The illicit drug trade, counternarcotics strategies and terrorism

“Drug money supports terrorIf you buy drugs, you might too.”

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Abstract

Conventional wisdom indicates that international trade in illicit drugs helps to fuel terrorism. Since 2001, counter-narcotics policy increasingly has been used to fight terrorism. This study investigates empirically the relationship between the drug trade and terrorism and examines whether or not interdiction and eradication efforts reduce domestic and transnational terrorist activity. The study finds that illicit drug production and opiate and cocaine wholesale prices are significant positive predictors of transnational and domestic terrorist attacks, while drug crop eradication and drug interdiction are significant negative predictors of terrorism. The study concludes with the policy implications of the findings.

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Piazza, J.A. The illicit drug trade, counternarcotics strategies and terrorism. Public Choice 149, 297 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-011-9846-3

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Keywords

  • Terrorism
  • Illicit drug trade
  • Drug prices
  • Drug cultivation
  • Drug interdiction
  • Drug eradication

JEL Classification

  • D74
  • C23
  • H56