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How opium profits the Taliban

Author: Gretchen Peters; United States Institute of Peace.
Publisher: Washington, DC : U.S. Institute of Peace, ©2009.
Series: Peaceworks, no. 62.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In Afghanistan's poppy-rich south and southwest, a raging insurgency intersects a thriving opium trade. This study examines how the Taliban profit from narcotics, probes how traffickers influence the strategic goals of the insurgency, and considers the extent to which narcotics are changing the nature of the insurgency itself. With thousands more U.S. troops deploying o Afghanistan, joined by hundreds of civilian  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: I Print version:
How opium profits the Taliban
39 p.
(OCoLC)421950254
Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Gretchen Peters; United States Institute of Peace.
OCLC Number: 470592474
Notes: Title from PDF cover (usip.org, viewed Nov. 27, 2009).
"First published August 2009."
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010. MiAaHDL
Description: 1 online resource (1 online (39 pages).)
Details: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Contents: Introduction --
A brief history --
The neo-Taliban --
Key challenges --
Conclusion.
Series Title: Peaceworks, no. 62.
Responsibility: Gretchen Peters.

Abstract:

In Afghanistan's poppy-rich south and southwest, a raging insurgency intersects a thriving opium trade. This study examines how the Taliban profit from narcotics, probes how traffickers influence the strategic goals of the insurgency, and considers the extent to which narcotics are changing the nature of the insurgency itself. With thousands more U.S. troops deploying o Afghanistan, joined by hundreds of civilian partners as part of Washington's reshaped strategy toward the region, understanding the nexus between traffickers and the Taliban could help build strategies to weaken the insurgents and to extend governance. This report argues that it is no longer possible to treat the insurgency and the drug trade as separate matters, to be handled by military and law enforcement, respectively. This report illustrates how--for more than three decades of conflict in Afghanistan--the opium trade has become deeply embedded in the politics of the region. Key players and families tied to opium smuggling, trafficking routes, and methods of laundering drug money have remained remarkably unchanged. So too has the West's willingness to downplay the problem, repeatedly viewing narcotics as a 'lesser evil' to the greater challenge at hand. Since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, the poppy trade has played a critical destabilizing role, both in corrupting the Afghan government and police and in bankrolling the resurgence of the Taliban. This study shows how Taliban commanders on the village level have expanded their activities related to drugs from collecting extortion and charging protection fees to running heroin refineries and engaging in kidnapping and other smuggling schemes. As insurgent commanders become more deeply tied to criminal activity, it will become more difficult for the coalition of foreign forces in Afghanistan to defeat them. Although there is wide variation across the war theater, drug profits flow up the chain of command within the Taliban and other insurgent and extremist organizations operating along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. These funds appear to play a key role in funding the operational costs of the Taliban and many of these other groups.

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