Transnational organized crime is one of the issues that the United States’ government is currently struggling with as it tries to keep its borders safe. According to Best (2011), the position of the United States as the leading economy in the world, and as the world’s only Superpower makes it a major target of organized terror groups. That is why the government, through various intelligence agencies and security forces, is keen on dealing with these threats before they can affect the country. To deal with the problem of organized crime, it is important to understand its genesis and the environment within which it thrives. In this paper, the researcher seeks to answer the following questions.
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Is transnational organized crime a symptom or a cause of the unstable international system of national governments?
According to Downing and Matt (2012), organized crime can cause serious instability in the international system of national governments. A good example of organized crime that can cause instability to the systems is drug trafficking. When drug traffickers get hold of political power by bribing those entrusted with the topmost offices in the country, they can control the internal systems and ensure that they deliberately create instability to enable them to conduct their illegal businesses. When they notice that a regime is keen on creating stability, they can use their influence and financial capability to get them out of the office or even assassinate them (Walsh, 2010). The fear that these gangs create forces those who come to political power to work as per their wish. Under such circumstances, it is almost impossible to have stable international systems of national governments.
A study by Borene (2010) indicates that transnational organized crime is a symptom, not a cause, of the unstable international system of national governments. These criminal organizations have a foundation. They start from somewhere and they need a specific environment to thrive. When there are strong internal systems and structures within a country, these criminal organizations will be identified early before they can gain strong footing. The founders of such criminal organizations will have no platform to initiate their activities. They will be captured and subsequently taken into custody to face justice.
A good example of transnational organized crime that clearly demonstrates that these organizations thrive in unstable countries is the ISIS (Pollack, 2014). This terror outfit was unheard of when Iraq had a stable government. Although the government was governed by a dictator, there were clear structures and systems that made it almost impossible for these criminal gangs to thrive. However, when the country became unstable, ISIS found a good environment within which it could thrive. The leaders of this group noticed that there was a gap that they could capitalize on and they successfully created a terror group that is not only a threat to the countries in the Middle East but also Western nations (Kuriscak, 2011).
The terror groups swiftly moved to Yemen, Syria, and Libya soon after stable governments collapsed. For instance, Libya had a stable government where it was almost impossible for these terrorists to operate. However, when the dictatorial government was toppled, the country became unstable because there was no legitimate leadership in the country. The country is now battling with the problem of ISIS and other terror groups because of the lack of proper governance structures. It is a clear indication that transnational organized crime is a symptom of an unstable government. When the government is unstable, organized criminal groups easily emerge because of the vacuum in leadership.
Best, R. A. (2011). Intelligence information: Need-to-know vs. need-to-share: Congressional Research Service. Web.
Borene, A. (2010). The U.S. intelligence community law sourcebook: A compendium of national security related laws and policy documents. Chicago, Ill: American Bar Association.
Downing, M. & Matt, A. (2012). The domestic counterterrorism enterprise: Time to streamline. Web.
Kuriscak, J. (2011). Intelligence sharing silos between the FBI and the CIA. Washington, DC: Cengage.
Pollack, F. (2014). Coalition theater-level intelligence sharing: Overcoming failures and strengthening relationships. Norfolk, VA: National Defense University.
Walsh, J. I. (2010). The international politics of intelligence sharing. New York: Columbia University Press.