The purpose of this paper is to research "Organized Crime" historically and what effects it has on society in the present time as well as implications for the future and then to examine what suggestions have been offered for asserting effective control over that which is termed "organized crime."
Organized crime can be defined as structured business framework that with no regard to moral, ethic or societal concerns or standards prospers from that which promises to prosper the individual and group within that network the most. Some examples of organized crime are the drug trafficking trade, illegal weapons and nuclear arms trade, slave trade, gambling rings, pornography rings among many other variations of the major crime categories.
Many of the Organized Crime networks are based on familial relations although there are networks defined by religion, government, country, political persuasion among other groups which characteristic of some sort remains in common among the group that is within itself a separate culture.
I. Understanding Organized Crime:
A study performed by John Hagan relates that much research has been applied to attainment of success demonstrated by all the trappings of home, car and prestige. However, he declares, the analysis of illegal crime and the profits realized in that "black-market" business have not been thoroughly research to a great extent. Hagan states that:
"Indeed the notion of illegal prosperity challenges common held beliefs that success requires participation in conventional activities. Perhaps even more unsettling is the possibility that theories of legal prosperity also explain illegal success." Hagan (2001) Hagan also states that during the 1980's and the early 1990's that it appears as though:
"The economic restructuring . . . undoubtedly encouraged some entrepreneurial youth to take up drug dealing." (Hagan 2001)
North America suffered great decreases in employment specifically in inner-city areas as well as a lowering of wages of a sum up to 30% "which affected mostly young, under-educated, racial minorities." Hagan (2004) Reports demonstrate the transformation that occurred in the inner-city environment that crumbled the societal structure and has resulted in the ongoing increase in crime. Criminologists, Baron & Hartnagel 1997, Fagin, 1992 believe that the crime increase can be attributed to those in the inner-city crumbling economic structure in desperation turned to alternate means of generating income in order to survive. (Hagan 2001).
II. Organized Crime -- Smuggling & Drugs
A report published by the Washington Times in August 2001 and written by Karen DeYoung, which is entitled "Alarm on Spreading Ecstasy; Illegal Pills Fly in from Europe, Eluding Standard Remedies for Smuggling states that:
"Two years ago the amount of the illegal drug Ecstasy entering the United States was worrisome, but not a major concern for federal law enforcement . . .Today, Ecstasy is the fastest-growing abused drug in the United States." DeYoung (2001)
A group that is called "Israeli Organized Crime" by the DEA is reportedly bringing the drug into the U.S. The ISC is a group of "chieftains ... well traveled in their twenties, speak multiple languages and carry more than one passport according to the Washington Times report. Unfortunately, the report stated that "Israel's laws do not permit extradition of its citizens." DeYoung (2001).
According to a report entitled "America's Habit: Drug Trafficking & Organized Crime: Chapter VI Part 2: Interdiction written by Irving R. Kaufman:
"Our National Strategy consists of five "major elements," each of which in turn is comprised of numerous programs and strategies. Interdiction, just one of these sub-components, presently consumes one-third of the entire Federal drug abuse outlay for the fiscal year. Measured just in terms of outlays designated for law enforcement activities, interdiction's portion swells to almost one-half of the Federal funds being spent to combat drug abuse. By Commission calculation, Federal funds devoted to interdiction have increased 100% over the last five years."
Kaufman points out that even with the outrageous spending going in to provide funds to combat the organized drug trade crimes that the crime has experienced an increase. Kaufman (1990).
III. The Suggestions for Combat of Organized Crime:
Many suggestions have been offered over the course of many years as how to best combat organized crime in the United States. The declaring of "War on Drugs" has not seemed to have much effect "Just Say No" has not worked very well and there is still no answer to the question of "What can be done?" Even if something were in place that would stop the moving of drugs across countries and borders by the organized crime families then there is still the issue of the slave trade as well as arms and nuclear weapons trade to be considered. However, there can be no quick-fix to this age-old problem of organized crime because the profits that are being realized combined with the decrease and decline of religious and moral beliefs in the United States is not conducive to effecting a change through collective means.
A Congressional Testimony report on Global Terrorism that contains the testimony of Louise Shelley was published on October 1, 1997. Shelley published a report in the Foreign Service Journal in September 1997 that brought attention to the "need for coordinated national policy in addressing transnational organized crime."
In the testimony Shelley states the following:
" Everyday the front pages of major newspapers carry incredible news stories about different crime groups operating on an unprecedented scale in almost every region of the world. The money laundering of the Mexican drug traffickers, the bombings and contract killings executed by Russian crime groups and large scale alien smuggling to American shores by Chinese crime groups are striking in their brazenness. Are these stories a new form of media sensationalism or should these separate stories be analyzed together as part of a larger problem? Media attention to transnational organized crime exceeds that devoted to the problem by policy makers at the national and international level. Yet, transnational organized crime will be one of the major problems facing policy makers in the 21st century. It will be a defining issue of the 21st century as the Cold War was for the 20th century and Colonialism was for the 19th. No area of international affairs will remain untouched as political and economic systems and the social fabric of many countries will deteriorate under the increasing financial power of international organized crime groups.
In Shelley's testimony from the Congressional Testimony report Shelley relates that every country and every continent has its' organized crime base and these groups have formed strategic alliances just as is done in the legitimate business and marketing world. From Shelley's testimony one can derive that the countries in the U.S.S.R. referred to as "Post-Soviet" countries are filled with the intense activity associated with organized crime. This is understandable so far as the structure of organized crime and the basis since Russia and other countries in the region were in dire straits just at the approximate time the "Cold War" ended.
Summary & Conclusion:
There are no quick and easy solutions to combating organized crime. The tentacles of organized crime infiltrate every level of society throughout the world on every continent and in every country to some degree. The economical causal factors are clearly a propellant toward organized crime for many that are desperate to feed their family, however, there is a larger more sinister base that can be charged with the ongoing problem with that of organized crime. At the root of the organized crime problem lies politics, power and greed and it involves high-level officials throughout the world both that of bond and free.
There are those who purport that the C.I.A. is a big drug machine and others that state that the reason drugs are illegal is due to the fact that there is so much revenue in illegal…