Drugs trafficking and terrorism in Central Asia : an anatomy of relationships
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This thesis investigates to what extent there is a link between the illicit drugs trade and regional terrorist/insurgent organisation s in Central Asia. In particular , the research attempts to understand the dynamics of actor participation within the drugs trade, including whether any such involvement is motivated by either criminal or political incentives. To inform such an assessment analysis of engagement opportunities, financial requirements, network connections and organisational structure have taken place. The study initially drew from the wide body of literature that has examined the degree to which exploitation of natural resources, including drugs, has fuelled armed conflict. From this starting point a qualitative field research agenda comp rising of over 180 semi - structured interviews, documentary analysis and observation has been undertaken. It is the proposition of this thesis that the manner in which regional terrorist/insurgent organisations participate within the drugs trade appears to be more sporadic and localised than previously thought. The assertion that participation will significantly expand a group’s capabilities only appears accurate in very specific circumstances . Furthermore, the evolving theory that terrorist/insurgent groups have developed long term strategic relationships with organised crime actually appears to be increasingly distant in the post 2001 Central Asian drug trafficking environment.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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