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Targeting Taliban’s revenue stream

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Targeting Taliban’s revenue stream
 The US Forces in Afghanistan on Sunday released video footage that shows Taliban drug factories being bombed in Farah and Nimroz provinces last week. According to a US Forces, the airstrikes were carried out last week in cooperation with the Afghan Air Forces (AAF).
According to reports, 11 Taliban narcotics production facilities in Farah and Nimroz provinces were targeted, as US Forces and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces expand counter-revenue efforts against the Taliban beyond Helmand and southern Afghanistan.
The precision airstrikes, conducted by US F-16s, A-10s and MQ-9s, were the first in western Afghanistan in support of the counter-revenue campaign designed to degrade the Taliban’s primary means of funding its operations – narcotic production.
According to the US Forces, the Taliban counter-revenue campaign, which began in November 2017, has continued without pause through the winter, impacting narcotics processing facilities that generate an estimated $200 million USD in revenue annually for the Taliban.
Overall, since November 2017, the campaign has conducted 75 strikes against narcotics production facilities in Afghanistan and continues to disturb revenue through which to the Taliban. The counter-revenue campaign continues to demonstrate the US and ANDSF’s collective resolve to fight terrorism and bring stability and peace to Afghanistan.
Targeting the drug factories are indeed the good news coming out these days. Internationally led counternarcotic efforts have gained momentum, opium cultivation is decreasing, and more provinces have gone “poppy free,” a term developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and commitment of the Afghan government that indicate provinces where opium growing has ceased or reached negligible levels. 
It is widely accepted now that the poppy cultivation and its smuggling are linked with the networks of organized crime in the country that further extends to international mafia and drug markets and they have their stronginternational backers in the black markets.
Therefore, besides government and the security forces’commitment towards counternarcotic, religious scholars and public can put an end to the problem. The religious scholars through extending their influences across the country can force people to avoid opium cultivation. Religious scholars also should tell people that it is Haram and would harm Afghans who are Muslims. 
Meanwhile to control opium cultivation and drug trafficking,coordination and trust-based relations should be established among the neighboring and regional countries. In such situation, it would be easy to bring down traffickers and end opium cultivation.
Without any coordination and cooperation among the regional and even that of the world countries, opium production would be increased and that would not only threaten the security of Afghanistan, but even that of the whole Asia, Europe and US.
Targeting Taliban’s drug factories and the main revenue stream can be seen as a bold step towards counternarcotic and counterterrorism efforts. The campaign needed to be continued to full elimination of the phenomenon and the cooperation of the regional countries and international community is a must.