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McCaffrey: Afghanistan a 'narco-state'

July 31, 2008 at 5:33 PM

WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- Former U.S. drug czar and retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey said Thursday illegal drug trade in Afghanistan is the funding source for al-Qaida and Taliban.

The international community must demand that opium and cannabis be eradicated and alternative energy activity supported, McCaffrey said in a statement.

McCaffrey said the "the battle will be won in Afghanistan" by, among other things, an expanded Afghan police force, increasing the Afghan National Army from 80,000 and 200,000 and deploying a five-battalion engineering brigade to train Afghan engineers.

Among other findings from his weeklong trip to Afghanistan, McCaffrey said Afghans have a life expectancy of 44 years and the country has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world.

McCaffrey, a former commander in the Gulf War, is now an adjunct professor at West Point.

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