Opium fields in Afghanistan (file photo)
13 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. lawmakers say Afghanistan's program to fight poppy trade appears to be on the brink of a failure.
They told the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush on 12 July that a failure would undermine work to stabilize the country and spread more drugs throughout the world.
Administration officials acknowledged disappointment in the program so far, but asked for patience in the effort they said will be long term and expensive.
Nancy Powell, acting assistant secretary of state for the bureau of narcotics, told the House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee on foreign aid that the administration is disappointed and deeply concerned by the results of the program.
The U.S. Congress last year allocated about $1 billion to fight Afghanistan's poppy trade but the crop is at record levels and this year is on track for another bumper crop.