Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



This work focuses on the unique U.S.-Russian counterterrorism partnership. Following 9/11, the two states identified terrorism as a mutual enemy that posed utmost concerns to their national securities. Despite decades filled with antagonism, their teamwork reached unprecedented levels of cooperation on a multiplicity of matters; counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, and nuclear security are three concerns which this research centers on. Areas of such collaboration include multidimensional efforts in Afghanistan to eradicate drugs, to build infrastructure and to train Afghan police and military to fight the Taliban and to eliminate its sources of funding, which mostly come from the narcotics trade. The goal is to build the capacity of local Afghan forces that will be in charge, and responsible for protecting their country and people once the NATO troops withdraw in 2014. While efforts in Afghanistan have been significant in areas of education and training of Afghan military personnel, the larger issues of the Taliban and illicit drugs have not been solved. In fact, data show a significant increase of cultivation of opium since 2002. A severe amount of corruption together with the weak economy makes it nearly impossible for any progress to be made, because farmers cultivating opium have great economic incentives and weak alternatives. This thesis essentially concludes that the lingering mistrusts of the Cold War impede greater cooperation between Russia and the U.S., and that while the two powers have made notable progress in taking preventive measures to secure nuclear facilities, their counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan have not been as successful.