Afghanistan

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nezumi
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by nezumi » Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:39 pm

Little waster wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:38 am

FTFM

The Dutch once ate their Prime Minister when he turned out to be a useless tw.t.

Have we considered that approach pour encourager les autres?
I mean, we could, but Johnson would be very fatty and the rest would taste of bitter gristle. Not keen mate. Rather have a KFC (and that is saying something; their chicken appears to be made out of rats...)
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:37 pm

I think you're supposed to let them hang before you eat them.
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by tom p » Fri Sep 03, 2021 7:40 am

IvanV wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:24 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Sat Aug 28, 2021 6:58 pm
Why are they processing people on the ground? When the boat is sinking you don't check people's boarding passes before letting them on the life raft. Get them out and process them at the other end. They are refugees fleeing a country descending into hell. If your asylum rules will reject claims from any of these people your asylum rules are broken. Get them out, deal with the paperwork later. I cannot understand why we are trying to do administration on these people fleeing for their lives.
Who is "they"?

I have heard news items about Taliban processing the papers and refusing to let people through to the planes either if they didn't have just the right papers, or just because they felt like it. I have heard journalists interviewing Afghans in Kabul who were unable to leave for this reason.

I have also heard of Afghans being unable to get the papers the British promised them, which sounds like contributory negligence/hostile environment on the British side.

But were the British also "processing" and deciding who would be let on to empty planes, after you'd got past the Taliban, who wouldn't let you get that far without what at least the Taliban considered to be the papers necessary to let you leave? I have not read that and could not find it on a quick google.
That seems rather foolish.
You're saying that anyone the taliban (or whatever little misogynist moron has a kalashnikov, 2 mates, a couple of barrels and a bit of wood to act as a checkpoint) permits to get through should be allowed on a plane carrying a load of enemies of the taliban. I would strongly suggest that, having captured afghanistan, they have a very strong vested interest in killing their enemies, and if they can blow up a british or yankee plane while doing so, so much the better. And even if they couldn't get a bomb onboard, at least they could find out who is being shipped out, so that their families can be subjected to reprisals over the coming months and years.

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:26 am

A good interview: https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/biden-s-a ... y-n1278163
If you go back and look at that period between 2001 and 2004, and if you interview military personnel, special forces who were based in Afghanistan at the time, or if you talk to Afghans, one of the striking things is that there was almost no anti-coalition or anti-government activity in Helmand and Kandahar and these kinds of places. They were remarkably peaceful, from that perspective. However, despite that, the U.S. was arresting people right and left, torturing them, sending them to Bagram Air Base or Kandahar Airfield or Guantanamo. Horrific tales of torture. And the U.S. was allying with local warlords and commanders who were just killing people right and left, on the slightest provocation.

So really, you had a one-sided war in those years, between 2001 and 2004, where the U.S. was fighting an enemy that didn't exist, and innocent people were the ones who were suffering. That really is what created the Taliban's resurgence. The Taliban wasn't a popular force in 2001, but in these communities, people saw the Taliban as a lesser of two evils to the violence perpetuated by the U.S. and by the U.S. proxies.
The rest is recommended.

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by dyqik » Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:15 am

tom p wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 7:40 am
IvanV wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:24 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Sat Aug 28, 2021 6:58 pm
Why are they processing people on the ground? When the boat is sinking you don't check people's boarding passes before letting them on the life raft. Get them out and process them at the other end. They are refugees fleeing a country descending into hell. If your asylum rules will reject claims from any of these people your asylum rules are broken. Get them out, deal with the paperwork later. I cannot understand why we are trying to do administration on these people fleeing for their lives.
Who is "they"?

I have heard news items about Taliban processing the papers and refusing to let people through to the planes either if they didn't have just the right papers, or just because they felt like it. I have heard journalists interviewing Afghans in Kabul who were unable to leave for this reason.

I have also heard of Afghans being unable to get the papers the British promised them, which sounds like contributory negligence/hostile environment on the British side.

