This research project examines the problem of transnational organized crime and identifies it as a rising threat to national security. It defines and summarizes trends in five types of transnational organized crime: trafficking in drugs and precursor chemicals, trafficking in persons and alien smuggling, conventional weapons smuggling, illegal sale of nuclear materiel, and money laundering. The regional focus of the study is East Asia and it highlights the two most significant criminal organizations in the region - the Chinese triads and the Japanese yakuza. Both organizations have global reach and their activities in the United States are noted. It shows the direct link between transnational organized crime and terrorism. The project briefly reviews United States and United Nations strategies and policies related to organized crime. It concludes with policy recommendations including the dedication of additional resources to counter transnational organized crime and increased coordination between the United States and the international community.