US fights Afghan drug biz with cash

Tom Johansmeyer

As part of its Afghanistan strategy, the U.S. and Great Britain have begun making moves against the narcotics trade. Over the years, the region's economic dependence upon opiates has left it vulnerable to tribal chieftains and the Taliban. In order to combat this, the Western allies are hoping to supplant the drug-based economy.

They aren't going so far as to buy the poppy crop, MSNBC reports, though the idea has been kicked around. For now, they are using a variety of incentives to help convince Afghan farmers to commit to other crops. Wheat seeds and fruit saplings are being offered for next to nothing, and cheap credit is being extended to the farmers.