The Pentagon’s civilian and military officials are at odds over whether to destroy Afghanistan’s opium fields, the Financial Times reported this week. Civilian leaders agree with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who wants the heroin trade stopped before parliamentary elections. Karzai fears that warlords will use their heroin profits to influence the vote. But U.S. military leaders argue that disrupting the country’s main agricultural product would be even more destabilizing to the elections. “If you pull at the thread of counternarcotics the wrong way, because of the sheer proportion of the gross domestic product wrapped up in this business, you should be careful of unintended consequences,” said Gen. James Jones, the American commander of NATO.
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