War On Drugs In Afghanistan



Photo essay by Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Photos:

In Afghanistan opium fuels everything from the culture, the politics, the economy and the resurgent Taliban fighters. Paolo Pellegrin went to the remote southern provinces where the war on drugs, alongside that with the insurgency is raging. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) is working in Afghanistan alongside the Afghan National Interdiction Unit, carrying out raids in remote villages. Links are being made between the resurgence of the Taliban and the drug industry, as both have nothing to gain from the area being controlled by central government. With the large amounts of money to be made from trafficking opium, criminality and corruption are rife, programmes set up to wean farmers off of producing the poppies neglected to track down the networks doing the trafficking, an unclear policy towards totally freeing areas from the duel influence of poppy growing and the Taliban shows itself through the presence of the D.E.A and it’s frustration not to be carrying out the two monthly missions that was their objective on arriving, through lack of military support.