Thursday, April 12, 2012

In Poppy War, Taliban Aim to Protect a Cash Crop - NYTimes.com

In Poppy War, Taliban Aim to Protect a Cash Crop - NYTimes.com

... He said that the militant leadership known as the Quetta Shura, in need of cash, had instructed the Taliban to plant poppies.

“The only means of income they are relying on now is the poppy in Afghanistan, especially in Helmand Province, so that’s why they are planting mines in poppy fields, staging direct attacks, ambushing the eradication campaign and sometimes engaging in prolonged firefights,” Mr. Ahmadi said.

The intense resistance to eradication means that there will be a substantial poppy harvest in Helmand and that the campaign may create dangerous resentment, Mr. Ahmadi said.

“I do not think it will be possible for the eradication campaign to destroy all the poppy fields in Helmand,” he said. “And any person whose fields are destroyed, he is becoming Taliban.” 

-bth: at a local level then its about the cash and who controls it.

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