By: Jan Mazotti Issue: Collaborative Women Section:Jewel Of Collaboration
Gretchen Peters is the author of Seeds of Terror
Gretchen Peters is the author of Seeds of Terror, an international bestseller that traces the role that the opium trade has played in three decades of conflict in Afghanistan. With the help of local reporters, she spent five years researching Seeds of Terror, surveying and interviewing hundreds of Taliban fighters, extremists, smugglers, law enforcement officials and intelligence agents. Peters seeks to reshape how people define the Taliban and al Qaeda, and to track how they are morphing into a powerful narco-mafia that earn hundreds of millions of dollars annually from organized crime, and particularly drug smuggling.
Peters also authored a policy report on the Taliban and the opium trade for the U.S. Institute of Peace, a forthcoming report on crime and insurgency with West Point’s Combating Terrorism center and a chapter in Decoding the New Taliban. She has briefed the Pentagon, the State Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, Special Operations Command and other departments of the government and intelligence community on the growing nexus between extremist groups and organized crime in South Asia and the Gulf. Although convincing the government is an uphill battle, she plans to continue doing so until they all believe her.
Peters covered Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, first for The Associated Press and later as an award-winning reporter for ABC News. A Harvard graduate, she has worked with other leading media outlets including The National Geographic Society, The Christian Science Monitor and The New Republic, and is a regular commentator on NPR, CNN, BBC and countless other radio and television programs. She now lives in Denver with her husband, Pulitzer prize-winning photographer, John Moore and their two children. She has been accepted into the doctoral program at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies where she plans to study the intersection between international organized crime and national security threats.