Future Evolution of Transnational Criminal Organizations and the Threat to U.S. National Security [open pdf - 3MB]
From the Overview: "In the 21st-century global security environment, we are facing a complex set of threats to U.S. national security emanating from state and non-state actors. These threats endanger the key responsibilities of the nation-state to its citizens: to guarantee their security and the nation's territory, promote economic prosperity, safeguard society, and ensure that the government represents their will. […] The tragic September 11, 2001, attacks perpetrated by al Qaeda are just one such example of threats from non-state actors. Besides terror groups, transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) are among the non-state actors that leverage their illicit activities, immense resources, and use of violence to undermine the security and prosperity of the United States and partner nations. The United States recognizes TCOs as a national security threat and has deployed a national security strategy to combat it. In order to attack these networks, the United States must understand and deny access to critical enablers needed by TCOs to operate. The future trajectory of transnational criminal organizations is disconcerting, as they will seek to penetrate new markets with goods and services and establish more spheres of influence using corruption and violence. The cyber domain will afford them a new operating environment to further expand their criminal activities. Some TCOs will continue to resemble multinational corporations focused on maximizing profits, while others will hijack political power in the form of criminalized states. Another dangerous and disturbing evolution that we are already witnessing is the convergence of terrorism and crime where groups use criminal proceeds to fund terrorist activities. To combat the evolution of these threats, the Joint Force will need to develop more innovative kinetic and non-kinetic measures and build its own networks to neutralize transnational criminal networks."
William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies: http://chds.dodlive.mil/