Endangering the War on Terror by the War on Drugs


Deepak Lal

Published: September 2008


The century-old US War on Drugs based on supply control measures is endangering its War on Terror in Afghanistan. With opium poppy cultivation the most profitable crop available to Afghan farmers, the Taliban has been able to use the illegal profits from the trade to buy arms and recruit farmers by offering protection from US led aerial spraying of the crops. These supply control measures are not warranted by welfare economics, classical liberal social ethics, or the actual outcomes of the US War on Drugs. The best policy to deal with US drug addiction would be to legalize drugs, concentrating on enforced treatment of chronic drug users. A successful War on Terror requires an end to aerial spraying, the buying up of Afghan opium and its conversion into morphine, for which there is excess demand in the Third World.



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