Policy Brief - P4M

A Closer Look At The Senlis Council's Proposed Poppy For Medicine (P4M) Project In Afghanistan

Prepared for the GPC by Gordon Nelson Edited by Moe Berrigan

August 2007

"This may be the only chance Afghanistan has to solve its drug problem, while providing a pragmatic and dynamic solution to its future peace, and meeting the vital public health objective of supplying essential medications to the developing world."

The Lancet

UK medical journal

1. Introduction The Poppy for Medicine (P4M) project is an integrated counter-narcotics and counter-insurgency initiative that aims to combat both Afghanistan's illegal narcotics industry and the continuing insurgency. It recognizes that continuing or enhancing forced poppy crop eradication will fatally undermine progress to date. These eradication measures have exacerbated the volatile security situation are insensitive to local concerns and harm local populations more than they benefit them. As a result, rural Afghans distrust the Karzai government. Some support the Taliban, who are willing to protect the farmers' only available livelihood. As a result, the Taliban are becoming wealthy. As opium cultivation grows and the security situation worsens, the eradication efforts of Kabul and the international community are not meeting their objectives. Licensing opium cultivation for the production of Afghan-made morphine to be exported to developing countries through special trade agreements will reduce the supply of opium to drug traffickers and erode the support of local insurgents. It will also provide the Afghan government with much needed revenue for infrastructure and economic diversification, and use existing local governance institutions and livelihoods towards the goal of phasing out reliance on poppy cultivation. 2. The Current Situation Afghanistan remains economically dependent on the illegal cultivation of opium poppy. The Afghan drug economy generates US $2.8 billion annually, about half of Afghanistan's GDP. As a result, 12.6 percent of the population is dependent on poppy cultivation for their everyday needs. While the government continues to stress the viability of alternative livelihoods, there is little evidence of these livelihoods being implemented. This forces Afghan farmers to continue growing poppies for opium and heroin production and pits them against the Karzai government, which supports forced eradication. According to a 2006 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Afghanistan has again become the world's leading producer of opium, and poppy cultivation has spread to almost every province. The land under poppy cultivation increased by 59% in 2006 from the previous year to a total of 165,000 hectares. Afghanistan produces 92 percent of the world's opium. Southern Afghanistan, which is the Taliban stronghold and where the Canadian forces are stationed, accounted for 62 percent of total cultivation in 2006. Wheat, the other main regional crop, yields a tenth of the cash to be made from poppies which is not enough to feed smallholders' families. Many farmers would prefer alternatives but few exist. Many poor farmers are locked into the opium economy, both by debt and by their need to access the means of production. Despite the industry's profitability, farmers continue to be highly vulnerable and live in poverty. At the same time, warlords and insurgents are becoming quite wealthy and the Karzai government lacks table sources of revenue. In addition to this lucrative illegal economy, Afghanistan is in a vulnerable security situation and the country's governance institutions are fragmented. Fierce battles are raging in the south of the country where most of the poppy farms are located. Insurgent attacks are spreading to the provinces surrounding Kabul, the central government's only stronghold. Provincial justice departments, schools, public services and police stations are constantly targeted to amplify the power vacuum in southern and eastern Afghanistan. The US-led Operation Enduring Freedom and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, of which Canada is a major player, are struggling to stabilize the situation. While their presence was initially welcomed, Afghans in the southern region remain divided over which side to support. This uncertainty fuels support for the insurgency since insurgents are more attuned to local concerns than the government. Presently, insurgents are recruiting and teaching terrorist techniques while the Taliban have strong influence over southern Afghanistan. They are threatening the lives of aid workers in the region. According to a police intelligence officer in Helmand province, "every time the foreigners attack and kill civilians and do not do anything to help the locals, we lose more support. But the international armies don't listen to us. They keep on doing all of these bad things and the situation is getting worse and worse." As well, "self interested spoilers, particularly those in the narcotics trade further fuel the violence. The traffickers and facilitators have no desire to see their trade threatened, and hence forge alliances of convenience with anti-government elements.” 