first published on November 27, 2015 by Will
A classic Funker530 three-part Marine combat operation has now been condensed into a single video.
Marines from 2/9 Echo conduct a search and seizure raid in Helmand province, Afghanistan on a known Taliban opium factory in early 2013. As the helicopters come back in to complete the extraction, Taliban fighters open fire.
The vast majority of opium profits are used to fund Taliban operations, and “Fighting Season” normally begins about a week after the harvest is complete and the Taliban can afford more equipment. The blue bags were filled with Calcium used in the refining process of the opium.
More often, U.S. troops are not aloud to interfere with civilian poppy farming operations, nor would they want to. This isn’t because they are secretly protecting the opium trade for the pharmaceutical industry, at least not at our level. Although, the Taliban benefit from the black market poppy trade, most of the farming itself is done by Afghani civilian farmers just trying to provide for their families.
Several initiatives have been tried to get the farmers to grow different crops. They’ve been given seeds, and construction projects have been executed for the local farmers in exchange for the promise to not grow opium. However, the other crops just cannot compete with the money these farmers will make in relation to growing and selling opium.
If our troops were ordered to burn the poppy fields and confiscate the farmers’ equipment, the “hearts-and-minds” battle for the people would instantly be lost to the insurgency.