essay - Drug Trafficking: How The War On Terror Is Won...

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Drug Trafficking: How The War On Terror Is Won Preston Tucker Beaudoin MW 5:30-6:45
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As of April 5 th , 2011, one ton of crude oil costs roughly $1050 (oil-price.net). According to 2009 Drug Enforcement Administration estimates, one ton of heroin costs between $360-$900 million in the state of New York (Ehrenfeld, Rachel. Stop, MLA). In the last few decades, drug trafficking has become increasingly instrumental to the funding of terrorist organizations from the Middle East to Latin America. Since the end of the Cold War there has been a significant decline in state sponsored terrorism which has caused terrorist groups to become progressively more self-sufficient, thus creating an increase in crime by these groups. According to a Stanford University study, “out of 128 conflicts, the 17 in which insurgents relied heavily on ‘contraband finances’ lasted on average 48 years—over five times as long as the rest”.(Kaplan, 29, MLA) These results should raise red flags to governments all over the world who are fighting the War on Terror because some of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups like FARC and al-Qaeda have ties to drug trafficking. The U.S. State Department has identified 43 groups as known terrorist organizations, and 19 of those organizations—almost 45%—are tied to drug trafficking (Hendin, MLA). Former solely terrorist organizations are now evolving into hybrid organizations engaging in drug trafficking and terrorist activities. This change must be taken in to account when developing counterterrorism strategies. In order to win the War on Terror, the U.S. government must eliminate drug trafficking by terrorist organizations because it is often the root of their funding and livelihood. (put in page numbers on all of these sentence citations) The Middle East is home to al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization that poses the greatest threat to the United States. While al-Qaeda has long been speculated to be linked to drug trafficking, the prevalence of evidence is debatable. According to counterterrorism officials, press reports that have claimed Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda are involved in drug trafficking are incorrect. Interrogated al-Qaeda detainees have said bin Laden has always feared that
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becoming involved in the drug trade would expose al-Qaeda to intelligence officials. However, since Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have banned unregulated fundraising at mosques, it has become more difficult for bin Laden to raise funds with traditional methods. (Kaplan, 30) It is entirely possible that al-Qaeda has begun to involve themselves in the heroin trade of Afghanistan without the American public’s knowledge because of their ties to the Taliban. The Taliban have greatly benefited from the increase in Afghanistan’s opium production. From 2001 to 2007, Afghanistan’s opium production grew from 640 tons to 8,200 tons, which accounts for approximately 93% of the world’s opiate market. The opiate production in Afghanistan is so
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essay - Drug Trafficking: How The War On Terror Is Won...

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