The Calculus of Counter-narcotics

Oct 1, 2010

$250 million = the amount spent just by the US in FY2010 to counter narcotics in Afghanistan
$100 million = the amount earned annually by the Taliban from narcotics trafficking

304,000 acres = the number of acres devoted to opium in 2009
304,000 acres = the number of acres devoted to opium in 2010

$64 per Kg = the price of opium in 2009
$169 per Kg = the price of opium in 2010

Total production of opium did decline, but mainly because of a disease damaging the poppy crop.  The spike in prices makes it likely that the number of acres devoted to the crop will increase in 2011.

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Vikash is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. His main areas of academic interest are (post-) globalization, economic development, and economic freedom, with a regional focus on South Asia