Tajikistan is an integral link in the illicit trafficking of opiates from Afghanistan to Russia and Europe, and it interdicts more Afghan heroin than all other Central Asian countries combined. The Russian Border Forces' withdrawal from the Tajik-Afghan border in 2005 left the Tajik Border Guards (TBG) as the only line of counternarcotics defense on the 1,344 km border with Afghanistan. Through its foreign assistance programs, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) continues to support U.S. foreign policy objectives of disrupting extremist and criminal organizations and ensuring peace and stability.
U.S. Government Programs
INL’s long-term activities will sustain efforts to improve basic border security and narcotics interdiction programs aimed at narco-trafficking from Afghanistan. INL’s strategy in Tajikistan to date has emphasized top-down law enforcement reform programs with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOI), and Drug Control Agency (DCA), and the Prosecutor’s Office. These programs are now complemented by new projects to reform civil law institutions and create grassroots community policing initiatives.
- Law Enforcement Restructuring and Reform Programs: INL’s Law Enforcement Restructuring and Reform Programs in Tajikistan consist of the following projects and positions: a Senior Law Enforcement Advisor to oversee all law enforcement development; Community Police Partnership; Training Manager for the Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Interior Forensics Training and Equipping Program; and Ministry of Interior Training and Infrastructure Program. These programs aim at institutional development of Tajikistan’s core law enforcement ministries to improve the ability of the police to investigate all types of crime, develop internationally recognized organizational standards, and promote information sharing between Tajik law enforcement and their Central Asian, European, and U.S. counterparts.
- Counternarcotics: INL’s counternarcotics programs in Tajikistan consist of the following projects: assistance to the Tajik Drug Control Agency and drug demand reduction. The Tajik Drug Control Agency consistently receives recognition as the most effective drug control unit in Central Asia. Beginning, in 1999, INL has funded the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s programs to develop the organization and operational capacity of the Drug Control Agency, which is an independent, DEA-like drug law enforcement agency. As the main transit way for illegal narcotics from Afghanistan, drug addiction in Tajikistan is increasing yearly. In addition to supporting interdiction efforts, INL is also addressing an increase in drug addictions in Tajikistan by establishing a drug demand reduction program. There are currently no domestic NGOs in Tajikistan that promote drug demand reduction.
- Border Security: INL’s Border Security Programs in Tajikistan consist of the following projects: Committee for National Security Counternarcotics Project; Border Guard Academy Development Assistance Program; and Tajik-Afghan Border Security Infrastructure Development. Tajikistan grows little poppy, but it is a major transit country for heroin and opium from Afghanistan to Russia and Europe. INL’s border security projects have focused on refurbishment and development of (“green zone”) border posts at locations between formal crossing points along the Tajik/Afghan border. Since 2005, Tajikistan's Border Guards have been Tajikistan’s only line of defense on the 1,344 km border with Afghanistan. Improving the basic requisites of Tajikistan's Border Guards is an essential step in increasing interdiction of illegal goods such as narcotics and weapons while preventing trafficking of persons.
- Reform of the Justice Sector: INL’s strategy in Tajikistan aims to reform the justice sector in tandem with improvements in traditional narcotics interdiction and law enforcement institution building. INL Dushanbe's justice sector programs began in 2004. The current program mix consists of three programs implemented through the American Bar Association/Rule of Law Initiative (ABA/ROLI) that address reform of the defense bar and rule of law education. Beginning in FY2009, INL will further develop rule of law in Tajikistan, which includes legal training for judges, advocates and law students; improving access to justice; strengthening local bar associations; reforming the existing criminal code; and monitoring of court cases to ensure compliance with local and international norms.
U.S. Government Funding FY2005-2008
FY05: $ 13.5 million
FY06: $ 4.8 million
FY07: $ 10.7 million
FY08: $ 8.02 million
Funding Sources: FREEDOM Support Act (FSA) and INCLE
INCLE Supplemental: FY05 $9 million and FY07 $3 million for Tajik/Afghan border security and counternarcotics initiatives.