Most government programs end up having unintended
consequences, or at least unintended by the majority of people who support
them. Sometimes I take this a step
further and say that government programs not only don’t achieve their stated
purpose, but they often do the exact opposite.
The government gave us a War on Poverty and we get more
poverty. The government gave us a
War on Terror and we get more terrorism, particularly in the places where the
War on Terror is being fought. The
same goes with the government’s War on Drugs, which does anything but eradicate
But the drug war is not just at home. It has also been fought in
Afghanistan. You thought the
military was there to kill terrorists?
You thought the military was there to free the Afghan people? No, it is much better than that. The military is fighting opium poppy
cultivation in Afghanistan. There
is a U.S. War on Drugs in Afghanistan.
This is not chump change either. Since the beginning of the war and occupation of
Afghanistan, the U.S. government has spent approximately $7.6 billion in
operations to stop drug production by farmers in Afghanistan. As an American taxpayer, do you think
that is money well spent?
Meanwhile, according to one report, Afghan farmers grew the
largest amount of opium poppy in 2013, surpassing the previous peak set in
2007. The drug trade is valued at
almost $3 billion, which is a lot of money, but still not as much as what has
been spent to fight it.
Just like most government programs, the U.S. has declared
previous victories, only to see these supposed victories vanish. Think of “Mission Accomplished”, except
apply this to every other government operation.
Six years ago, one area of Afghanistan was declared drug
free, but since that time, poppy farming has since resumed and expanded. Somehow the defeats do not get reported
in the same manner as the so-called victories.
End the Drug War –
It is amazing how one government intervention is used as an
excuse for another. Fighting drugs
in America has been used extensively as an excuse to infringe on the civil
liberties of Americans, including searches, traffic stops, monitoring financial
transactions, and many more things.
Of course, the War on Terror has been used in the same way.
In the case of Afghanistan, the War on Terror led to another
war on drugs. We supposedly have
to fight drugs in Afghanistan because that money can be used to fund terrorist
organizations. But ironically, the
only reason that drug farming is so profitable in Afghanistan is because of the
high prices due to their illegality, particularly in the United States. This is a full circle of logic here.
Also, does this mean that anything profitable should be
destroyed in Afghanistan? I
thought the U.S. military was bringing freedom and democracy to the country. If someone sells handcrafted rugs,
couldn’t that money be used to fund terrorism too? I suppose I shouldn’t belabor this point or we may end up
with a War on Rugs too.
Poppy cultivation is one of the few things in Afghanistan
that is profitable. It is a
war-torn country that is extremely poor.
It is no surprise that people are going to do whatever they can to make
a little money just to put food on the table, if they even own a table.
The U.S. drug war – both at home and abroad – causes nothing
but increased violence. It should
be ended everywhere. When alcohol
was legalized in the U.S. in the midst of the Great Depression, violent crime
went down significantly. Now we
don’t see gang warfare in the inner cities between wine companies and beer
Americans have had enough and the Afghanis have certainly
had enough. Let’s start a new
world of peace, starting with the ending of these government wars. And we can save a lot of money in the