EDITORIAL: AFGHANISTAN: The Afghan High
Afghanistan’s opium production has increased more than 15-fold since 1979, the year of the Soviet invasion in the country. By 2000 Afghanistan was the source of 70% of all of the illicit opium produced in the world. Following a decline in 2001, production resumed at high levels in 2002, again making Afghanistan the world’s largest producer accounting for almost three-quarters of global opium production.
Afghanistan's drug economy is as pervasive as its poppy fields, linking impoverished farmers, heroin addicts, and the Taliban.
And while the Afghan government has embraced poppy eradification programs under pressure from the United States, corruption is rife, and opium and heroin have permiated every level of Afghan society.