Part 3…God’s own medicine
The Obama administration rescinded the Bush administration’s quixotic order to eradicate poppy fields in Afghanistan. Judging by hectare cultivation numbers and harvest yields, the plan was either never fully implemented or failed miserably. At the very least, farmers in Afghanistan are no longer being punished for trying to make a living. Like Bush, the Obama administration wants to reform Afghan agriculture and move it away from poppy cultivation. Unfortunately, these plans are still “being finalized”. To understand the problems inherent in the administration’s plans and possible futures for Afghan agriculture we need to examine Afghanistan’s situation, the opium poppy, and the history of opium cultivation.