“For all these costs, particularly the bloody expenditure of lives, the war remains the same as it was in 2009: neither side can win and neither side will surrender. US proclamations of military success and “hard won gains” are specious and are just one of the ever present lies of war.” — Matthew Hoh
The New York Times has an illuminating article regarding the opium trade in Afghanistan. The title is “U.S. Turns a Blind Eye to Opium in Afghan Town“, and it begins (emphasis added):
The effort to win over Afghans on former Taliban turf in Marja has put American and NATO commanders in the unusual position of arguing against opium eradication, pitting them against some Afghan officials who are pushing to destroy the harvest.