Afghanistan Drugs

The first time I heard of the Taliban was in 2000 when they announced that they were outlawing the poppy crop. They cracked down on the heroin producing plant with dictatorial authority. The next time I heard about them was after 9/11 when the U.S. entered the country and overthrew the Taliban control and drove them underground.

The last time I heard about the Taliban was yesterday on NPR when they said the government under Harmad Karzai can not control the poppy growers. In fact, Afghanistan has reached their record levels of illegal drug export.

I am certainly not defending the Taliban or saying that they were good guys. However, I am wondering how much their decision regarding poppy affected the world drug trade. I am wondering how much that illegal enterprise has contributed towards recent world events.

Is the middle east just about oil? Or is there something just as powerful at work?

Whatya think?