Transnational Threats Project Past Task Forces
The problem of transnational crime and terrorism has become a central focus of United States foreign policy concern in the post-Cold War era. The rise of transnational organized crime is an unfortunate by-product of globalization, through which technological advances and lower barriers to trade have created a seamless electronic environment and empowered new classes of actors which bypass nation-states. Like legitimate business, transnational criminal enterprises are embracing globalization by adopting new communications and transportation technologies which allow them to pursue global markets. The criminal organizations are not monolithic, but act as networks, pursuing the same types of joint ventures and strategic alliances as legitimate global businesses. The diffuse and dynamic nature of transnational operations makes criminal enterprises such as Russian organized crime groups, or the Columbian and Mexican narcotics cartels, difficult to identify and counter. Non-state actors such as terrorist organizations also benefit from transnational operations and access to advanced technologies, providing them with greater destructive power, greater ease of movement and concealment, and the means to spread their message globally.
Transnational organized crime is multi-faceted and its various components affect multiple agencies within government as well as the private sector. In recognition of these challenges, the Transnational Threats Project has complemented its own in-house expertise by drawing on more than 150 experts from both the public and private sectors. These individuals comprised nine task forces which examined significant aspects of transnational crime and terrorism and provided policy recommendations for both government and business.