By Paul Kan - U.S. Army War College Faculty
The relationship between drugs and today’s wars has grown more noticeable since the end of the Cold War and will likely gather strength in this era of increased globalization. Many violent groups and governments have recently turned to illicit narcotics in their entrepreneurial quests to stay viable in the post–Cold War world. It is no coincidence that many of the most violent and ongoing conflicts, from the Balkans to the Hindu Kush, from the Andes to the Golden Triangle, occur in areas of widespread drug production and well-traveled distribution routes.
Interdisciplinary in its approach, Drugs and Contemporary Warfare investigates the convergence of drugs and modern warfare, the violent actors involved in the drug trade, the drugs they produce and distribute, and how these drugs enter into battlefield conflicts and give rise to combat narcosis. Paul Rexton Kan then examines counternarcotics operations and suggests solutions to curb the drug trade’s effects on contemporary conflict. He offers several broad strategies that refine assessments, policies, and operations to promote improvement in social, economic, and political conditions. The hope is that these strategies will help citizens create sustainable societies and robust governments in war-afflicted countries struggling under the drug trade’s shadow. In a world searching for peace, the answer may not solely be on the battlefield but also on the front line against illegal narcotics. With a foreword by Moisés Naím, editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine and the author of Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats Are Hijacking the Global Economy.