President Obama’s new plan to win the war in Afghanistan will include sending scores of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents to coordinate attacks on the country’s lucrative opium trade, which provides a large chunk of the Taliban’s financing.
The Associated Press reported March 30 that a total of 80 DEA agents will soon be working in Afghanistan, hoping to replicate their campaign against South American drug cartels in South Asia.
The overarching goal is to raise the costs of the opium trade to traffickers. The strategy is expected to include targeting drug labs and financing, and encouraging opium farmers to grow other crops.
U.S. officials say that Afghan opium is financing the insurgency and providing funds for Al Qaida terrorist cells worldwide.