Talk:Opium production in Afghanistan

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Needs Updating[edit]

1. Article does not cite information from the past seven years (2008-2014). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.76.155.71 (talk) 12:21, 8 April 2014 (UTC)


Points on Referencing Article[edit]

1. No clear citations.

2. Article does not draw upon mainstream sources, rather tends to rely upon obscure documents from a Swiss security organization-which are in German. The average Wikipedia reader is not expected to know German to verify the truth of what he/she is reading in English.Moreover, what is this organization? What does it do? Is it commissioned by the Swiss government to do the studies?

3. Important dates lacking.

4. Come on guys! discuss this article- That is what Wikipedia is about!!Italic text

This acticle is full of figures, facts, dates and references, including the BBC, a UN report and a well-documented, well-accepted book, all in English, plus an independent study by a Swiss organisation. The fact that it is in German does not fault the reality of the story. You can still access it and have it translated if interested. Breaker 23:57, 2 December 2006 (UTC)


The link provided is to the 'swiss security organization's homepage. I don't even know where to begin to start to find the article, especially as neither the title or the author of the reference are cited.Edward Tubb 14:12, 14 February 2007 (UTC) This site: [1] lists 'SicherheitsForum' as a security trade magazine.Edward Tubb 14:18, 14 February 2007 (UTC)


This article is a shame. It's a landamrk in desinformation. Not only does it overlook US, Western, and Pakistani ties to the heroin trade, but it also shows that the guy detained in Gitmo was only a drug addict and a minor drug dealer. This doesnt' deserve being jailed and tortured in Camp X-ray.

As soon as I got time, i'll rectify this article!

also parts of this read like an essay and "but also one of the world's most serious problems" sounds kinda weasely

Resources to work with[edit]

Editorialism and references[edit]

This line should be deleted: "If 'SicherheitsForum' is correct, it is ironic how collaboration between international terrorism and organised crime could cause some global media to talk positively about the Taliban."A phrase such as the above is implicitly damning of literature that presents different findings, and assumes a connection between "international terrorism" and the poppy trade, something not actually that self-evident as one might assume. It is not the place of an encyclopedia article to point out irony based on a conjectural assumption.

Also, I think it's important to provide the most reputable source possible. Though I don't doubt the accuracy of 'SicherheitsForum' it is not in English. If this source were accepted as fact the findings should be cited in other, accessible, English references. There are indeed many, many English documents dealing with the Afghan Poppy trade. Felbab-Brown 2005, "Afghanistan: When Counternarcotics Undermines Counterterrorism" for example provides a similar judgment of Taliban opium policy. Edward Tubb 14:06, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Medical Production[edit]

This section is not sourced. It ignores the difficulty inherent in switching Afghan production to licit production. Not in the least because Afghan opium production currently exceeds world demand for licit opiates by several orders, and very few of the major players are likely to benefit from switching (notably, dealer/warlords, farmers, major world licit opium producers like India and Australia).

I suggest that this section be deleted, currently the only licit opium produced in Afghanistan is that confiscated and sold by Iran and medical cultivation is not currently a policy direction in Afghanistan.

A good summary of licit opium production is available here:[2]

Edward Tubb 16:52, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Figures used in the article[edit]

"According to the above UN source, Afghanistan saw a bumper opium crop of 4,600 million tonnes in 1999, which was the height of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan" I am not an expert on opium production, and therefore don't feel qualified to edit, but this figure seems to be out by a factor of 1 million. Theeurocrat 12:51, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Yep, int article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium#Illegal_production also numbers in the 5000 tonne range are used. --Xerces8 22:52, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

== Biased Entry - needs to be rewritten ==

Did the DEA write this entry?

The first sentence makes a value judgment - that opium production is a "significant problem for the country." That's arguable. It's more a problem for the DEA than for the Afghanis. The article makes several value judgments of the same nature - they are unencyclopedic. I want the facts about opium production in Afghanistan, not someone's opinions of the topic.

The section "Historical Context" makes it seem as if the history of opium production in Afghanistan began in 1979. That's ludicrous. Afghanistan has been producing opium for thousands of years. This biased article totally ignores the cultural history of opium in Afghanistan. During the summer of 2001, the Taliban was busy destroying all the ancient Buddhist artifacts in their country. The author's disrespect for Afghanistan's long history of opium production is similar to the Taliban's disrespect for their history of Buddhism. Afghanistan's history should be preserved no matter what it is, not trampled upon for political reasons.