3. Effects of the Forced Eradication Strategy Opium poppy has been officially prohibited since 2002, when Karzai declared a jihad against the drug industry. The American Government has a five pillar Counternarcotics plan. The pillars are public information, alternative livelihoods, eradication, interdiction and law enforcement/justice reform. Proponents of this strategy state that the fear of eradication is the single most effective deterrent to poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. Yet, with the lack of alternative livelihoods and debts to warlords, Afghan citizens have little choice but to continue this illegal cultivation. Presently, Poppy Elimination Program (PEP) teams, composed of Afghans and international experts and advisors, are being deployed to the seven major poppy producing provinces. They monitor cultivation and compliance of the provincial governments (who are mainly responsible for eradication) and report significant developments to senior levels of the Afghan government. In 2004, the US Drug Enforcement Agency set up a Central Poppy Eradication Force (CPEF) urging local leaders to destroy the poppy fields in their area under their control. The Afghan Eradication Force (AEF) consists of four mobile units of 150 eradicators and security personnel who are deployed by the Afghan government to help meet and monitor poppy elimination objectives in the local areas. The US and the UK are the main moral and financial supporters of this total eradication strategy, yet it is Afghan officials who actually eradicate. The average yearly foreign aid for counter narcotics activities totals $501 million US. Canada contributes 2 percent of the budget, the UK 26 percent and the USA 34 percent. The total budget accounts for slightly more than 15 percent of total foreign aid in Afghanistan. The results of forced eradication strategies have been minimal while the costs of implementation are high. The UK's two pronged strategy to combat opium through law enforcement and alternative livelihood programs has seldom reduced the enormous scale of the illegal heroin economy. While the UK is involved in alternative livelihoods for farmers, its main focus is clearly to destroy poppy crops and drug laboratories. In 2005, the Afghan government destroyed 5,000 hectares which accounts for only 5 percent of the total poppy cultivation. In 2006, 15,300 hectares were eradicated. However, since cultivation increased by 59 percent, this has had little effect. When eradication teams finish work in a village, two thirds of the crop has typically been left standing. This militant counter narcotics strategy is ineffective and counterproductive. Corruption in the Karzai government is rampant and officials have little motivation to work with local leaders to properly implement forced eradication. Large landholders and warlords are able to bribe village leaders and government agents not to eradicate their crops. As a result, poor farmers who depend on the livelihood are the ones whose crops are being eradicated. According to a farmer from Kandahar province, “When they came with the tractors to eradicate this area yesterday, I told them that they just might as well drive the tractor over me because I can't live anymore. I have 15 members of the family to feed so it means you're killing me. We don't know what we should do.” Nazir Ahmad, an opium farmer who supports twenty people, laments that they do not receive aid from government officials and that any aid from the government goes into the hands of corrupt officials and landowners with political influence. He states that “if they tell us to break the poppies, we must pay them not to.” The forced eradication is making Afghan citizens distrust their central government and the international community. The only contact some farmers have had with their government is the destruction of their livelihood. With the prioritization of military security over the relief of the Afghan peoples extreme poverty and economic instability, Afghans see their government as a puppet of the West which is not looking out for their best interests. The Senlis Council (SC) finds that eradication leaves no psychological space for the development of alternative development projects and that it is an anti-poor policy. 4. Logistics of P4M P4M would link two of Afghanistan's most valuable resources-poppy cultivation and strong local village control systems to secure the controlled cultivation of poppy for the local production of morphine. The village-cultivated poppy would be transformed into locally produced morphine. Opium is the base material for morphine and codeine, two World Health Organization (WHO) recognized medicines. The Afghan government would purchase all of the medicine and sell it to developing countries through preferential trading agreements. Afghanistan's 2005 counter-narcotics law provides for the implementation of poppy licensing schemes and drug regulation. It allows for the creation of a Committee for Drug Regulation. Under the treaty provisions governing the production of medicines from opium, no formal approval is required from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). In accordance with international law, Afghanistan can immediately start cultivating poppy under a strict licensing system for the domestic manufacture of morphine. The crux of these projects is to create revenue and infrastructure at all levels of Afghan society, from the central government to the local farmer. It also brings legitimacy to the actions of poppy farmers and includes them in the legal Afghan economy. There are numerous actors involved in P4M: the farmers, the village-level governance institutions (shuras), relevant ministries of the central government, district governments, the Afghan National Police and development agencies operating in Afghanistan. The hierarchy of the licensing scheme is as follows: The shuras would be the primary controllers of the project. They strictly enforce social norms and behaviour at all levels of social and economic interaction in rural Afghanistan and have great influence over the day to day actions of their community members. The shuras would establish a local cooperative association of which all poppy farmers in the village would be members of. The cooperative association would provide P4M project communities with a locally owned and operated formal economic infrastructure through which future economic diversification projects could be implemented. The cooperatives would be responsible for distributing revenues via the formal village business entity to the various project participants, notably the farmers. They would also nominate villagers to be involved in project participant roles based on such criteria as