Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

International Relations

Reader 1

Jennifer Taw

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2018 Lindsay B Burton

OCLC Record Number



This thesis investigates how and why U.S. policies and agencies are ill-equipped to respond to narco-terrorism and offers some policy recommendations for remedying that. Narco-terrorism is the merging of terrorism and drug trafficking. Terrorist organizations and narcotics traffickers each have much to offer the other; there is potential for symbiosis in the form of cooperation and even hybridization. Examination of the dynamics between terrorist organizations and drug traffickers, combined with an evaluation of the US responses to narcoterrorism in Colombia and Afghanistan, makes it clear that current US policy responses fail to recognize narcoterrorism as a unique challenge, and instead attempt to deal separately with terrorism and drug trafficking. This approach has the potential to actually worsen both situations. The US needs a narcoterrorism strategy and institutions in place to implement it.