The article goes on to talk about terrorism. While that might be a related topic, it seems to be the main focus of the author. That perspective is unfair and unrealistic.

The objections to the opposing view - that opium production in Afghanistan is NOT a problem, and should be permitted, are treated as strawmen and not fairly represented in the article.

There is a lot of bias in the entry and it should be rewritten from a neutral point of view.

Kenect2 02:54, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia articles do not have single authors like books and articles. Wikipedia articles are made up by numerous contributions from different people. This article is clearly lacking, and I would recommend you make the changes you wish to see. No one has argued that there wasn't an opium history before 1979, it's just that no one has added the history prior to that year. All Wikipedia articles are works in progress. ~ Rollo44 11:32, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

word dude i deleted the last sentence of the first paragraph that stated that opium production was one of the world's most serious problems. that was ridiculous. - ooorbjoo —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.22.9.26 (talk) 08:27, August 30, 2007 (UTC)

I am killing most of the text in the "rise of the taliban" part for its bias and lack of sources (specially the suggestions based on "some historians" and the misterious SicherheitsForum about a possible intention of the taliban to affect the price of heroin by destroying 90% of their crops - ridiculous). I will leave only the information about opium production changes according to de UN. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.112.139.251 (talk) 06:17, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree this is terribly biased. I know almost nothing about this topic, but am deleting some sentences here which contradict other Wiki articles, are not cited and are just plain ridiculous...
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, a combination of U.S. CIA and military forces (US and allied powers), in support of the Northern Alliance, quickly regained control of Afghanistan from the Taliban, leaving the country "in economic ruin and political chaos.
By November 2001, the Taliban were defeated, leading to the collapse of the economy. The scarcity of other sources of revenue forced many of the country's farmers to resort back to growing opium for export.(1,300 km² in 2004 according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.)
Will change to...
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, a combination of U.S. CIA and military forces (US and allied powers), in support of the Northern Alliance, invaded Afghanistan.
By November 2001, the collapse of the economy and The scarcity of other sources of revenue forced many of the country's farmers to resort back to growing opium for export. (1,300 km² in 2004 according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).
Of course, the Taliban are not defeated, as the Taliban article itself says...
The Taliban is today classified by security analysts as an "alternative government" in Afghanistan. It operates fifteen Sharia law courts in the country's southern provinces handling civil and commercial cases and collects taxes on harvests in farming areas. Reflecting its persistent power to intimidate the populace, the Taliban implemented one of the "strictest interpretation[s] of Sharia law ever seen in the Muslim world", yet still occasionally updates its code of conduct.[11] In mid-2009, it established an ombudsman office in northern Kandahar, which has been described as a "direct challenge" to the ISAF.[12]
Ideally someone with good knowledge and/or a good book on the subject, and a level head will take a better look at things! David 218.143.30.1 (talk) 03:25, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Pashtun mafia[edit]

The opium production in Afghanistan is not controlled by Pashtun mafia, as it states on the article. Pashtun is not the only ethnic group involved in this, there are many different ethnic groups involved. Instead of blaming just one ethnic group, why not mention all the people of Afghanistan, including people from neighboring countries because the king pins are those living safely in Pakistan, Iran, UAE, Tajikistan, Russia, etc. I also agree that the article is biased towards one particular group of people, when only couple of Pashtun people were ever arrested and convicted. --Travler 10:21, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes. The article seems generally weak, and inaccurate compared to what I've heard through the media. I've put a {{accuracy}} on the article. Rwendland 15:03, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Taliban and opium[edit]

I thought that the opium production during the Taliban was very low. In complete contrast to what the article says. I will remove the unsourced paragraph. Andries 08:26, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

from See http://opioids.com/afghanistan/index.html

"U.N. drug control officers said the Taliban religious militia has nearly wiped out opium production in Afghanistan -- once the world's largest producer -- since banning poppy cultivation last summer."

Andries 08:29, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

What month of the year are poppies planted, and what month harvested? I have seen photographs of poppy fields that stretch for miles - are they all planted by hand or do they grow all by themselves? To eradicate the crop and not affect Afgani's, how much would the farmers need to be paid to grow another crop instead of poppies? Not that there is anything wrong with the poppies themselves, but when would they need to be plowed under to keep them from being harvested for opium? 64.222.129.18 (talk) 19:36, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


When I started using Opiates (2003) I did read a lot about all the stuff and of course its a big joke (Afghanistan is the perfect example that the US "War on Drugs"-Bul...it is only BlaBla, and that the CIA (not the whole, parts!) were and are involved, somehow in the opiate production in Afghanistan is no top secret thing, no more. There are even some books about it, but they are hard to get in German (hard to find a publisher that support such a delicate topic), I only found used books in English on Amazon in ~2004... to order the book new was not possible since there was only one edition of maybe a few thousand books, I guess mostly self-finances by the Author.

