This week, every columnist worth his salt has expressed his/her opinion on the looming impeachment of the president or Dr Afia Siddiqui's plight. It took a major effort to curb the urge to present my own "two cent's worth" on the topics. Recently, Group Captain Mark D Heffron, a former UK chief of information coordination at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul briefed a selected Muslim and Asian media at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on ISAF operations in Afghanistan. Heffron has been brought into the new post of information coordinator following concern that Afghanistan may prove to be an even greater catastrophe for the US and Britain, than the Iraq war. Parallels have already been drawn with the Russian occupation in the 1980s, dubbed as Moscow's Vietnam War. So far the US and UK have been in Afghanistan for approaching seven years, two years less than the Russians. During his candid briefing, the Group Captain made disclosures regarding the ISAF's performance in the Afghan theatre of war, admitting that ISAF operation is "under resourced." In terms of comparison, he went as far as saying that Afghanistan would need no less than 800,000 troops for what ISAF numbers achieved in the Balkans. ISAF's success in Kosovo was based on the fact that logistically it could be well supported being in the heart of Europe and closer to USA. Kosovo has a well developed road-infrastructure, and ISAF was up against a regular army, distinguishable by its military attire and the battle lines being clearly demarcated. Afghanistan, on the other hand is spread over a much larger area, with a nightmare terrain lacking transportation and communication infrastructure. The Afghan resistance is fighting a non-conventional guerrilla war, where the face of the enemy is indiscernible, that carries out hit-and-run attacks against ISAF convoys and deployments, melting in the crowd. ISAF has apparently not learnt any lessons from the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the eighties, when a 500,000 strong Soviet army, armed to the hilt, supported by sophisticated air power was brought to its knees by the Afghan resistance. The Group Captain appeared confident with his slick power-point presentation but was at a loss for words when the Q&A session commenced. He was evasive about why so far ISAF had not been able to help the over two million or so Afghan refugees still languishing in the squalid refugee camps in Pakistan from returning home. He lamely blamed the absence of a well-demarcated and mutually recognised Durand Line for the free to-and-from movement of Afghans across the Pak-Afghan border. Since Heffron claimed that drug money was being used to finance the Afghan resistance, he was queried about The World Drug Report 2008, by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), finding that Afghanistan had a record opium harvest in 2007 - 8,200 metric tons or 92 percent of global production - which led to a near doubling of the world's illegal opium output since 2005; the area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rising by 17 percent last year, making it the largest ever in the country. He retorted that ISAF is not responsible for either the eradication of poppy crop or for dismantling the processing laboratories. It is a failure of ISAF that it remained oblivious to the warlords' cultivation as well as processing and trafficking of drugs only because it needed the support of the warlords politically. It is an interesting fact that Afghan President Hamid Karzai's own brother Ahmad Wali was named as one of the biggest drug barons by the Afghan Attorney General, but instead of taking action against his brother, Karzai sacked the Attorney General. Another brother, Izzatullah Wasifi, who was arrested and convicted by the US government in 1987 for drug trafficking was made the Governor of Afghanistan's southern province of Farah and later, appointed as the all powerful Chief of Afghanistan's General Independent Administration of Anti-Corruption with responsibilities to prevent the Opium growth and Heroin production and its illicit export. No wonder drug trafficking has received a massive boost in Afghanistan. The sad part is that ISAF and Karzai threaten reserving the rights to enter Pakistan in hot pursuit of miscreants but lament that Pakistan is not doing enough to check insurgency in Afghanistan; whereas ISAF itself has not established a single check post along the Durand Line as opposed to Pakistan's 1200. Now does it expect Pakistan to enter Afghanistan and destroy its poppy cultivation and drug processing laboratories? The writer is a political and defence analyst