American Intervention and Counter-Narcotic Efforts in Afghanistan: Background information when reading The Opium Prince

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The Opium Prince

by Jasmine Aimaq

The Opium Prince by Jasmine Aimaq X
The Opium Prince by Jasmine Aimaq
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  • Published:
    Dec 2020, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Daniela Schofield
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About this Book

American Intervention and Counter-Narcotic Efforts in Afghanistan

This article relates to The Opium Prince

The events of Jasmine Aimaq's debut novel, The Opium Prince, play out in the lead-up to the 1978 Saur Revolution, in which the Afghan president Mohammed Daud Khan was assassinated and overthrown by the Soviet-backed Marxist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (the PDPA). The president had himself come to power in 1973 by overthrowing the monarch Mohammed Zahir Shah with the backing of the PDPA but had eventually grown wary of the party's Soviet influence.

Between these two revolutionary events, Aimaq's protagonist, Daniel Sajadi, is in Afghanistan as the director of an American agency that aims to fight the cultivation of opium by encouraging and aiding the cultivation of food crops. While the agency, USADE, is fictional, its mandate and the United States government's focus on eradicating opium are consistent with the messy history of American foreign policy and intervention in Afghanistan. US counter-narcotic efforts in Afghanistan are now often viewed as a failed venture. ...

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