Drawing on declassified records of the little-known Federal Bureau of Narcotics, this article examines counternarcotics operations in postwar Istanbul in the context of the Cold War and its impact on U.S. officials’ conceptions of national security. Ever-expanding drug control operations demonstrated the emergence of U.S. hegemonic impulses independent of the deepening conflict with the Soviet Union. The article challenges the view that U.S. policy on drug control during the early Cold War era existed primarily as an adjunct of the “deep state.” Actual U.S. policies were shaped by a much more complex set of factors.

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