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Cruel Harvest lifts the lid on the reality of Afghanistan's skyrocketing drug trade and the role played by the US military. Conventional accounts blame the Taliban for the expansion of drug production. However, in Cruel Harvest Julien Mercille shows that the US in fact shares responsibility by supporting drug lords, refusing to adopt effective drug control policies and failing to crack down on drug money laundered through Western banks. Mercille argues that the best way to address drug problems is by reducing demand in consumer countries, not by conducting counternarcotics missions in Afghanistan.