aptitude, access to securable land, farming experience and commitment to the project aims. The cooperatives would sell their harvest to a special district level transformation factory for the manufacture of morphine medicines. The local factory would enable the processing of individual project villages' dried and tested poppy harvests into finished medicines of international export quality. These processing facilities would need professional pharmaceutical chemists and laboratory workers. The Afghan made medicines would be exported or sold under a second-tier medicine supply system for emerging countries. Afghan-village made medicines can provide for the global un-met need for morphine. Since most of the project, from cultivation to production will occur at the local level, the SC has adopted an Integrated Control System (ICS) to ensure that corruption does not occur at any phase of the project and that the farmers and community leaders will not be enticed to divert poppy crops to the illegal economy. By monitoring, policing, and regulating every aspect of a P4M project, the ICS would make possible the smooth, secure manufacture of medicines in Afghanistan. As well, the transformation factories would be located at the seat of the district government and jointly managed and operated by representatives from the individual villages. This would help provide the careful local control necessary to institute crop quotas and prevent corruption and diversion. This monitoring would also ensure that the production of the medicines would meet the requirements of international regulations. 5. Why P4M? *Coordinate central government activities with local districts and villages and destroy the raison d'etre of the insurgents and Taliban forces. By capitalizing on the expertise of poppy farmers through diverting part of the existing illegal opium industry to the domestic and international medicine markets, current opium farmers will become a legitimate and important part of the Afghan economy. By setting up a medium to low scale medicine producing industry, the activities of rural Afghanis would be in sync with those at the district and federal level. Also, the newfound revenue for the central government and shuras, will provide much needed infrastructure for the local villages. P4M would decriminalize the Afghan economy, raise the government's tax base, and erode the financial basis of organized crime and terrorist groups. Field research done by the SC has revealed that the vast majority of current insurgents are driven primarily by economic incentives. With the ability to access a stable livelihood, rural communities would be provided with a real choice between the illegal and legal economy, and a real opportunity to switch their loyalties from drug traffickers to the Afghan government. * Provide essential medicines to emerging countries through a second-tier medicine supply system. Two-tier systems exist today for such commodities as generic HIV/AIDS medicines and bananas. The systems are most useful where consumers are disconnected from the overall market, having been priced out of the formal market system. Special trade agreements would enable the sale of Afghan morphine within the frame of current regulatory constraints. Two types of sales contracts are possible. The first would be a commercial contract between Afghanistan and another state for an agreed upon quantity of poppy based medicine. These contracts are rare because states tend to shy away from direct participation in the market. As a result, a better option is a contract between state owned enterprises. * Economic Diversification Currently, illegal poppy cultivation is a necessity for many farmers, not a choice. Farmers are exposed to risks most would never willingly undertake, if given viable economic alternatives. P4M projects would provide strategic assets and resources to rural communities in order to diversify. Presently these resources are non-existent making it impossible for rural communities to develop alternative livelihoods. Diversification to phase out reliance on poppy cultivation could follow two complementary routes: direct investment in community-level development projects and indirect investment in individual community members' economic diversification activities are both viable options. The shura could use an economic diversification fund through its revenue from the sale of its harvest to the factory to invest in a pump to improve irrigation to the whole village. This would allow locals to begin cultivating more water-intensive crops. The diversification fund could also be used to grant small microcredit loans to finance individual villager's efforts to diversify their economic activities. Microfinance is a sustainable and cost-effective way for P4M projects to fund local entrepreneurial initiatives to increase local prosperity and economic diversity. Where alternative crops become readily available, profitable poppy production could be phased out. However in areas where this alternative is not feasible, P4M production could continue in order to retain access of affordable morphine to developing countries. 