Missing the Point

by Joshua Foust on 3/17/2008

In a recent interview, Republican presidential candidate John McCain blamed Afghanistan’s faltering on the British and NATO. I’m all for questioning questionable decisions by the British, but McCain isn’t doing that: he’s saying that because poppy production in Helmand is higher than ever, the British are responsible for the failure to stem the drug trade.

Of course, one could note that Nangarhar, which is under exclusive U.S. (not NATO) control, saw opium production last year grow by 285%. So why focus only on the Brits, Mr. McCain?

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Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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