The narcotics emirate of Afghanistan examining armed polities and their roles in illicit drug production and conflict in Afghanistan 1980-2010
DuPee, Matthew C.
Johnson, Thomas H.
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The production of illicit narcotics in low-intensity conflict environments remains a serious concern for U.S.policymakers. Afghanistan is a solid example where the intersection of crime, narcotics production and insurgency has successfully thwarted U.S. stabilization and security efforts despite a 10-year military engagement there. This study seeks to examine the role of crime better, particularly narcotics related criminal enterprise, and its effect on the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan. This study explores political, economic and conflict related factors that facilitate the narcotics industry and forges cooperation between drug trafficking organizations and insurgent movements. A key argument of this study is that nontraditional participants in narcotics production, such as insurgent groups or state representatives and institutions, acquire more than just profit and resources. Participants stand to gain political leverage, the social and political legitimacy derived from "protecting" the livelihoods of rural farmers, as well as "freedom of action;" the ability to operate unimpeded within a given territory or space because of public support. This study also suggests that one additional factor, social control, is a key motivator for an actor's participation in the narcotics industry.
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