U.S. Dumps $8.4b in Afghanistan to Fight Drugs, but Opium Production Jumped

A years-long, $8.4 billion U.S.-funded effort to eradicate drug production in Afghanistan has failed miserably and now the war-torn nation is the world’s “global leader” in opium cultivation and production, according to a federal audit.

A new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction revealed Thursday that opium production in Afghanistan is at a 12-year high.

“The U.S. has provided $8.4 billion for counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan, and the country is the global leader in illicit opium cultivation and production,” the quarterly report concluded.

Like so many U.S. taxpayer funded projects in Afghanistan, the anti-drug effort has been troubled, but the new numbers on spending and drug production show that the eradication effort has failed at a huge cost.