6. Lessons from Turkey The international community should not be hostile to this idea since the licensing of poppy cultivation was implemented and deemed a success in Turkey. Admittedly, it took a great deal of work and convincing on the part of the Turkish government to get the USA onboard. Poppy cultivation is a peasant tradition in Turkey and, despite low incomes, most farmers would never renounce the practice. In the late 1960s early 70s, Turkey's political situation was relatively volatile. At the same time, as drug use increased around the world, the Nixon administration believed that approximately 80 percent of the heroin entering the United States had originated as opium in Turkey. In 1969, eradicating Turkish opium production became a top priority for the US State Department. However, the Turkish Prime Minister announced that complete eradication of poppy would not be possible, because poppy oil was too important to Turkey and a cultivation ban would be impossible to implement. He emphasized the political weight of the 70,000 poppy farming families. Eradication would create a clash between the government forces and the people and would make the problem worse, since it would create public support for plantings. American persistence finally died down and a poppy licensing law was passed in August 1971. However, opium poppy production would be banned by 1972. This proved to be short lived and, due to the ban's intense unpopularity in 1974, the Turkish government informed the UN that it would permit the licensed cultivation of poppies for medical purposes. The UN granted technical assistance to the Turkish government for the construction of a poppy processing factory, as well as resources for the control of licensed poppy cultivation. In 1981, the US gave Turkey special protected market status. They had to purchase at least 80 percent of its narcotic raw materials. This agreement is still in effect. The council states that Turkey's transition to a system of licensed poppy cultivation was possible because all parties understood that total eradication was impracticable and that only pragmatic solutions would work. Why the US, UK and others think that it will work in Afghanistan is puzzling. However, it was a success in Turkey because of the international community's support and the guaranteed market through the bilateral trade agreement. It is unlikely that P4M would be possible in Afghanistan without these two factors. 7. Testing the feasibility of marketing Afghan-made morphine Since a large portion of P4M projects rely on the cooperation of local and district officials, pilot projects must be undergone to test whether these projects can occur. They must also test whether some regions of the country are better suited than others for P4M infrastructure based on climatic and agricultural conditions and different local decision-making and control processes. Also, the selected pilot locations should be in an area under the control of local district officials, rather than the Taliban or insurgents. The SC's technical dossier of June 2007 has set out guidelines for scientific pilot projects which could begin in the fall. The running time of the projects would be one growing season, from October 2007 until May 2008. There would be 5 farms in each project. One month before the start of the growing season, the pilot project site should be fully operational and secured by the local community. The implementation phase would involve documenting the proceedings of the shura who is tasked with setting up the small pilot cooperative. The members of the cooperative and the lands are selected and a preliminary budget and inventory lists should be drawn up. The entire cultivation process would be documented in all different areas. Harvesting methods and yield per farmer per pilot cooperative would be monitored. To ensure that harvested poppies are not sold to the drug traffickers, the total yield of the cooperative would be checked against the area of poppies originally planted and the quantity of poppies harvested. Next, documentation would be needed on how the raw poppy materials would be converted in the laboratories of the pilot project sites and how they would be packaged. Monitors would document how the medicines would be transported to Kabul for domestic distribution and how they would be exported and sold to international markets. The evaluation period would take place in May and June 2008. Overall, the purpose of the project is to investigate the essential agricultural, pharmaceutical, economic and control elements of a P4M project. The second-tier supply system must also be tested to ensure that these medicines would reach patients that would otherwise have no access to morphine. It must also be assured that developing countries or international aid agencies would purchase the medicines. Pilot projects should be implemented in selected locations in developing countries to ensure that the production of affordable Afghan morphine results in increased access to morphine where it is most needed. 8. Supplying morphine to UN agencies and international NGOs Since the governments of many developing countries lack the resources to purchase these medicines regardless of their affordability, international aid agencies and organizations represent a stable potential market for Afghan made morphine. The UN Inter-Agency Procurement Service (IAPSO) is the self-funding procurement agent for a range of UN agencies, NGOs and international financial institutions. In 2006, $8.5 million US of medical supplies was bought by the IAPSO. In 2005, 43.1 percent of goods were purchased from lesser developed countries. The WHO and UN are involved in constructing national procurement agencies where they buy the medicines from these countries which they then distribute to where there is need worldwide. Due to the high demand of pain relieving drugs, Afghan made morphine could be purchased by international aid agencies involved in the procurement of both large and small orders of pain relieving drugs. Committed buyers of Afghan made morphine are critical for the entire P4M project process to function. Without export revenue the Afghan central government will be unable to purchase the medicine from district processing factories that would be unable to pay the local co-operatives who would be unable to pay the farmers. 