Hello, (ANS) What the vast majority of ordinary UK citizens don't realize is just how remote & wild a country Afghanistan really is. Its extremely remote! & extremely mountainous!!, it has a strategic position though. Afghanistan has always been a tribal country managed by wealthy tribal leaders (war lords) this is nothing new at all. **What you must also realize is that the ordinary people of Afghanistan are incredibly poor, their poverty is like nothing we can imagine here in the rich western countries. Therefore they use their land to grow crops to earn a living, enough to scrape by but its a very merger income. YES! they grow opium poppies because they are so poor as its the few ways they can almost guarantee some reasonable level of cash. Wouldn't you do the same if it meant the difference between eating & feeding your family or starvation? I DON'T blame the poor farmers. **One solution is that the Western nations could buy up the poppy crops and it could be harvested for medical use and turned into medical drugs like Morphia, or other opiates, or opiate based drugs. This would help remove the amounts of illegal drugs washing about the streets of the UK & USA,etc. And could at least be used for beneficial purposes. **This would also benefit the local Afghani people with some assured income each year and it would prevent the drugs falling into the hands of the wrong people or used for the wrong reasons. This would also help to change the political situation. **I don't personally think 50% of UK electorate know why our soldiers are still in Afghanistan any more. **REMEMBER!! Most UK people were against Tony Blair dragging us into this illegal war in the first place, we never wanted to be a part of this, its only down the stupid so called "special relationship" between Bush & Blair that it happened anyway i.e. part of the so called war on terror whatever that means? and the hunt for Osama Bin Lardin,etc. **I cannot see where this war in Afghanistan will end, I don't personally believe the political rhetoric being spouted by the UK politicians about how we are winning the war. Its non sense frankly, I think if the UK pulled out tomorrow the Taliban would be back in a flash within 6mths. Ivan.