Speaking at the Labor party’s annual conference in Brighton, England, British Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged that Britain would not only be a part of a military coalition against the Taliban, but also a part of a humanitarian coalition. Acknowledging the plight of women and girls in Afghanistan as well as the deplorable living conditions there, Blair pledged that the humanitarian crisis would not be ignored. Blair’s remarks also suggested long-term solutions to the crisis for the Afghan people. Blair vowed that, “The conflict will not be the end. We will not walk away as the outside world has done so many times before.”
Blair’s address also highlighted Afghanistan as the major production center for heroin. Currently, the Taliban produces seventy percent of the world’s supply of the drug. Ninety percent of the heroin in Britain also comes from the Taliban. Most of the heroin in the United States also comes from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.