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Coalition of the Willing's devastating legacy in Afghanistan

Not only are we seeing the repercussions of the ill-fated Iraq War, the attack on Libya in order to oust Qaddafi and the general upheaval and turmoil created in the Middle East - just look at the steady stream of refugees making their way to Europe and then marching across the continent - but the Coalition of the Willing (led by Bushs' US, Blair's UK and Howard's Australia) have left Afghanistan in a state which can only be described as tragic and appalling.

"Nearly a decade and a half of U.S. occupation has resulted in a country so dangerous that, according to the latest United Nations report on Afghanistan, “Civilians continued to bear the brunt of the Afghan conflict in the first half of 2015,” and “casualties are projected to equal or exceed the record high numbers documented last year.” In fact, civilian casualties spiked a whopping 60 percent in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2014. The U.N. explained that the rise was “mostly due to increased civilian casualties caused by pro-Government forces during ground engagements.” “Pro-government forces” is simply another phrase for U.S.-backed forces.

Under the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, the drug trade has also flourished. Just as warlords have been allowed to rape children and murder captives, U.S. troops have looked the other way as their drug lord allies have cultivated and sold opium and heroin. Afghanistan is now the No. 1 global supplier of heroin. Author Julien Mercille points out in his book “Cruel Harvest: U.S. Intervention in the Afghan Drug Trade,” that “US policies ... have followed a historical pattern of toleration and protection of strongmen involved in narcotics.” U.S.-backed warlords reside in so-called “Poppy Palaces,” built from the spoils of the drug trade, even as ordinary Afghans struggle to meet their most basic needs. Drug addiction has skyrocketed so much among poor Afghans that it has resulted in whole villages of addicts, ranging from ages 10 to 60.

The McClatchy publishing company reports that when Afghanistan’s minister for counternarcotics, Gen. Khodaidad, was asked what the U.S. military has done to help eradicate opium and heroin, his response was, “Nothing.”

Read the full report on Afghanistan on truthdig, here.


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