Afghanistan (AKA Graveyard of Empires) has emerged stronger than ever after 19 years of US intervention in the US led war on terrorism. Still intent on protecting its $1 trillion in untouched metals resources from marauding foreign mining companies, Afghanistan and its farmers have adapted to utilizing 21st century technologies to grow opium poppies:
â€¦heroin supply to Britain has careened in the last decade, namely due to the â€˜solar revolutionâ€™ in Afghanistan. This has enabled farmers to use electricity generated from solar panels to pump untapped water from 100 meters under the desert. Now, where there was once an arid dust belt, there are fields of thriving poppy, punches of colour lighting up the desert, too much of a lucrative cash crop for Afghan farmers to pass up. [â€¦]
Afghanistan was used as a â€œplayground for foreign nations to kill Afghans like a video gameâ€ â€“ as one of my young Afghan friends once described to me. Itâ€™s highly unlikely British Intelligence Agencies were unaware of the newly blossoming poppy industry, much of which is growing in Helmand, a â€˜hotspotâ€™ for drone strikes and aerial surveillance. Today Afghanistan produces 90% of the worldsâ€™ heroin, 3% of the Afghan population are addicts, and production of the crop has more than doubled, from 3,700 tonnes in 2012, to 9,000 tonnes in 2017. [â€¦]
The Biden administration characterized the May 1, 2021, Afghanistan pullout date for the removal of 2,500 remaining US troops as “hard to meet,” and said it was not his intention “to stay there a long time.” What the President means by hard-to-meet or a long time is anyone’s guess. In the 1940 Battle of Dunkirk, the British pulled 400,000 of their troops out of Normandy in just ten days.
A clue to Biden’s intentions may lie in his consistency. Even though he began his senate career by opposing the war in Viet Nam, Joe Biden never lost faith in using wars to produce a drug free society, or at least a society free of drug users. He seems to believe drug laws can change people’s understanding of what is right or wrong about drugs. With that kind of attitude, it’s possible a new era of drone wars may bloom in the Afghan desert highlands.