The War on Drugs vs. The War on Terror:

Josh Strawn has an interesting post on how the War on Drugs is undermining the War on Terror, citing data showing that the misguided US poppy eradication campaign in Afghanistan has enabled the Taliban to earn enormous profits from the illegal drug trade. Most of these profits are only possible because the US and its allies have prevented competition from legal suppliers by targeting their poppy fields.

I have often blogged on the same subject myself see e.g. here and here. As I explained in earlier posts, the poppy eradication campaign not only increases the Taliban's profits from the drug trade, but also antagonizes the numerous Afghan peasants who depend on poppy cultivation for their livelihood. As a result, some of these people have been driven into the arms of the Taliban, and others are at least unwilling to provide information and other aid to the US and the Afghan government.

It is long past time that we prioritized the war against the enemies who want to kill us over the war against those who merely want to us sell us opium.

UPDATE: It's worth nothing that Christopher Hitchens made a similar argument back in 2004 - at a time when the negative consequences of the drug war in Afghanistan were not as clear as they are now. His warning was certainly prescient (HT: VC reader Joe Bingham).