We will not win the war in Afghanistan with military action. Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, has a very weak economy, and any further action there will only hurt efforts to help keep the government in Pakistan in control of their nuclear weapons. We cannot afford the loss of more lives or the financial loss that will result from our current course of action.
Winning the war there only requires understanding the fact that Afghanistan produces 90 percent of the world's opium. That is about 8,000 tons grown in all 34 provinces of the country, and sold for between $3-4 billion. A large part of that money ends up in the hands of the Taliban. The USA could buy all the opium for $6 billion. We will not pay them with money that would flow back to the Taliban. We will pay with food, medical supplies, equipment, and other goods and services needed by the people of that country.
Leaders in the 34 provinces would bring crops to the capitol and return home with goods and services in hand or ordered for delivery. Aside from increasing our GNP by $6 billion and creating more jobs for people in our country, we would be increasing Afghanistan's GNP. The cost of this economic war would be much less than that of the 17,000 additional troops we sent to Afghanistan this week. We will still need a small military presence to provide government security and oversee business transactions and flow of goods. The Taliban would have lost a major funding source and some desire to have a large military presence. We would have 90 percent of the world's opium, which could be destroyed or converted and sold as medical-related products. If the Afghan people want to double their crop production, we will buy it all. A few extra billion is a good thing for both countries' GNPs.
I look forward to consulting with President Obama about my idea. In the unlikely event that he decides not to call me, I hope he understands that my first sentence is a fact.
Robb Heady, Durango