"A new kind of war is being waged in Central America"and elsewhere around the world"today. The main protagonists are what have come to be called first, second, and third generation street gangs. In this war, gangs are not sending conventional military units across national borders, or supporting proxy forces in an attempt to conquer territory or bring down governments. Rather, these nonstate actors are more interested in commercial profit and controlling territory (turf) to allow maximum freedom of movement and action. That freedom of movement within countries and across national borders ensures commercial market share and revenues, as well as secure bases for market expansion. Thus, in addition to drug smuggling, these gangs are known to have expanded their activities to smuggling people, body parts, weapons, and cars; associated murder, kidnapping, and robbery; home and community invasion; and other lucrative societal destabilization activities. What makes all this into a new kind of war is that these commercial motives are known to have been developed into political agendas by more sophisticated gangs."
Army War College (U.S.). Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/newsletter/newsletter.htm
Strategic Studies Institute Newsletter (July 2005)