Afghan Drug Trade Assault Hindered By NATO Infighting

01/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A drive by the NATO alliance to disrupt Afghanistan's drug trade has been hobbled by new objections from member nations that say their laws do not permit soldiers to carry out such operations, according to senior commanders here.

The objections are being raised despite an agreement two months ago that the alliance's campaign in Afghanistan would be broadened to include attacks on narcotics facilities, traffickers, middlemen and drug lords whose profits help to finance insurgent groups.

During a recent visit here, Gen. John Craddock, NATO's supreme allied commander, expressed surprise upon learning of what he described as a gap between the decision by alliance defense ministers to authorize aggressive counternarcotics missions and the lack of follow-through because of objections from several of the countries that make up the NATO force in Afghanistan.

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