Kabul at crossroads U.N. office warns
MOSCOW — Afghanistan, the world's leading producer of opium, risks becoming a failed state in the hands of drugs cartels and narco-terrorists, the United Nations warns.
Opium cultivation was virtually eradicated in 2001 by the Taliban regime, but since it was forced from power two years ago, Afghanistan has resumed harvesting and now accounts for 77 percent of global opium production, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said in its latest annual report.
"The country is clearly at a crossroads. Either major surgical drug-control measures are taken now, or the drug cancer in Afghanistan will keep spreading and metastasize into corruption, violence and terrorism," U.N. anti-drugs chief Antonio Maria Costa said in the report, presented in Moscow Wednesday.
Washington Times - 1 November 2003