Policy Report | April 14, 2015

Afghan Narcotrafficking: The State of Afghanistan's Borders

This report is the third produced by EWI's working group of Russian and U.S. experts, and presents an analysis of the current state of affairs at Afghanistan's borders in relation to counternarcotics efforts. 

Afghanistan's drug production is nearing record levels, even as it is seeking greater economic connectivity with its neighbors. In light of this, border interdiction and management will need to be a key component of any effective strategy to combat narcotrafficking out of Afghanistan. Afghan Narcotrafficking: The State of Afghanistan's Borders offers recommended steps that Russia, the United States, Afghanistan and other key players can take to increase Afghanistan's border security capacity to better combat the flow of drugs out of the country, as well as a country-by-country assessment of Afghanistan's bilateral borders.

The assessments and recommendations contained in this report reflect the consensus viewpoints of both the Russian and U.S. members of the working group, a significant political feat given the current state of U.S.-Russia relations. 

The paper calls on the United States and Russia to: "push Afghanistan's government to be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to counternarcotics strategy and initiatives" and "encourage Afghanistan to integrate counternarcotics and anti-corruption aggressively into the country's emerging border control strategy." 

The working group previously has released two reports, Afghan Narcotrafficking: A Joint Threat Assessment in 2013 and Afghan Narcotrafficking: Post-2014 Scenarios  in February 2015. The State of Afghanistan's Borders will be followed by three more reports in 2015 and 2016: two that will offer specific policy suggestions on alternative livelihood in Afghanistan and narco-financing and a final report presenting a compendium of all recommendations. 

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