I was reading this story - http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/01/army-captain-sets-build-local-afghan-government-king/?test=latestnews - and came across these sentences "Such a situation arose at a recent shura when 25 farmers showed up to demand the return of more than 300 pounds (135 kilograms) of opium that Special Forces had seized from a car.
Capt. Thoreen refused to return the opium or compensate them for it, saying U.S. forces have been clear that while they will not seize drugs from individual farmers, they will target smugglers."
It made me think if we cannot stop them from growing Opium and it eventually getting shipped to US drug users Why doesn't the US government buy it from the farmers then destroy it?
The article says "not just at our level but the $800 billion we have spent so far in the country, is contingent on the government being effective."
After reading the article, We've spent $800B on the war and rebuilding or building their economy. It seems very simple, we could boost their economy, stregthen their leaders and greatly reduce the influence of the Taliban by purchasing the poppy's directly from the farmers.
But the best thing of all is we could buy, at a greatly reduced cost directly from the poppy farmers, 85% of the heroin the world uses. Less prisoners and criminals, no more funding from heroin for the Taliban, less gang influence, less everything that goes with drugs.