Transnational Criminal Organizations

Institute for National Strategic Studies

Globalization has its downsides as well as its benefits, and the increasing interconnectedness of the global economy has also contributed to the growth of transnational networks of organized criminals. These organizations operate across state boundaries in order to achieve economic gain by illegal means, as in the case of drug cartels or human trafficking rings. Yet the dividing line between a transnational criminal organization and an international terrorist organization is not always clear. As governments grapple with the problem of violent non-state actors in a world in which sovereign states are no longer the principal players, the blurred distinction between criminal and terrorist organizations continues to have lasting legal and policy effects.

Latest in Transnational Criminal Organizations

Donald Trump

New Executive Orders on Law Enforcement

President Trump today signed three new executive orders related to law enforcement activity: "Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking," "Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers," and "Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety." Links to the three orders are available below. We will provide analysis shortly.

Transnational Criminal Organizations

Throwback Thursday: Rewards and Bounties

On January 5, Dominic Ongwen, senior commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, was captured by Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR). Subsequently, the rebels transferred Ongwen to the US military, who has maintained a small force in the region since 2011 to assist in the hunt for the LRA’s commanders.

Transnational Criminal Organizations

US Intelligence Support to Mexico's Counter-Cartel Operations

This Washington Post article by Dana Priest is an excellent primer for those looking for an introduction to the particulars of US intelligence support to Mexico's counter-cartel activities, as well as the looming issue of whether Mexico's new president, Enrique Pena-Nieto, will pull back from this relationship.  Key nuggets in the article include:

Transnational Criminal Organizations

The Haqqani Network to Be Designated, at Last, as an FTO

The State Department has announced that it will, at long last, designate the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.  Apart from the rhetorical value of the designation, the main consequence is to attach to the Haqqani Network an array of liabilities under the headings of U.S.

Transnational Criminal Organizations

Civilian Criminal Jurisdiction Over Military Defendants: A New Day in Mexico?

One of the many difficulties that arise when a state employs its military to conduct operations within its own borders is the question of whether alleged abuses committed by the military should be tried in military tribunals or instead in the regular civilian courts. Mexico has been grappling with this issue for some time.  Generally speaking, the military criminal justice system has had exclusive jurisdiction over alleged abuses for some time, and in the eyes of critics this has been a recipe for impunity. There has been talk of reform for a few years now, however, and now comes a ruling f

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