For public participation, a site like this one for crowd-sourcing technical ideas related to defense would be useful. There are a lot of combat veterans and civilians who probably have a lot of ideas of what kinds of weapons, equipment and improvements would be useful to have on the ground.
Helicopters are used to trim the vegetation around power lines (see video or search for 'helicopter tree trimming' on Google).
You could use a similar attachment mounted horizontally on a UAV based upon a small VTOL craft to mow poppy fields in Afghanistan before the plants mature. The process would have to be repeated every year but mowing from the air can be done much more quickly than going in on foot.
Even mowing a percentage of the poppy field would be effective since it would reduce the overall percentage of drugs produced. For example, mow 20% of each field to reduce the amount of time spent in one location to reduce the likelihood of the UAV being shot down.
It would not have the PR problems of using herbicides and leave some income for farmers until infrastructure for agriculture exports is reestablished.
It would reduce the amount of money the Taliban has for buying weapons.
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