The Lawfare Podcast: Rupert Stone on the Booming Afghan Drug Trade

Jen Patja, Tia Sewell, Rupert Stone
Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Amid the war and instability in Afghanistan over the last two decades, the opium industry has seen explosive growth. In fact, Afghanistan accounts for the vast majority of the world's opium supply. The Taliban vowed to crack down on the production of illicit drugs, and in March, they issued a total ban on opium cultivation, which has stripped many rural Afghans of their livelihoods. But in the meantime, drug prices have been increasing, making the production and trafficking of methamphetamines even more profitable.

To discuss the situation, former Lawfare associate editor Tia Sewell sat down with Rupert Stone, an independent journalist who recently published a piece with the Atlantic Council entitled, “Afghanistan’s Drug Trade is Booming Under Taliban Rule.” They discussed how Afghanistan's drug trade has evolved under the Taliban, the growing problems of addiction, and how the Taliban's rule has affected the export and trafficking of illicit drugs in the broader region.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Tia Sewell is a former associate editor of Lawfare. She studied international relations and economics at Stanford University and is now a master’s student in international security at Sciences Po in Paris.
Rupert Stone is an Istanbul-based freelance journalist working on South Asia and the Middle East.

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