. Once you realize who the Polaris Institute is made up of, you know what conclusions they are going to draw. With Senlis, however, it seems difficult to get the information to find out "where they're  coming from."
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Offline Bigmac

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2006, 10:32:25 »
     To the poor farmers in Afghanistan the poppies are just a crop. When their crops are destroyed and they are given no options what else can they do but turn to the Taliban to survive? Interesting article below from Asia Times.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/HK01Df01.html
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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2006, 12:11:46 »
They know the crops are illegal -- and very few run it as a sole crop.

Remember the Taliban had pretty much wiped out Opium crops during their tenure.
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Offline Kilo_302

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2006, 13:26:14 »
Many groups (not just senlis) have been suggesting legalizing the growth of poppies for use in codeine and other painkillers. According to the UN there is a "pain crisis" around the world, with many less developed nations suffering from massive shortages in pain killers. If Western nations bought the poppy crop from A-stan farmers at a fair price, we could better alleviate the drug shortages while at the same time developing the economy of Afghanistan. The main opposition to this is idea comes from major drug companies who do not relish the idea of being undersold in the undeveloped world.

Offline Yrys

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2006, 13:55:28 »
Many groups (not just senlis) have been suggesting legalizing the growth of poppies for use in codeine and other painkillers.

Its also have been suggested by a lady here.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2006, 14:22:29 »
I-6 is right on the money, I have said before, make it the law to sell to the government, pay a fair market value for it. The West bankrolls the programs, destroy most of it, but use some of it to build up a local medical drug industry. Whoever does not sell to the government gets their crops destroyed. After a couple of years, tell them that 10% of the fields must be food crops and the government pays the difference. This increases the amount of food and allows the distribution, marketing and storage system for food to develop properly. Bit by bit wean them off the poppy and the subsidized money. This will remove much of the cash from warlords and Taliban, who will have to steal it from the farmers, who will then ally with the government.

It won't be perfect and it won't always be fair, but it buys us the time we need to rebuild.

Offline paracowboy

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2006, 14:44:35 »
I-6 is right on the money, I have said before, make it the law to sell to the government, pay a fair market value for it. The West bankrolls the programs, destroy most of it, but use some of it to build up a local medical drug industry. Whoever does not sell to the government gets their crops destroyed. After a couple of years, tell them that 10% of the fields must be food crops and the government pays the difference. This increases the amount of food and allows the distribution, marketing and storage system for food to develop properly. Bit by bit wean them off the poppy and the subsidized money. This will remove much of the cash from warlords and Taliban, who will have to steal it from the farmers, who will then ally with the government.

It won't be perfect and it won't always be fair, but it buys us the time we need to rebuild.
it also give Afghanistan its' first real national industry.
...time to cull the herd.

Offline GAP

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2006, 14:55:14 »
it also give Afghanistan its' first real national industry.

Good point. In a country with oodlles and oodlles of mountains, why no mining?
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Offline Big Red

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2006, 14:59:02 »
I'm all for poppy eradication, I need a job once Iraq is over! ;D

Offline Colin P

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2006, 14:59:45 »
Mining on any scale requires stable government and some infastructure. Looking at the hills, I don't doubt that Afghanistan is mineral rich, it's just never been stable enough to exploit it.

found it

http://www.bgs.ac.uk/afghanminerals/

Offline paracowboy

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2006, 15:03:07 »
Good point. In a country with oodlles and oodlles of mountains, why no mining?
as I understand it, nuthin' to mine, really. The only thing you're gonna dig up there is unexpended Soviet ordnance. That 'nation' has nothing.

Which makes the Leftists with their claims of colonialism appear to be even more moronic than usual, non? The West has no interests there, other than bringing peace and prosperity to a people who haven't had either for 30 years.
...time to cull the herd.

Offline KevinB

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2006, 15:06:38 »
Red and I have applied  ;)


Seriously -- it needs a multifaceted approach.

Eradication is required -- as is education, supplementation of crops and support.  Legal growth and medical cultivation need to be done in a controlled environment -- the idea of simply saying -- let them grow and harvest for legal routes is spewed by people who have zero understanding of the Afghanistan situation.

I'm not a farmer - but in my treks around Afghan I've noticed a lack of irrigation and infrastructure.
  NGO's need to get off their *** - as does gov't supported developement.

The Army can kick all the *** it wants -- but if you cannot make a better life for ALL Afghani's then you have a rift that the EN will exploit.
  

  
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Offline Colin P

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2006, 15:23:20 »
as I understand it, nuthin' to mine, really. The only thing you're gonna dig up there is unexpended Soviet ordnance. That 'nation' has nothing.

Which makes the Leftists with their claims of colonialism appear to be even more moronic than usual, non? The West has no interests there, other than bringing peace and prosperity to a people who haven't had either for 30 years.

"Cough, cough"  8)

Geology of Afghanistan

Afghanistan has some of the most complex and varied geology in the world. The oldest rocks are Archean and they are succeeded by rocks from the Proterozoic and every Phanerozoic system up to the present day. The country also has a long and complicated tectonic history, partly related to its position at the western end of the Himalaya. This diverse geological foundation has resulted in a significant mineral heritage with over 1400 mineral occurrences recorded to date. Historical mining concentrated mostly on precious stone production, with some of the oldest known mines in the world believed to have been established in Afghanistan to produce lapis lazuli for the Egyptian Pharaohs. More recent exploration in the 1960s and 70s resulted in the discovery of significant resources of metallic minerals, including copper, iron and gold, and non-metallic minerals, including halite, talc and mica. The bedrock geology of Afghanistan can be thought of as a jigsaw of crustal blocks separated by fault zones, each with a different geological history and mineral prospectivity. This jigsaw has been put together by a series of tectonic events dating from the Jurassic.


Offline paracowboy

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2006, 15:35:31 »
okay, I've been owned.

I was trying so hard to be 'folksy' and 'down-homey' I didn't word it properly.

Colin rules, pary-poo drools.  :-[
...time to cull the herd.

Offline Colin P

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Re: To Erradicate or Regulate Afghan Opium.
« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2006, 16:06:00 »
Don't feel bad, I have been "owned" on this board more times than I can count, my ego is slowly healing  :crybaby:  ;)