But were the British also "processing" and deciding who would be let on to empty planes, after you'd got past the Taliban, who wouldn't let you get that far without what at least the Taliban considered to be the papers necessary to let you leave? I have not read that and could not find it on a quick google.
That seems rather foolish.
You're saying that anyone the taliban (or whatever little misogynist moron has a kalashnikov, 2 mates, a couple of barrels and a bit of wood to act as a checkpoint) permits to get through should be allowed on a plane carrying a load of enemies of the taliban. I would strongly suggest that, having captured afghanistan, they have a very strong vested interest in killing their enemies, and if they can blow up a british or yankee plane while doing so, so much the better. And even if they couldn't get a bomb onboard, at least they could find out who is being shipped out, so that their families can be subjected to reprisals over the coming months and years.
Tom, you do know that checking for the right paper work is different to checking if someone is carrying a bomb or a gun?

Paperwork has nothing to do with physical security.

The latter part is a maybe an issue, but the only way for people to get to the airport was through Taliban checkpoints, which already mostly covers that risk.

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:48 am

dyqik wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:15 am
tom p wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 7:40 am
IvanV wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:24 pm

Who is "they"?

I have heard news items about Taliban processing the papers and refusing to let people through to the planes either if they didn't have just the right papers, or just because they felt like it. I have heard journalists interviewing Afghans in Kabul who were unable to leave for this reason.

I have also heard of Afghans being unable to get the papers the British promised them, which sounds like contributory negligence/hostile environment on the British side.

But were the British also "processing" and deciding who would be let on to empty planes, after you'd got past the Taliban, who wouldn't let you get that far without what at least the Taliban considered to be the papers necessary to let you leave? I have not read that and could not find it on a quick google.
That seems rather foolish.
You're saying that anyone the taliban (or whatever little misogynist moron has a kalashnikov, 2 mates, a couple of barrels and a bit of wood to act as a checkpoint) permits to get through should be allowed on a plane carrying a load of enemies of the taliban. I would strongly suggest that, having captured afghanistan, they have a very strong vested interest in killing their enemies, and if they can blow up a british or yankee plane while doing so, so much the better. And even if they couldn't get a bomb onboard, at least they could find out who is being shipped out, so that their families can be subjected to reprisals over the coming months and years.
Tom, you do know that checking for the right paper work is different to checking if someone is carrying a bomb or a gun?

Paperwork has nothing to do with physical security.

The latter part is a maybe an issue, but the only way for people to get to the airport was through Taliban checkpoints, which already mostly covers that risk.
Another concern would be flying out someone who would later build a bomb or buy a gun in the US.

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by tom p » Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:00 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:15 am
tom p wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 7:40 am
IvanV wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:24 pm

Who is "they"?

I have heard news items about Taliban processing the papers and refusing to let people through to the planes either if they didn't have just the right papers, or just because they felt like it. I have heard journalists interviewing Afghans in Kabul who were unable to leave for this reason.

I have also heard of Afghans being unable to get the papers the British promised them, which sounds like contributory negligence/hostile environment on the British side.

But were the British also "processing" and deciding who would be let on to empty planes, after you'd got past the Taliban, who wouldn't let you get that far without what at least the Taliban considered to be the papers necessary to let you leave? I have not read that and could not find it on a quick google.
That seems rather foolish.
You're saying that anyone the taliban (or whatever little misogynist moron has a kalashnikov, 2 mates, a couple of barrels and a bit of wood to act as a checkpoint) permits to get through should be allowed on a plane carrying a load of enemies of the taliban. I would strongly suggest that, having captured afghanistan, they have a very strong vested interest in killing their enemies, and if they can blow up a british or yankee plane while doing so, so much the better. And even if they couldn't get a bomb onboard, at least they could find out who is being shipped out, so that their families can be subjected to reprisals over the coming months and years.
Tom, you do know that checking for the right paper work is different to checking if someone is carrying a bomb or a gun?

Paperwork has nothing to do with physical security.

The latter part is a maybe an issue, but the only way for people to get to the airport was through Taliban checkpoints, which already mostly covers that risk.
I understand that the only people they're flying out are named people and their families.
To check them you need to check the paperwork.
Ivan's suggestion was outsourcing that checking to the taliban, which i think is unwise.
And yes, of course there are physical security checks too, but once a suicide bomber is in your secure zone, it's too late.

