Bound Volume Number


Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2015

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Armstrong

Honors Reader

Dr. Corrinne Zoli

Capstone Major

Political Science

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component



opium trafficking, Afghanistan, transnational crime organizations, terrorism

Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

International Relations | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Other Legal Studies


This paper provides insight into the issue of opium trafficking in Afghanistan. In 2014, despite U.S., Afghan, and international efforts since 2001, poppy-opium cultivation in Afghanistan reached an all-time high. The Afghan opium trafficking industry provides funding to terrorist groups and transnational crime organizations and is responsible for the continued corruption of government officials, police officers, and intelligence agents in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and other nations. Aside from increased corruption and funding of terrorists and criminals, the opium trade creates opium and heroin addicts out of men, women, and children across the globe. The history of how the opium problem reached its current state and an account of the methods previously attempted to combat the opium trade in Afghanistan is included in the paper. By looking at the past, the reader will gain an understanding of the level of success law enforcement efforts have achieved as compared to reliance on other approaches such as crop eradication, and alternative livelihood assistance. Acknowledging that this issue negatively affects many countries, I argue for the international community to cross current alliances and create and deploy a unified law enforcement counternarcotics force to work with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and surrounding nations to target the problem at the point of supply. This paper relies on information gathered from a variety of sources to provide a broad scope of perspectives including reports from the United Nations, the United States Government as well as books and articles from social scientists, journalists, and DEA agents.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.