The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban

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A high-stakes plan to indict Afghan drug lords and insurgency leaders on criminal conspiracy charges ran afoul of the Obama team. Five years later, it remains buried under Trump.

  • Josh Meyer
  • Politico

As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the…

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: An Afghan man pours petrol onto a pile of seized drugs, including more than 2,5 tons of opium, more than 4 tons of hasish, and some 169 kilos of heroin, before incinerating it outside Kabul, 23 September 2004. Since the fall of the hardline Islamic Taliban regime in late 2001, Afghanistan has become one of the world's biggest drug producers. AFP PHOTO/ Shah Marai (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: An Afghan man pours petrol onto a pile of seized drugs, including more than 2,5 tons of opium, more than 4 tons of hasish, and some 169 kilos of heroin, before incinerating it outside Kabul, 23 September 2004. Since the fall of the hardline Islamic Taliban regime in late 2001, Afghanistan has become one of the world’s biggest drug producers. AFP PHOTO/ Shah Marai (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ruinous spread of narcotics around the world and a new — and urgent — approach to confronting ongoing frustrations with the…

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