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by dyqik » Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:13 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:48 am
dyqik wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:15 am

The latter part is a maybe an issue, but the only way for people to get to the airport was through Taliban checkpoints, which already mostly covers that risk.
Another concern would be flying out someone who would later build a bomb or buy a gun in the US.
They weren't being flown to the US or UK direct from Kabul. They were being flown to bases in the region. You can do many of the checks of this sort there.
Last edited by dyqik on Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by dyqik » Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:16 pm

tom p wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:00 pm
dyqik wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:15 am
tom p wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 7:40 am

That seems rather foolish.
You're saying that anyone the taliban (or whatever little misogynist moron has a kalashnikov, 2 mates, a couple of barrels and a bit of wood to act as a checkpoint) permits to get through should be allowed on a plane carrying a load of enemies of the taliban. I would strongly suggest that, having captured afghanistan, they have a very strong vested interest in killing their enemies, and if they can blow up a british or yankee plane while doing so, so much the better. And even if they couldn't get a bomb onboard, at least they could find out who is being shipped out, so that their families can be subjected to reprisals over the coming months and years.
Tom, you do know that checking for the right paper work is different to checking if someone is carrying a bomb or a gun?

Paperwork has nothing to do with physical security.

The latter part is a maybe an issue, but the only way for people to get to the airport was through Taliban checkpoints, which already mostly covers that risk.
I understand that the only people they're flying out are named people and their families.
To check them you need to check the paperwork.
Ivan's suggestion was outsourcing that checking to the taliban, which i think is unwise.
And yes, of course there are physical security checks too, but once a suicide bomber is in your secure zone, it's too late.
The Taliban was being given those lists of people, to allow them through the checkpoints to the airport.

There's several levels of paperwork being discussed and conflated here, from simple ID checks to more complex background checks and other more detailed work. You can do the detailed paperwork after the flights to the bases in the region if necessary, and even the more careful ID checks.

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Gfamily » Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:30 pm

There's only so much you can do if people that are flown out without good cause are likely to claim asylum.
They can't be returned until their claim has been assessed, which the country hosting the 'base in the region' is unlikely to want to allow to happen.

And the US are not likely to fly people on to home bases before assessing the claims.
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by IvanV » Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:06 pm

tom p wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:00 pm
I understand that the only people they're flying out are named people and their families.
To check them you need to check the paperwork.
Ivan's suggestion was outsourcing that checking to the taliban, which i think is unwise.
And yes, of course there are physical security checks too, but once a suicide bomber is in your secure zone, it's too late.
I certainly didn't intend to say that, if that was the impression you got.

According to the news I heard, the Taliban was doing this of their own volition. The road to the airport, the gate to the airport, and the front desk at the airport were all controlled by the Taliban. They would only let you through if you had the papers they, the Taliban, deemed sufficient. That included having a piece of paper from the relevant evacuating nation saying "we will let you on the plane", as well as the other travel documents the Taliban specified. It also seemed to suit the Taliban to have insufficient processing capacity for the number of people trying to pass through these various points resulting in milling crowds they could then turn back whatever papers they had.

So, unless someone can point evidence at me suggesting otherwise, people couldn't get through the airport to the plane because of the checks the Taliban were carrying out of their own volition. I am not aware of a people getting through the Taliban checkpoints to the interior part of the airport where the British could operate, and being refused to board it by the British. Unless someone can point me to some evidence of that.

What I did say is that there were people who claimed that the British had repeatedly promised them the relevant piece of paper and hadn't got it. And there were tales of people taking a month to get from Kandahar to Kabul, because of the need to satisfy multiple checkpoints on the way, and stop and work out how to get past the next checkpoint. Whether their failure to get these documents was the British Hostile Environment in operation, dressed up as "it takes time", or just the logistical difficulties of transferring documents in Afghanistan, even the journalists reporting on this were unable to indicate.

But because of the actions of the Taliban, it was not open to the British to just say, walk up and we'll let you on. The Taliban were preventing walk up. What I am unable to say is how contributory the British were in people failing to have the documents they needed to get past the Taliban.

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Sep 04, 2021 2:53 am

Re Raab:
tenchboy wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:47 am
he said he would ensure there would be a full enquiry and that lessons would be learned.
I don't think we need much of an enquiry. The lesson to be learned is that if you intend helping the UK (or USA), make sure you get your reward up front as otherwise it may well never happen.
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Sep 04, 2021 9:06 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:10 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:10 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Aug 21, 2021 1:45 am
For me the really interesting thing about "who was behind 9/11?" is why the US government is still, 20 years later, covering up the extent of Saudi Arabian involvement
https://apnews.com/article/sept-11-saud ... 25bab79bb4
I just read this personal account of 11 September by an official who was involved in policy-making:

Once we were evacuated, we were not allowed back in the compound to get our cars, so I walked home to Alexandria past the burning Pentagon. At home I was called by a very anxious Prince Bandar, who was being bombarded with questions from Riyadh. I told him that we had confirmed almost immediately that al-Qaida was responsible and that a majority of the hijackers were Saudis.

