Counter-Narcotics Operations in Afghanistan: A Way to Success or a Meaningless Cause?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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Narcotics trade is a major funding source for the insurgency in Afghanistan. Afghan law enforcement LE units target traffickers, processing labs, and drug caches to minimize this supply chain. These LE units are mentored by US Drug Enforcement Administration teams and British military personnel. However, they are limited in assets which degrades their ability to conduct missions in more dangerous areas, specifically the southern provinces, which is home to the Taliban. Military enablers are needed to enhance the effectiveness of counter-narcotics CN missions. The military has been asked to provide enablers such as helicopter lift, cordon security, and close air support. Traditionally, the military does not do law enforcement. However, CN intelligence has proven a nexus between drug traffickers and the insurgency. Should the military be involved This study argues that the military needs to be more involved in CN missions in Afghanistan. Friction exists whenever the military is involved with traditional LE functions. However, these barriers to military involvement are policy issues. It is not against the law. Although the narcotics link to the insurgency is known, there is resistance to military involvement. Proving the nexus takes time, and may result in missed opportunities to target traffickers and insurgents. This paper highlights the need to target the narcotics industry to defeat the insurgency. Proof of the nexus should not be required.
- Administration and Management
- Sociology and Law
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics