Coercion, Cash-Crops and Culture: From Insurgency to Proto-State in Asia's Opium Belt
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis is a comparative study of conflict and opium in the Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle, focusing in particular on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Burma. It takes a state-building approach to analyzing the formation and composition of opiate-funded proto-states in the two regions, and includes case studies on the Taliban and the United Wa State Party. Historic, political, ethnic, and cultural factors are explored in relation to each region and proto-state case. The basic argument is that opium and the opiate trade have provided capital for the formation of basic state-like entities that conduct all the basic state-building activities in these areas. What are often called insurgent groups are actually armies of proto-states, and what are often called insurgencies are actually conflicts between infant states in areas that never contained nation-states. This paradigm suggests an alternate method of studying these two areas -- a method that uses history and anthropology to understand the basic motivations and attributes of the proto-state actors.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare