US Envoy to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke stated that efforts by the United States to eradicate poppy production in the country did not achieve any positive gains.
“Eradication is a waste of money,” Holbrooke said on the sidelines of a Group of Eight foreign ministers’ meeting on Afghanistan, during which he briefed regional representatives on the new policy.
“It might destroy some acreage, but it didn’t reduce the amount of money the Taliban got by one dollar. It just helped the Taliban. So we’re going to phase out eradication,” he said.
The Taliban earned an estimated $50 million to $70 million in 2008 from trafficking opium. Afghanistan is the source country for 93 percent of the world’s heroin.