Transnational Organized Crime: Principal Threats and U.S. Responses
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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This report examines the growing threat of transnational organized crime to U.S. national security and global stability. The end of the Cold War -- along with increasing globalization beginning in the 1990s -- has helped criminal organizations expand their activities and gain global reach. Criminal networks are believed to have benefited from the weakening of certain government institutions, more open borders, and the resurgence of ethnic and regional conflicts across the former Soviet Union and many other regions. Transnational criminal organizations have also exploited expanding financial markets and rapid technological developments. In addition, terrorist networks are believed to be increasingly supporting themselves through traditional crime, and have been linked to criminal organizations. Alliances between the two groups could amplify threats to American security. Transnational criminals engage in a spectrum of illicit activities, including narcotics and arms smuggling, trafficking in persons, counterfeiting, and money laundering and other financial crimes. The report outlines the U.S. response to international crime. While U.S. policy is framed within the 1998 International Crime Control Strategy, it also is shaped by other more recent federal and agency plans. Agencies heading government efforts include the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security. Key federal programs and initiatives and their interagency coordination are discussed. International cooperation and agreements are vital to U.S. strategy also, many programs seek to assist and train foreign law enforcement agencies. Finally, the report examines likely Congressional concerns related to U.S. efforts to combat transnational crime. The report will not be updated.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law