Afghanistan's Tipping Point
Afghanistan is now in the tenth year of its current war. There are not enough foreign troops on the ground to achieve their mission; bombing their way out of trouble is counter-productive; senior members of the Karzai government and the police force are corrupt; the Taliban and the other insurgents get rich through the opium trade and by protection rackets that allow convoys taking fuel to Nato troops get to their destination. And more and more insurgents are being supplied, and seek refuge, across the border in Pakistan's tribal areas.
What western intelligence and military officials call the most dangerous part of the world has reached a tipping point.
Success in eliminating Afghanistan’s notorious terrorist networks is vital for the US and the world; even more so now that the rigged presidential elections in Afghanistan in late August have created a deep political and security crisis for Afghans and Western forces there.
Compounding the problem, opium sales have ballooned since 2001. Afghanistan today provides 93 percent of the world's heroin and from the poppy growers, to the Taliban and other local powers, to the drug lords and their allies in government, the influence of opium money pervades Afghan life.