Central Asian Drug Trafficking Dilemma   [open pdf - 909KB]

Tajikistan, a state that is completely landlocked, consists of very rough terrain that is comprised of mountains, cliffs and glaciers. There are very few transportation links through the area that gives Tajikistan limited access to neighboring countries. Security problems resulting from the increasing flow of narcotics illegally smuggled across the 1200 km Tajikistan- Afghanistan border have become critical in understanding the nature of political instability within Central Asia. This thesis focuses on the growing trend of drug trafficking and use throughout Afghanistan and Tajikistan and the porous border the two countries share. It establishes why the northern route in Afghanistan has gained importance and why drug trafficking is reaching all time level highs. Russia provides the border security in Tajikistan through the use of its Federal Border Service. Unfortunately, corruption within the government has not allowed the country to overcome its drug trafficking and use dilemma. The United States provides little assistance to the region and does not have any plans to assist in the near future. The thesis concludes that Central Asia, Russia and the United States need to cooperate and help stabilize the region in order to slow the transit of drugs through the region.

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