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Plan Colombia: A Case For Political Warfare To Defeat Transnational Criminal Organizations In The Gray Zone

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Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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Transnational criminal organizations pose a threat to US national security as well as the security of the global commons. Their activities lead to the corruption of government actors, erosion of human security, and the disruption of globalization. Transnational criminal organizations are able to operate with impunity because their actions reside in what is deemed the gray zone the empty space between peace and war. Unfortunately, state institutions have historically attempted to combat transnational criminal organizations with an overtly militarized strategy which has typically exacerbated the situation, thereby allowing these organizations to prosper. Plan Colombia, and its subsequent initiatives, demonstrates that a measured military response guided by the tenets of Political Warfare can defeat transnational criminal organizations in the gray zone. US support to Plan Colombia, and its subsequent initiatives, highlights that a coherent Political Warfare strategy allows all the instruments of national power to compete with, and eventually defeat, transnational criminal organizations in the continuum of conflict, resident within the gray zone.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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