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Foreign Policy

Posted By Josh Rogin Tuesday, March 1, 2011 – 12:41 P

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that the administration is actively considering implementing a no-fly zone over Libya and gave a full-throated defense of robust State Department funding.

Clinton testified on Tuesday morning before the House Foreign Affairs Committee led by Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who has been critical of the administration’s response to the unfolding events in the Arab world and has pledged to slash the State Department and foreign aid budgets this year.

Clinton had just returned from Geneva, where she met with other foreign ministers under the auspices of the U.N. Human Rights Council. She said preparations were underway to aid the Libyan opposition, but that there have been no final decisions on whether or how to use the U.S. military to support the ouster of Muammar al-Qaddafi, as world leaders have called for.

“We are working to translate the world’s outrage into action and results,” Clinton said, highlighting that USAID is sending two teams, one each to Egypt and Tunisia, to aid the humanitarian response to the flow of refugees coming from Libya.

The United States has moved the USS Enterprise carrier strike group to the area near Libya. Clinton said that military assets are being repositioned now to support the humanitarian mission there, but that direct military intervention remained a possibility.

“One of those actions under review is a no fly zone… it is under active consideration,” said Clinton.

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Hmm, looks like Monsanto & USAID are making significant progress in bringing about, their signature program, the “Green Revolution”, to Afghasnistan and Pakistan. I can’t help but wonder, though, why they didn’t just compost all those seeds so the soil would be a little easier to spade. Oh well, I suppose that Monsanto knows best..,.) :

CNN

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — The U.S. military bombed about 300 tons of poppy seeds in a dusty field in southern Afghanistan Tuesday in a dramatic show of force designed to break up the Taliban’s connection to heroin.

The air strike occurred mid-day in Helmand province and was observed by CNN’s Ivan Watson, who is embedded with the U.S. Marines operating in that province.

The military dropped a series of 1,000-pound bombs from planes on the mounds of poppy seeds and then followed with strikes from helicopters.

Tony Wayne, with the U.S. State Department, said the strikes on poppy seeds, that can be used to make opium and heroin, is part of a strategy shift for the military to stop the Taliban and other insurgents from profiting from drugs.

“There is a nexus that needs to be broken between the insurgents and the drug traffickers,” Wayne said. “Also, it is part of winning the hearts and minds of the population because in some cases they are intimidated into growing poppies.”

In a bid to encourage Afghan farmers to swap out their poppy plants for wheat crops the U.S. Agency for International Development has been offering them seeds, fertilizers and improved irrigation.

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