However surfing on the Website of the Austrian Criminal Police (I live in Berlin, Germany but they speak German too..), I found an interesting article. Sad I didn't copy it or so, only posted the link in a forum, but the link later was dead. This report investigated the ban of opium production by the taliban. In the prior 5-6 years there has been produced too much Opium, not as worse as since the US Invasion, but too much. The prices went down under 500$/kg opium in Afghanistan. This was first bad for the farmers. However the Austrian Criminal Police had information that the Taliban had bunker with tons of opium from the prior years, which sounds much, but 10kg of opium give around 1kg of Morphinbase, which later gives almost 1kg Diacetylmorphine, of course only in big amounts, doing this with 10kg opium would be extreme ineffective, you lose a bit, so they extract at least hundreds or in most cases thousands of kilogram opium into Morphinbase, the Police saw a rapid explosion in prices for opiu after the Taliban banned the production (it was only 1 year in which the production was low, the reserves the Taliban had were enough for some years even without any new production). The opium prices rised from 300-400$ to over 700$, maybe even close to 1000$ shortly before the US troops invaded Afghanistan. However to this point the Taliban already had more than 1 year to sell their huge reserves. So the study said: It was a financial thing. Like the OPEC and Oil... Saudi-Arabia and other OPEC Members went down their production at the end of 2008 because of the financial crisis. Over 4 Million Barrels (around 650 million litre EVERY day!), only to keep the price high. It didn't work in the first months, but without that action the oil price still would be at a fair level.

The Taliban sold tons of Opium to the higher price, which brought many millions to them. This is only a very small piece of the cake, but enough for one of the poorest countries in the world, 600-700 US-$ was the normal price in the last decade for 1kg opium, ~10kg neede for 1kg of Heroine, the Afghan Heroine is of bad quality, the purity is "only" 75-80% because they do not have the infrastructure like the golden triangle in the golden triangle had with the "Thai Shore", Heroine from Burma/Laos/Myanmar with over 95% and white color instead of brown/cream. However, since 75-80% is still a dream, and the consumer in Europe can be lucky if he gets 1 gram with 6% of heroine for 40-50€ or more, one kilogram of "clean" Afghan Heroin is worth at least 250.000 or even over 300.000 US-$ (200.000€ or so, in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand and so on even more). So even 5.000 Dollar for 1kg of Opium would be still very profitable for the whole business, the prices in the producer region just would rise maybe at a rate of 200 or 300 percent, but this doesn't matter if the stuff is once in the European Union or North America/Australia and the other liquid markets. I just can't understand why this, and only this! document has been removed from the website, the other shit is still there...

The experts wrote, that without an US Invasion the low, but still existing production, would be reactivated slowly after 2-3 years if they run out of reserves... but that even the evil Taliban were against the evil drugs, which far over hundred thousand western soldiers are looking while they are growing, is a better story than "Taliban banned opium production to sell their reserves and make some additional millions". The extreme overproduction today has been solved, maybe one third goes to rich countries like the USA/Canada, Europe... but the Iran has more addicts than the USA and the European Union together. Pakistan also has a very high rate, even Afghanistan became a market... they can't sell all the stuff in the western countries, especially since there is methadone available even in eastern europe, and even in China today. So they make most of their profit in the "first world", but something into the "bunker" (they could supply the WHOLE market, even these in the poor countries, without any new production for 2 or 3 years from their opium/morphine reserves, and of course they have heroine reserves in some western countries too for at least ~1 year or more. -- Kilon22 (talk) 03:25, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Frontline (U.S. TV series) resource[edit]

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/opium-brides/

99.190.86.5 (talk) 04:15, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

have you heard of bullying cause i have --76.217.97.199 (talk) 16:35, 24 February 2013 (UTC)Danרצץףס


Political bias[edit]

Parts of this article have been written with a strong anti-American bias. E.g., the chapter about the Soviet period (1979-1989) says very little about opium production, and is instead focused on conspiracy theories about CIA.

Not up to date[edit]

Large parts of this article reflect the situation in 2007.

There are references to the UNODC report mainly for the year 2007, and occasionally 2009 and 2010. I see no reference to the 2012 edition. http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/Summary_Findings_FINAL.pdf

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