The Graphic Truth: How opium kept the Taliban going

The Graphic Truth: How opium kept the Taliban going
Ari Winkleman

The Taliban (officially) banned opium cultivation before 9/11 and the subsequent US invasion that ousted them from power in Afghanistan. But in the 20 years since, the group has taken over most of the country's vast poppy fields, becoming the Pablo Escobars of the global opium trade. The drug has been so lucrative for the Taliban that without it, they may not have had the longevity and military capacity to make the decisive territorial gains seen in Afghanistan in recent weeks. We look at opium cultivation since 1994, spanning the Afghan civil war, Taliban rule, and the US occupation.

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Hunger Pains: The growing global food crisis | Monday, July 11, 2022 | 2:00 pm ET

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