The Trump administration is looking to SHUT DOWN the Taliban’s source of income.
After 16 years of war, Trump and Secretary of defense James Mattis have decided on plan that makes sense. The U.S. military ill begin to focus operations on the Afghan opium trade.
The opium trade in Afghanistan is a major source of income for the Taliban and their terrorist groups. Disrupting it means the Taliban will be hard pressed for funding, and will be unable to continue offensive operations.
Here’s more of the story from Breitbart.com:
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. President Donald Trump’s South Asia strategy will focus on fighting the lucrative opium trade that is currently providing more than half of the Taliban’s estimated $400 million in annual funding, Secretary of Defense James Mattis told lawmakers, echoing other American officials.
“We’re going to look at where does it [opium trade] help[s] the Taliban and fight it from that direction, rather than going pretty much in a big way just after the farmers themselves,” Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee during a hearing Tuesday. “So there’s a way to cut this thing and reduce it by targeting the right location and the right node in the drug trade that will also undercut the Taliban’s fundraising.”
“Because it touches the Taliban, our counter-finance effort is something that we’re very much invested in and [have] integrated [into Trump’s strategy]” added Mattis.
Figures from the U.S. military and the United Nations show that the Taliban currently generates about 60 percent of its $400 million annual income from opium.
Mattis’ comments came in response to Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) asking him and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to explain how Trump’s South Asia strategy will combat the opium trade in Afghanistan.
Ohio is America’s opioid overdose capital.
The defense secretary said the Trump administration would target the opium-linked refineries and transportation nodes.
“Both the counter-finance aspects of the [South Asia] strategy and the counter-corruption are linked directly to the counter-narcotics campaign,” Secretary Mattis told the House members.
“As we look at this, we’re going to go after the counter-narcotics refineries, the transportation nodes — the bazaars as they call them where they barter,” he added. “And the reason is that’s where the Taliban actually accrues their taxation cash off of the [opium] trade. It’s not from the little guy down there who is farming his hearty crop of poppies.”
Consistent with assessments from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a watchdog agency, Rep. Turner pointed out that opium cultivation is fueling terrorism and corruption in Afghanistan.
Not only will the new plan focus on defeating the Taliban for good, it will also strike a blow to the illegal drug market. Heroin and other opiate drug abuse is becoming increasingly common among Americans. Striking a death blow to some of the largest opium fields in the world will reduce the amount of illegal drugs being manufactured and ultimately ending up on American soil.