"Afghanistan excels at poppy cultivation and the manufacturing of raw opium gum into a range of narcotics. Narcotics are global commodities that live double lives. They are sold legally to the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture into morphine and codeine for medicinal use (pain control and anesthesia) and are sold to the illegal market in the form of smokable opium and injectable heroin. If the production and sale of opiates were legal, such as the drugs caffeine and nicotine, Afghanistan wouldn't have a cabal of national and international narcotics control forces waging a violent drug war that criminalises ordinary Afghans trying to survive in a war-torn economy and brands the country an outlaw, failed "narco-state".
The drug warriors in the DEA, the White House and the Pentagon have intentionally conflated the war on drugs and the war on terror in Afghanistan. Call it a "twofer", more bang for the billions of bucks being spent to wage wars that have no exit strategies because they can never be won. Pairing drug hysteria with the fear of terrorism is powerful propaganda for the United States, and recasts and promotes what is in reality an imperialist war as a war against a "narco-insurgency" or "narco-terrorism". The ancient and pain relieving plant papaver somniferum [the opium poppy] is now referred to as a narco-terrorism crop. It is agribusiness, not terrorism." (Thanks Anne)