The next day, back in the office, we began planning the invasion of Afghanistan.
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-fr ... ite-house/

I get the logic for attacking Afghanistan. That’s where Al Qaida was based at the time. But it’s always been striking that they did nothing obvious to Saudi Arabia.
It's super "interesting". I'm not a truther at all - it's very clear that 9/11 was a terrorist attack by Al Qaida. But it also seems pretty clear that the US government is covering up the extent of Saudi involvement, for some reason, and given the salience of 9/11 in the last 20 years of geopolitics it seems like we ought to know what.
US is going to be declassifying much of its 9/11 intelligence over the next 6 months, including the Saudi stuff. Could be interesting.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/202 ... tion-saudi
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by JQH » Sun Sep 05, 2021 9:37 am

I suspect large chunks of the "declassified" documents will be redacted.
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Sep 18, 2021 12:02 am

The US really went out in style.

Right before they left they did a drone strike that killed some militants from
Mark Milley, the top US general, called the drone attack “righteous” on September 1.

“I don’t want to influence the outcome of an investigation, but at this point we think that the procedures were correctly followed and it was a righteous strike,” Milley said then.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/1 ... knowledges

Except, um, it now emerges that
A US Central Command investigation found that an aid worker and nine members of his family, including seven children, died in the 29 August strike.

The youngest child, Sumaya, was just two years old.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-58604655
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Sep 19, 2021 1:45 am

Hadley Freedman, in her final column. referred to this opinion piece in the Guardian from 13th September 2001 which seems relevant: They can't see why they are hated by Seumas Milne
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by plodder » Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:35 am


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Re: Afghanistan

Post by noggins » Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:10 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 1:45 am
Hadley Freedman, in her final column. referred to this opinion piece in the Guardian from 13th September 2001 which seems relevant: They can't see why they are hated by Seumas Milne
Yes, always good to remember that Seamus Milne is a tankie shithead

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:09 am

noggins wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:10 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 1:45 am
Hadley Freedman, in her final column. referred to this opinion piece in the Guardian from 13th September 2001 which seems relevant: They can't see why they are hated by Seumas Milne
Yes, always good to remember that Seamus Milne is a tankie shithead
Weird response. What's tankie about that piece?

It's not like he said anything that other people haven't said in this thread.
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:42 am

plodder wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:35 am
New tactic?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... an-at-port
Whose tactic?

The US couldn't get a handle on heroin when they were running the country. They're not going to have better luck now the Taliban's back. Arresting a couple of Indian smugglers is pretty meh, and three tonnes is a drop in the ocean of annual production (which is closer to ten thousand tonnes https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-paci ... 021-08-16/).

The Taliban themselves might reduce heroin production again, though, but they'll need to find alternative livelihoods for farmers.

I suspect the US will simply continue its old tactic of utilising drugs as a convenient cudgel to justify interference in areas of strategic geopolitical importance and to oppress its own poor and people of colour.
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by plodder » Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:01 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:42 am
plodder wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:35 am
New tactic?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... an-at-port
Whose tactic?

The US couldn't get a handle on heroin when they were running the country. They're not going to have better luck now the Taliban's back. Arresting a couple of Indian smugglers is pretty meh, and three tonnes is a drop in the ocean of annual production (which is closer to ten thousand tonnes https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-paci ... 021-08-16/).

The Taliban themselves might reduce heroin production again, though, but they'll need to find alternative livelihoods for farmers.

I suspect the US will simply continue its old tactic of utilising drugs as a convenient cudgel to justify interference in areas of strategic geopolitical importance and to oppress its own poor and people of colour.
I think it's way more complex than that. The rural Afghan population is governed by local / regional warlords - this system has been in place for the last few hundred years at least - and whoever rules Afghanistan does so on sufferance at the whim of the warlords. The traditional way to keep the warlords happy is to bribe them. When the US were in charge, I'm willing to bet these bribes would have included turning a blind eye to opium production - I'm willing to also bet the opposite is now the case. Let's see if this is the first of many busts.

