Picking the right fight : the counterinsurgency/counternarcotics relationship in Peru and Afghanistan
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) can significantly counteract the destructive conditions caused by the Taliban and the illicit opium harvest by analyzing the methods used by the Peruvian government in the 1990's and molding them to the unique Afghan situation. These techniques focused on prioritizing counterinsurgency policies before invasive counternarcotics operations in order to gain the allegiance of the local populous and let them voluntarily give up their participation in the drug trade. By offering farmers meaningful alternative livelihoods and not unilaterally denying these peasants of their sole means of income, these methods seek to not alienate them from accepting the government's authority and deny an insurgency with this popular support which it needs to survive. The triangular relationship in Peru in the 1980's/1990's between peasant farmers who cultivated coca, cocaine traffickers, and the Shining Path insurgency, is similar enough to the current relationship seen in Afghanistan between opium farmers, heroin trafficking networks, and the Taliban insurgency. This resemblance warrants applying policies that prioritize counterinsurgency before aggressive counternarcotics policies in Afghanistan, as they were adopted in Peru, in order to disrupt this relationship and thus diminish the threats both the narcotics industry and an insurgency represent to the state.
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