Former Soviet states along the Northern Route are so unstable they are like the war’s ante-chamber, an accident waiting to happen. In Tajikistan, drug trafficking makes up the equivalent of an estimated 30% of GDP, leaving little doubt about government involvement. After war broke out in Ukraine, the region has become a new conduit for traffickers.
The Balkan Route is the old traditional route for trafficking heroin. The Kosovo Liberation Army was one of the first rebel movements to copy the business model of the Afghan resistance by using large-scale heroin trafficking to finance their uprising during the war in Former Yugoslavia.
New kid on the block of trafficking routes is the Southern Route. The burned out wreckage of an unregistered Boeing 727 transporting tons of cocaine in the Mali desert alarmed security analysts around the world. Drug trafficking is booming in some of the most volatile areas of West-Africa, providing revenue for groups as Al Qaida and ISIS.