President Obama has unveiled his plan for the war in Afghanistan, taking a more regional approach than the U.S. has in the past.
In Friday’s Cato Daily Podcast, foreign policy analyst Malou Innocent says it’s a critical step in the right direction, but stabilizing Afghanistan and fighting an insurgency can’t be accomplished while killing the livelihoods of so many Afghan farmers by destroying opium poppy.
In the future we should take Afghanistan as it is, rather than what we want it to be. So not only does that mean having a decreased reliance on a central state government from Kabul, but also understanding that many of the farms from these rural areas rely on the opium poppy crop for their own livelihood. So we should focus our efforts to targeting those who are in cahoots with insurgent groups and not simply those who are depending on it for their livelihood.
Her forthcoming paper, “Pakistan and the Future of U.S. Policy” will be released next month.