9. Critique/counter critique of P4M: Both Nick Grono, Vice President for Advocacy and Operations at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, and Joanna Nathan, Crisis Group Senior Analyst based in Kabul, have criticized P4M. In the May 31st, 2007 edition of The Christian Science Monitor, they argue that forced eradication and legalization are attractive options to deal with Afghanistan's drug and security problem. However, both are bound to fail. Due to the legitimacy that ICG supported publications have worldwide, it is necessary to analyze their critique of P4M and offer informative counters to their objections in order to maintain the credibility and potential of this project. ICG: The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) categorically asserts there is already an oversupply of opiates for medical purposes. GPC: The manner that the INCB calculates supply and demand does not give an objective assessment of the "oversupply" of opiates for medicine worldwide. The current administered system is designed to identify market raw poppy materials and to manage the related supply. However, it does not state the actual need for poppy-based medicines. In lesser developed countries, demands for morphine are underestimated because of a self-perpetuating cycle of medical under-prescription and regulations that inhibit these countries to import morphine. Demand from these countries remains structurally low. In 2005, the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand accounted for more than 95 percent of total morphine consumption in 2005. While there is a potential oversupply in these six markets, it does not take into consideration those countries that have no access to these pain relieving drugs. There is an extensive unsatisfied demand worldwide which affordable Afghan morphine could provide through a second tier market. This second tier market would involve the international community buying the locally made morphine from Afghanistan and giving it as a proportion of foreign aid to countries with unmet needs. It would have no effect on the relationship with the current market between the developed world and current opiate producers in Turkey, India and elsewhere. The idea that there is oversupply is a western-centric perspective on the situation which fails to account for the 80 percent of the world's population lacking access to pain relieving medicines. Ironically, Grono and Nathan continue to write: "…but even if there is unmet demand, Afghanistan is perhaps the world's least suitable place to meet it." This disproves their argument and reinforces the Green Party’s stance. The pessimism that Afghanistan would be unable to rise out of its current situation and institute this policy is unhelpful. P4M has great potential to bring thousands of Afghan farmers legitimately into the economy while providing essential medicines to the developing world of which there is extensive unmet demand. ICG: Afghanistan's current situation of ineffective law enforcement and widespread armed conflict make it an unsuitable location to meet a potential unmet need for opiate based medicines. GPC: We assert that the current security situation in Afghanistan is becoming increasingly unstable and that the insurgency is continuing to gain ground and support. This situation is unsustainable and urgent change is needed. However, for the past several years, the central government and the international community have spent millions of dollars trying to eradicate poppy cultivation with little success. Forced eradication efforts in Colombia, including aerial spraying, have not decreased the supply of cocoa based drugs. In actual fact, this policy harms the health and economic viability of peasant farmers and increases insurgent attacks. This $1.3 billion US "aid" program has been criticized by the UN. Often legal crops of bananas and beans are being fumigated by mistake, destroying the legitimate livelihood of many. It is puzzling why the international community wishes to base its strategy for Afghanistan on the Colombian model which has not worked, rather than use the Turkish model which shows that licensing poppy cultivation is possible. "The US and UK's counter-narcotics strategy have accelerated and compounded all of Afghanistan's problems." Opium production is up, the insurgency is spreading northwards and the people are becoming more and more disillusioned with the Karzai government and the work of US and NATO forces. P4M, in contrast, offers a creative and effective solution to help address the security crisis. In a country that has been war torn for generations with little experience in post conflict situations, any proposal to change the status quo must be looked at optimistically. By legalizing poppy cultivation, rural farmers will be encouraged to sell to the government rather than to Taliban forces and traffickers. The money that will go into the community will help economic diversification efforts and make the villages more stable and prosperous. Eliminating the Taliban's role as intermediaries between farmers and traffickers will also eliminate a lucrative source of income that the insurgents are receiving. Presently, these funds are used to purchase weapons for the insurgency. The movement of money for guns into economic diversification is an excellent way to solve the security situation. The armed conflict will be reduced by eliminating the economic insecurity of rural farmers and their dependence on warlords and by creating a lucrative revenue stream for the Afghan government and local communities. The hearts and minds of government officials and rural Afghans must be won if the security situation is going to be remedied. Work must be done to counter Taliban propaganda that illustrates immense hatred towards the West and the Karzai government. A challenge is convincing Afghans that their government and the international community are looking out for their best interests. The government must educate citizens on the benefits of being part of P4M rather than the illegal drug economy. Most Afghans are Muslims, and if the international community were to provide Afghan morphine to poor Muslim countries, farmers could see themselves as helping their own. By portraying farmers as remedying the pain of poor Muslims worldwide rather than supporting the drug habits of "decadent" westerners, farmers will perceive the