It'll devastate the rural economy though, and cause chaos. I suspect that's the idea.

eta some highly recommended reading: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/134 ... -of-a-king

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:38 am

plodder wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:01 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:42 am
plodder wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:35 am
New tactic?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... an-at-port
Whose tactic?

The US couldn't get a handle on heroin when they were running the country. They're not going to have better luck now the Taliban's back. Arresting a couple of Indian smugglers is pretty meh, and three tonnes is a drop in the ocean of annual production (which is closer to ten thousand tonnes https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-paci ... 021-08-16/).

The Taliban themselves might reduce heroin production again, though, but they'll need to find alternative livelihoods for farmers.

I suspect the US will simply continue its old tactic of utilising drugs as a convenient cudgel to justify interference in areas of strategic geopolitical importance and to oppress its own poor and people of colour.
I think it's way more complex than that. The rural Afghan population is governed by local / regional warlords - this system has been in place for the last few hundred years at least - and whoever rules Afghanistan does so on sufferance at the whim of the warlords. The traditional way to keep the warlords happy is to bribe them. When the US were in charge, I'm willing to bet these bribes would have included turning a blind eye to opium production - I'm willing to also bet the opposite is now the case. Let's see if this is the first of many busts.

It'll devastate the rural economy though, and cause chaos. I suspect that's the idea.

eta some highly recommended reading: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/134 ... -of-a-king
I don't think losing 0.03% of annual production is going to devastate anything. If they manage another 30 of similar size, that'll be a 1% dent to a subset of the rural economy.

I bet there's big busts like this relatively often, eg this from 2019 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... -of-heroin

And of course quoting the "street price" is pretty misleading when it comes to thinking about how much the farmers would earn.
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Re: Afghanistan

Post by plodder » Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:53 am

I think what caught my eye on this one is that it was the Indian police who seized it, presumably shortly after if left Afghanistan. Be interesting to see if tolerance for heroin smuggling continues now the US have left - for me it sends a signal, especially that a 3T bust has got international headlines.

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by sheldrake » Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:06 am

Last time the Taliban were in power they clamped down hard on opium production in favour of food production. I hope that it will go down again.

https://www.unodc.org/pdf/publications/ ... 0-16_1.pdf

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Re: Afghanistan

Post by plodder » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:37 am

sheldrake wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:06 am
Last time the Taliban were in power they clamped down hard on opium production in favour of food production. I hope that it will go down again.

https://www.unodc.org/pdf/publications/ ... 0-16_1.pdf
The full timeline of figures can be seen in this report from 2020 (Fig 2), rather than the 2001 report:

https://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-mo ... _SMALL.pdf

But yes, the production under the Taliban was estimated to be lower than before the US invaded (although I think we should assume the very low figures in 2001 were an anomaly perhaps due to the US invasion). There are all sorts of issues with the data quality however (e.g. no data at all for 2019, remote sensing was used in 2020 and god knows how they lined that up against the different method used for historic data etc) and if you squint at the error bars there's perhaps not a huge amount in it.
Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is driven by a multitude of factors. Rule of law related challenges, such as political instability, instability and insecurity caused by insurgency groups, have been found among the main drivers. Socio-economic factors also impact farmers’ decisions, for example scarce employment opportunities, lack of quality education and limited access to markets.

In 2020, the area under cultivation was among the four highest ever measured. While area under cultivation presented an increasing trend in the past decade, it has been volatile with strong year-on-year changes in previous years. This makes an interpretation of the increase from 2019 to 2020
challenging. Many different factors may play a role in annual changes, including shocks to the system such as the devastating droughts in 2018 and high seasonal floods in 2019, as well as a deteriorating security situation and increased instability in 2020. The COVID-19 crisis did not affect
the 2020 opium season in terms of area cultivated or labor available for harvesting; however, it can be expected that the economic downturn following the pandemic in combination with increasing food prices may lead to further increases in opium poppy cultivation in future years.

A more detailed discussion of the results and an analysis of the factors contributing to changes in area and production in 2020 will be presented in the upcoming reports “Afghanistan opium survey report 2020 – Cultivation and Production” and “Afghanistan opium– Socio-economic analysis 2020”.
Worth also noting that annual production is IRO 5-6000T, rather than 10,000T, making a 3T bust a bit more significant (if overall production is about 20T / day then it's still a drop in the ocean mind you).

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