When William Wood, America's Ambassador to Colombia, was named envoy to Afghanistan a few months ago, there was concern he would bring with him the United States' crop eradication technique of choice.
Discussing possible new strategies for coping with the record increase in opium production in Afghanistan, Wood said spraying poppy crops with herbicide was a possibility.
The Government of President Hamid Karzai has rejected crop spraying in the past, as do the British, who have the unenviable responsibility for dealing with poppy production in troubled Helmand province.
Such tactics could damage the health of the local population in areas of open irrigation channels and contaminate legal crops interspersed with the illicit opium poppy.
There are also fears crop spraying could not only drive farmers into the arms of the Taleban but hand the Taleban a propaganda tool by enabling them to accuse the "occupying forces" of poisoning the Afghan people.
But faced with a catastrophic failure of strategy as the opium crop soars to all-time highs, the Afghan Government's options are limited.
The US has budgeted US$449 million to tackle opium production in Afghanistan this year alone. The British are spending US$60 million on promoting crops such as mint, wheat, chillies and cotton.