In the wake of the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 (9/11), an analytic spotlight has been focused on Afghanistan and, to a slightly lesser extent, its eastern neighbor Pakistan. Afghanistan has been a base for Al Qaeda, the transnational militant group behind the 9/11 attacks. Al Qaeda was provided a safe haven by the Taliban, a local Islamist group with which it has had a complicated relationship. Less attention, however, has been paid to Afghanistan's northern neighbors Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Collectively, for the purposes of this entry, these states, along with Nepal and Bhutan, comprise the region of West Asia.

Transnational criminal activity in West Asia is characterized by a range of often interconnected actors and illicit behavior, notably corruption, ...

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