Central Asia has been a hotspot of terrorist activities and the drug trade for at least a decade. There are reasons for the prolonged unrest in this region. First, Afghanistan, as the lair for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, is a seedbed of a terrorist threat, whilst also the world's biggest cultivation of opium. Given the opportunity that drug trafficking provides for financing terrorism it is unsurprising that the two, terrorism and narcotics trafficking, are combined. In the US Government's War on Drugs, the term 'Narco-Terrorism' is adopted to explain the known terrorist organizations engaging in drug trafficking to fund their activities. Countering the illicit drug trade is therefore vital to the overall struggle against international terrorism. Second, given the fragile status of the Central Asian states after obtaining independence following the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, they were vulnerable to both transnational organized crime and extremism. Third, the deviant globalization, which enabled the local illicit drugs connect with the international trafficking groups, and the illegal service providers like money launderers, so that the drugs can reach the international markets like Europe.
The situation in Central Asia is described by Mary Kaldor, in her New and Old Wars, as a new type of war, which is characterized with the identity politics, predatory economy, diasporas networks and globalization. The main actors of the new wars are non-state actors, which can be tackled only by a cosmopolitan approach with integration of international and national resources under greater institutionalized international cooperation. However, geopolitical disputes may undermine the prospects for cooperation. The competing interests of dominant state and organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization make it difficult to conceive the type of cooperation needed to deal with the increasingly transnational narco-terrorist threat. The paper will argue that realism is not the answer to narco-terrorism in Central Asia; a greater and institutionalized liberalist cooperation framework asserted by Mary Kaldor's new wars theory is needed to eliminate the roots of drug trafficking and terrorism.
|Advisor:||Houston, Kenneth B.|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||MAI 54/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Central Asia, International cooperation, Mary Kaldor, Narco-terrorism, New wars|
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