March 22, 2009
A U.S. Air Force C-17 drops parachutes of military supplies which blew off course, landing on an opium poppy field. The Marines assured the irate Afghan farmer that he would be paid for his damaged poppy crop in compensation for the accident. The Taliban often extorts a percentage of the profits from the farmers' harvest to fund attacks on American forces, according to the military. U.S. Marines, however, have no mandate to destroy poppy crops and, in fact, rely on local farmers for information on Taliban activities.