By Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

This report examines the U.S. counternarcotics effort in Afghanistan, detailing how the Departments of Defense (DOD) and State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) tried to deter farmers and traffickers from participating in the cultivation and trade of opium, build Afghan government counterdrug capacity, and develop the country’s licit economy. While we found several examples of success—some Afghans were able to move away from poppy cultivation and Afghan counterdrug units became increasingly capable, trusted partners—those successes were limited in their impact. The report identifies lessons to inform U.S. counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan and other major drug-producing and transit countries, and provides 13 actionable, evidence-based recommendations to strengthen these efforts.