The Politics of Narcotics
Evening Presentation by Philip Shishkin, Bernard Schwartz Fellow, Asia Society
Over the past few years, Afghanistan has emerged as the world's premier producer of heroin, a drug manufactured in clandestine labs and then smuggled out through neighboring countries. Though the traditional smuggling route goes through Pakistan, heroin merchants have in recent years ramped up a new passage running through Central Asia and Russia. How is heroin made and how it is smuggled? Why—despite nearly a decade of international military presence in Afghanistan—is there no sign of the booming drug industry slowing down?
Philip Shishkin is a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society and has spent 10 years as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal. In addition to reporting from Afghanistan, Philip has been a correspondent in Baghdad during the height of Iraq's sectarian war in 2006/2007; and covered the tensions between secular and religious forces in Turkey, which earned him a 2008 Wilbur award from the Religion Communicators Council. At the Asia Society, he is examining the turbulent dynamics of Central Asia and how years of dictatorial rule, ethnic tensions and bewildering corruption pose significant policy riddles for the US and other regional powers.