The Nexus of Extremism and Trafficking: Scourge of the World or So Much Hype?
JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIV MACDILL AFB FL
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In a globalized and increasingly interconnected world, the transfer of information, expertise, and relationships are becoming more complex and more commonplace. The interconnectedness of criminal organizations that span not only countries but across regions of the globe is troubling. However, more troubling is the possibility of the linking of transnational criminal organizations with insurgent and terrorist organizations as addressed in this work by Brigadier General retired Russ Howard and Ms. Colleen Traughber. The radical ideologies propagating politically motivated violence now have the opportunity to leverage and participate in traditionally criminal enterprises. This melding of form and function provides criminals with new networks and violent extremists with new funding sources and potential smuggling opportunities. General Howard and Ms. Traughber delve into the nexus between violent extremist elements and transnational criminal elements by first clarifying whether a real problem exists, and if so, what is the appropriate role for Special Operations Forces SOF in confronting it. The authors bring rigor to the subject matter by dissecting the issue of intention and opportunities of criminal organization and violent extremists. The question is confounded by the authors who note the wide variance in the motivations and opportunities of both different criminal organizations and extremist organizations. What the authors do make clear is that the trafficking of humans, weapons, drugs, and contraband HWDC is a natural way for the criminals and extremists to cooperate. To bring the issue into focus, the authors systematically examine case studies dealing with the nexus between specific organizations and HWDC trafficking opportunities.
- Sociology and Law