The impact of bureaucratic conflict on US counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan

Conor Keane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Despite counternarcotics efforts over the past decade, Afghanistan’s drug trade continues to thrive. This article is a review of US counternarcotics policy in Afghanistan, focusing on the inner workings of the bureaucratic machine. During the Bush Administration’s two terms in office, unique agency cultures ensured that no common conception or understanding of the drug problem manifested within the US foreign policy bureaucracy. Various US agencies and officials pursued separate eradication and interdiction policies, and there was similar disagreement in respect to the Alternative Livelihood Program. Consequently, the United States failed to pursue a counternarcotics program that was united, effective, or reflective of Afghanistan’s needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-314
Number of pages20
JournalForeign Policy Analysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


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