The Opium of Afghanistan: The Taliban Center of Gravity
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Control of the opium-driven economy of Afghanistan has allowed the Taliban to endure in a protracted conflict against the United States military. Employment of military force against the Taliban has thus far failed to establish a secure government in Afghanistan or remove the Taliban as a relevant threat. This paper points to the Taliban control of the narco-economy of Afghanistan as the adversarys center of gravity. This illicit activity both exploits the corruption resident in the current government and provides an enduring source of financial sustainment for continued conflict. Initial efforts to curb the opium trade consisted of strictly law enforcement undertakings. This paper will reframe the issue in terms of operational art and explore a military approach to the problem as a potential path to victory.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Unconventional Warfare