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In the News General Jones

December 3, 2008

“It is really the cancer that's eating away the internal fabric of the country.”
General James Jones (ret.), on drug trafficking in Afghanistan

Wondering what Gen. James Jones, the newly named national security adviser, will be telling his boss about how to deal with Afghanistan? Here's a clue, from an interview he did this past September with FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith. The key issue, Jones contends, is drug trafficking; and the key challenge, getting President Karzai to do something about it.

The scale of the problem is daunting -- 90 percent of all the world's heroin comes from the poppy fields of Afghanistan. For a little background on the issue, see this recent article in The New York Times.

For another clue to what the general may tell the president on Afghanistan: An independent advisory group which Jones co-chaired presented this report to Congress in January 2008. It begins: "Make no mistake, the international community is not winning in Afghanistan."

And for deeper background on Afghanistan, read excerpts from the interviews FRONTLINE conducted with key analysts and policy-makers for The War Briefing, on what the next president faces in the region and what to do about the Karzai question. Or watch the full film here.

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