'New' Face of Transnational Crime Organizations (TCOs): A Geopolitical Perspective and Implications to U.S. National Security [open pdf - 2MB]
"The continually evolving strategic environment coupled with the ascendant role of Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) necessitates a comprehensive understanding of these organizations. TCOs represent a globally-networked national security threat and pose a real and present risk to the safety and security of Americans and our partners across the globe. This challenge blurs the line among US institutions and far surpasses the ability of any one agency or nation to confront it. Thus countering TCOs necessitates a whole-of-government approach and beyond that vibrant relationships with partner nations based on trust. These are essential if the U.S. is to remain the partner of choice, and effectively counter TCOs globally. Weak and unstable government institutions coupled with scarce legitimate economic opportunities, extreme socio-economic inequities, and permissive corrupt environments are key enablers that allow TCOs to operate with impunity. These same factors enable the emergence of VEOs [Violent Extremist Organizations]. The potential nexus between VEOs and TCOs remains an area of deep concern. In this context, deeper insight into the contemporary face of TCO's will facilitate the development of strategies to counter and defeat them. In this struggle, DoD lacks law enforcement authorities but brings to the government some unique capabilities. This white volume examines the 'new' face of these transnational crime organizations and provides a geopolitical perspective and implications to U.S. national security. The nexus of culture and technology (including modern communication technologies) and their impact on the evolution of TCOs is discussed in addition to their implications to countering TCOs."