contradictions in Taliban propaganda which will help turn them against the insurgency. This reality combined with the lack of revenue for the insurgents to purchase weapons would work at another level to undermine the Taliban. We acknowledge that the rampant corruption within the central government is one of the reasons why many of the current development, security and eradication efforts are not working at the local level. P4M still requires the co-operation of local officials to regulate cultivation and to ensure that crops are not being diverted to the illegal economy. This corruption must be fixed. The SC's ICS must be instituted so that international observers are monitoring local officials to ensure that they are doing their job properly. Again, if the Afghan government has the revenue to provide these officials with a solid income and if they understand the benefits of supporting P4M, they will work legitimately. Regardless, this is a challenge but it must be accepted as such rather than used as a way to argue against the feasibility of P4M's success. ICG: Licensed poppy crops would need to be carefully regulated. Who could realistically expect the fledging Afghan government to implement this complex and bureaucratic process, particularly in the violent and lawless south? GPC: Regulation mechanisms are a crucial part of P4M and careful regulation is possible. A quota system would be instituted in all P4M areas. A system of carrots and sticks would be established where quotas of the amount of raw poppy materials cultivated in each village would be set. Penalties would be enforced for those whose quotas are lower with rewards being provided for those who meet the quota. The local shuras would be involved in the process of negotiating the positive and negative incentives. Incentives would be enhanced development funding support for new community and farm infrastructure and services. Disincentives could be a lower poppy quota the following year and more regulation and enforcement in that village at harvest time. The Afghan government can realistically be expected to implement the complex and bureaucratic process of regulating and monitoring the licensed poppy crops because it would have the support and expertise of the international community, especially the UN. International observers would be involved to help regulate the quota system and to make sure that the rule of law is effectively being enforced by Afghan officials. The Afghan National Army would also be involved at harvest time to ensure compliance. It must be remembered that all areas of P4M from export of the morphine to cultivation of the poppy would be supported by the international community. A marketing board under the joint auspices of the Afghan government and the UN would be developed to oversee the production of morphine in the regionally processed factories and in the export process. Canadian expertise could be used in establishing such a board. The body would involve all partners in the P4M projects with representatives from all the countries that are providing aid dollars. ICG: The sole reason that opium fetches high prices is that it is illegal. Licensed opiates fetch a fraction of the price. Farmers would have no incentive to produce opium legally as long as there is a black market offering much higher profits for the illegal output. GPC: Because P4M is an internationally led development program it would not operate under an open market price system. Since the marketing board would be responsible for setting prices and distributing revenues, they have the power to offer a higher farm gate price than the drug traffickers' offer, as it is needed. For example, under the illegal market the farm gate price that farmers received for their crops totaled $750 million US in 2006. Presently, the failed forced eradication efforts cost approximately $500 million US. If all these funds were diverted to the marketing board and if countries were willing to provide an additional $300 to $400 million, farmers would receive more than they do now. This contribution from western nations could be applied to their goal of providing 0.07 percent of their GDP towards foreign aid. 10. Expanding Strategic Options This document has concentrated specifically on the logistics of the Senlis Council's proposal and the current situation on the ground in Afghanistan. There are many challenges to getting a project like P4M off the ground but a few pilot projects could initially be very useful to test potential success and reception by the local population. It is critical that a third option be explored that will not decisively lose hearts and minds through widespread aerial chemical spraying, or allow the continued unregulated expansion of the poppy crop and the corruption and insurgency it supports P4M is that third option and needs to be seriously investigated by Canada and NATO. References Afghanistan Compact, The, "Building on Success: The London Conference on Afghanistan", January 31st – February 1st, 2006, http://www.unama-afg.org Grono, Nick and Joanna Nathan, "Defeating Afghanistan's Drug Fix", The Christian Science Monitor, International Crisis Group http://www.crisisgroup.org (accessed May 31, 2007) International Crisis Group, The, http://www.icg.org, Various sites Lee Anderson, Jon, "The Taliban's Opium War", The New Yorker, July 9th, 2007 Pegge, Suzanne, "The Opium Economy in Afghanistan: A Supply Chain and Network Analysis", Agrotechnology and Food Innovations Institute, Wageningen University and Research Centre Righter, Rosemary, "At last some sense: Medicine for Poppies", Times Online, http://www.timesonline.co.uk Schweich, Thomas A., "Afghanistan Progress Report: Counternarcotics Efforts", US State Department, http://www.state.gov/p/inl/rls/rm/63098.htm (accessed March 9, 2006) Senlis Afghanistan, "Afghanistan Five Years Later: the Return of the Taliban", London et al, spring/summer 2006. 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