Is the war on terror a drugs war?

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Officials in Afghanistan have uncovered the weight of three London buses in drugs in what is being dubbed the biggest drug heist in the world – begging the question, is Afghanistan a drugs war?

Officials have uncovered 236 tonnes of hashish hidden in southern Afghanistan in what is being dubbed the world’s biggest drug bust raising further questions about what the war on terror is really about.

The bust comes at an awkward time in the political climate which has seen Prime Minister Gordon Brown pass a bill which will see terror suspect held for a total of 42 days without charge, almost double the amount of time previously allowed.

In light of the new terror bill, shadow home secretary David Davis has resigned as an MP. Davis told reporters that he is now to force a by-election in his Haltemprice and Howden constituency, which he will fight on the issue of the new 42-day terror detention limit.

The drug bust also comes as the total number of british troops killed in Afghanistan reaches 100 and Afghan President Hamid Karzai calls on world leaders for $50 billion (£25bn) in aid to help rebuild his country.

Afghanistan’s biggest drug problem is not hashish but opium. It produced 9000 tonnes last year, enough to make 93 per cent of the world’s heroin supply.

But officials have increased warnings that farmers who no longer grow opium poppies because of successful eradication programs have turned their fields to cannabis, the plant used to produce hashish and marijuana, giving the country a second drug problem.

There are 21 of the country’s 36 provinces that are now opium free, but eradication efforts in Kandahar, Helmand, Farah and Uruzgan provinces have not been affective, something that has been blamed on the continuing violence, begging the question – what are our troops really doing in Afghanistan?

The War in Afghanistan, which began on October 7, 2001, was allegedly a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was the beginning of the War on Terror and the aim of the invasion was to capture Osama bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda, and remove the Taliban regime which had provided support and safe harbor to al-Qaeda.

The initial attack removed the Taliban from power, but Taliban forces have since regained some strength. While the war has been less successful in achieving the goal of restricting al-Qaeda’s movement, since 2006, Afghanistan has seen threats to its stability from increased Taliban-led insurgent activity, growing illegal drug production, and a fragile government with limited control outside of Kabul.