This study illustrates the role of narcotics (opium) in the local economy of Afghanistan, a landlocked country, stricken by decades of conflict, and prolonged periods of drought. However, poppy (opium) cultivation is a major strategy for as much as 10% of the rural population. Thus, Afghanistan has re-emerged as one of the largest poppy (opium 90%) producers in the world following the fall of the Taliban in 2001. In 2004, the narcotics economy equaled more than half of Afghanistan's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The wealth from the narcotics economy, however, is shared among only a small number of people, and the trade is protected by armed groups and tied to powerful international drug traffickers' networks. The narcotics economy supports warlords and their militias, as well as fuelling corruption among Afghan government and security officials, and it therefore poses a real threat to the ongoing state-building process and sustainable peace in the country.