“Opium fuels the stalemate in America’s longest war” CNN

Peter Bergen argues that the next president must prioritize Afghanistan and should plan to remain in Afghanistan for the indeterminate future with a focus on intelligence assets, air support, and Special Forces training and advising the Afghan military.  The Taliban has captured most of the province of  Helmand and profits from the province’s opium production while controlling 10% of the territory of Afghanistan. The Taliban,  further strengthened by sanctuary in Pakistan, and the increasing presence of ISIS in Afghanistan are among the reasons stated for Afghan support of continued U.S. involvement in the region.