In the shuffle of the post Cold War geopolitics of transnational threats, drug trafficking suddenly appeared as one of the new major threats to the world order. Yet the drug trade has undergone a long time-span evolution over several centuries. This challenge to regional security is all the more worrying, as it is far more complex and ambiguous, and as the threat itself is quite difficult to define precisely. Indeed, drug trade is in itself a convoluted part of the parallel world economy, but its definition overlaps that of weapons trafficking and guerrilla issues. The drug trade isn't an issue confined to sociological phenomena, or illegality. It spans over the global functioning of the economic and political spheres, and constitutes in itself a system which can be defined as the new geopolitics of drugs.
[...] Nigeria was promoted by the government as a watershed for the drug trafficking routes Finance Profits: The drug trade offers prospects of a highly profitable chain of revenues (profits are of a 2500 factor). The income of drug cultivation is about ten times more than brought by any other ‘normal'cultivation. Principles to finance the drug trade: Tax levy on cultivators Transformation industries (installed on the production sites, or close by) Distribution networks and Legalizing profits. Money laundering For the profits to be of any use to the criminal organizations, the money obtained illegally has to be recycled. [...]
[...] It is considered to be the most risky part of drug trafficking. The olden ways were gambling houses, hotels or restaurants owned by the mafias. However, more recent techniques are by front companies. Integration in the financial circuits, investment, concealment of sources, loan back processes have become the specialty of such companies. The sums involved are gigantic, and actually, one might wonder whether our financial system hasn't become dependent on the investment sources originating from the drug trade (evaluated investments: $100 billion a year) Weapons - drugs One important specificity of the drug trade is its close ties with weapons trafficking. [...]
[...] If the reconversion projects have largely failed, it is often because the real reason behind such endeavors is actually the better control of remote territories (which might be destabilized when infiltrated by foreign influences) by the central government, or assimilation of ethnic minorities. Conclusion Drug trade is in itself a good indicator of disruptions in the classical pattern and dynamics of geopolitics between states. Repressions of drugs are highly dependent on the functioning of international relations, when some states support and depend on the profits generated by drug trade. [...]
[...] The drug trade isn't an issue confined to sociological phenomena, or illegality. It spans over the global functioning of the economic and political spheres, and constitutes in itself a system which can be defined as the new geopolitics of drugs. Analysis The socio-cultural geopolitics of drugs Typology of drugs and drug production The greater part of the drug trade products originate from one of the following three plants: Coca, traditionally cultivated in central and south America Poppy, traditionally cultivated in the Central Asian regions Cannabis can be cultivated very easily in most regions. [...]
[...] The guerrillas and local conflicts therefore emphasize on the geopolitical aspect of the drug trade, on an international level as well as on the internal level. Producer/Consumer/Transit Countries: A network in itself Consumers' countries and the repression policies Europe and North America are the main targets of drug exports. In the US alone, the figures explain the open war on drugs declared by successive governments since the end of the cold war ( 2.9 million Americans have used heroin; 23.7 million have used cocaine) Repression/conversion projects have largely failed: whole neighborhoods have become dependent on drug trade activities (American inner cities, French banlieues) Differences in regulations in Europe might significantly reduce the efficiency of any drug repression policy at the European level. [...]
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