Finding an Alternative to Illicit Opium Production in Afghanistan, and Elsewhere

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2011 / International Journal of Environmental Studies.

Prohibition attempts have failed for over a century, as the case of Afghanistan shows. There are many and complex reasons for this. Illicit opium production has benefited from synergies between war economies and drug economies, in Afghanistan and elsewhere. It has also thrived on economic underdevelopment and poverty. Part of the problem is that illicit opium production largely outlives war and that economic development can only occur in countries and regions where peace prevails. What is needed to reduce poppy cultivation is broad and equitable economic development. Ignoring the causes of opium production or making them worse by increasing poverty through forced eradication, will compromise antidrug policies and stabilisation efforts.

Afghanistan and the global failure of counternarcotics

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2008 / Afghanistan Info.

The failure to address Afghanistan’s opium production is not surprising. About 60 years of Asian opium bans have demonstrated that drug supply reduction is very rarely effective and, in fact, is most often counterproductive.

Drug Trafficking

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2007 / The Encyclopedia of the Cold War.

The Cold War played a direct and prominent role in the production and trafficking of illicit drugs. Indeed, the financing of many anti-Communist covert operations, such as those led by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), resorted to the drug economy of various proxy states in which drug trafficking was often condoned and even encouraged. Specific historical cases illustrate how the anti-Communist agenda of the CIA played a decisive role in spurring the global illicit drug trade. These include the French Connection and the role of the Corsican mafia against Communists both in France and in Southeast Asia (Laos and Vietnam), the propping up of the defeated Chinese Nationalist Party (Guomindang) in northern Burma, the Islamic Mujahideen resistance in Afghanistan, and the Contras in Nicaragua.

Morocco said to produce nearly half of the world’s hashish supply

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2005 / Jane's Intelligence Review.

In the first of two reports on hashish production and trafficking in the Rif area of Morocco, Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy examines the cultural, political and economic factors that have engendered cannabis cultivation in the area.

The dangers of opium eradication in Asia

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2005 / Jane's Intelligence Review?

Campaigns to eradicate opium in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Laos risk being counterproductive in the mid-term as prices are driven up and rural poverty is exacerbated, leading to displacement of production rather than eradication. Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy examines the results of recent programmes.

Drogues illicites, territoire et conflits en Afghanistan et en Birmanie

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2004 / Hérodote.

Le Triangle d’Or (Birmanie, Laos, Thaïlande) et le Croissant d’Or (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan), les deux principaux espaces de production illicite d’opium en Asie et dans le monde, sont marqués par une importante superposition d’ensembles spatiaux qui, à travers des géohistoires complexes, leur ont légués autant de discontinuités, de fronts et de frontières. Dans le contexte des économies de guerre qui sont les leurs, où du nerf de la guerre l’opium en devient l’enjeu, les deux espaces se révèlent être soumis à des processus de territorialisation qui se font par, pour et même contre l’opium. Ils correspondent donc davantage à des mosaïques territoriales aux géométries et limites variables qu’à des territoires bien définis et à part entière.