National Security Implications of Transnational Organized Crime Essay

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National Security Implications of Transnational Organized Crime

The paper deals with three important aspects, one the National Security, second the crime -- organized in many ways, and the third rogue nations that pose a threat. National security is to be understood in multiple contexts. Firstly the physical security of the nation from alien threats, and intrusions, secondly damages to vital infrastructure and thirdly anti-national activities by organizations that may lead to an emergency in the country or at an international level causing diplomatic problems. It must be remembered that the Al-Qaeda was also an organized crime syndicate that was funded by the drug trade from Afghanistan. Secondly organized crimes committed by the companies or organizations that commit crime like ENRON also have its own implications on the financial security. Thirdly rogue nations like Iran, China and Korea pose threats both on the security of the nation and it's infrastructure -- especially the communications that is used for spying and stealing data. Other than these communities based on religious ideologies that have a hate of the U.S. often form societies to run terrorist errands in the country. Some of the local organized mafias also have foreign links either to harbor funds that are ill gotten or for tax evasion and thus crime runs parallel to terrorism and national threats. It is a vast subject and therefore the implications from all of these are covered in brief.

Transnational Crime:

The definition of a transnational organized crime are based on the fact that there are self-perpetuating associations of individuals who operate transnationally for obtaining a gain mainly by illegal means, while protecting their activities through a pattern of corruption and/or violence, and/or a transnational organizational structure using commerce or communication mechanisms. They are known to exploit "differences between countries to further their objectives, enriching their organization, expanding its power, and/or avoiding detection/apprehension; and can include nations."

Their leadership and membership form detection, sanction, and/or prosecution through their organizational structure.

The Fountainhead

Organized crime is not new to the United States. In fact it was around for a very long time and cities like Chicago during the prohibition days, and Los Angles even now have their share of organized crime that springs from ethnic, religious and many other bases. For example in examining the statistics issued it can be seen that the latest statistics show that the crime rates in Los Angeles with a population of, 792,621 people is said to be safest city at 26% of other cities. The crimes in the violent nature against property was at 21,757 per year and at 5.74 crimes per 1000 residents and the statistical chance of becoming a victim is about 174/1000. In the case of serious crimes the total murder, rape and robbery stood at an average of 294/1000 of the population and compared to the crimes in the entire U.S. It is at 0.26%.

The basis of organized crime is the formation of gangs; the most effective thing that affects the rates of crime perhaps is the efficient policing in the country. Most of the crimes are done by organized gangs. On an international level, smugglers of yore were the gangs that operated in any countries. That has now become obsolete. Instead we have militant organizations that have taken to crime as a means o funding their organization, procuring weapons and also growing their cadres and for religious and sect purposes. While the organized crime inside the country is effectively tacked by the police machinery, the international criminal syndicates that are formed with political and religious underlines have wreaked havoc in the security arrangements.

Most of these types of criminal groups grew out of the unrest in the Middle East countries and as a result of the actions of the former Soviet Union, and ironically the United States itself. The major example is the Al-Qaeda -- a system that began as a freedom movement against the U.S.S.R. In Afghanistan later joined the Taliban and became the world's biggest terrorist organization. Likewise the LTTE of Sri Lanka which was allowed a free run for a long time caused chaos in India. In the case of Pakistan, terrorist camps are there because of the availability of training grounds and weapons. Thus U.S. has meddled in are "Afghanistan, Chile, El Salvador, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Yemen, and some former USSR member countries."

The orthodox Islamist Taliban movement that began on October 7, 2001, was the result of earlier Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The rise of Taliban gave birth to the terrorist win called Al-Qaeda. The September bombings and subsequent invasion and search for the terrorists throughout Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden led to the U.S. playing a major role in shaping Afghan policy.

This caused a faulty strategy because the principle concern was eliminating the Al-Qaeda for which the whole country was laid waste. This continued until the capture and elimination of Bin Laden in 2011. There are connections between these groups and corporate entities which were used as a front to launder money and even manage a neat front for illegal activities.

Corporate Crimes and Corruption:

Corporations are often used as a front to launder money and use as economic means. The white collar crime is now shifted from the individual to the transnational criminals. White collar crimes build economic power. To understand that it is necessary to look into the crime itself. Edwin Sutherland showed the interrelationship between business and crime. The highlight of the paper was the statement that "robber barons of the late 1800s."

That these crimes are committed by individuals in the top rung of the society makes the crime more reprehensible and dangerous. However there are still controversies over which crimes can be strictly defined as white collar. The scope and ambit has indeed become large. It has also been shown that the corporate criminality shows repetitive patterns or recidivism.

The research conducted by Sally S. Simpson

which was based on event history analysis, showed that for a sample of 38 corporations the recidivism patterns showed that punishments of severe nature often end the criminal behavior. It is also to be borne in mind that competition, market pressure and the changes in legislation that make the business unproductive all turn the otherwise normal corporation to commit crimes. "Industry-level pressures have been identified as influencing factors. Industries that face stiff competition may favor and encourage an aggressive approach from employees that produces rapid results, rather than thoughtful, strategic action. When the gains cannot be realized in the desired time frame, there is a temptation to implement short cuts; resulting in fraud."

That however is not a justification, although it prompts some regulations on the way industries operate. Therefore by making the corporate more transparent it is possible to reduce the crime and the use of such structures by the transnational criminal. Another problem is of the criminal state.

The Rogue Nation:

The rogue nation itself indulges in crime. One is North Korea. "Korea has a vast array of illicit international enterprises" organized by a part of its government known as Central Committee Bureau 39 of the Korean Workers' Party -- KWP.

This shadowy part of an already opaque government shows criminal conducts -- smuggling, trafficking, and counterfeiting and is also threatening regional stability. North Korea's criminal schemes could be in line with the remaining communist regimes of Cuba, Vietnam and Laos.

These rogue nations also indulge in espionage. The Homeland Security Department has made little progress in stemming it. This along with malicious attacks by Iran as a retaliation by that country to the U.S. aggression has brought forth the issue of security. The cyber security is vital today, not only from the political angle but also for the day-to-day commerce. U.S. were responsible for the malware attack on Iran. There was a covert operation that now has put America's own infrastructure at risk. America has now conceded that it conducted the most sophisticated state-sponsored cyber attack in the history of civilization. United States has spent billions, hidden in non-public budgets, to develop a capacity to attack the infrastructure of Iran. All the while "President Obama declared, on May 29, 2009, that America's 'digital infrastructure' was a 'national strategic asset' and would be protected as such."

America's attack was called "Olympic Games." On the other hand U.S. officials Blame China for aggressively attacking U.S. systems for years. According to Marc Ambinder, "China is gathering intelligence, not waging warfare. Countries actively cooperate on cyber crime -- even the U.S. And China quietly partner to deter copyright violators."

The problem is further aggravated by the fact that major IT company in the world is owned by United States citizens or is based in the U.S. Recently it was reported by Bloomberg that both China and Iran are intensifying cyber assaults against the U.S., according to the head of the House Intelligence Committee says that China's cyber espionage effort is to steal U.S. industrial secrets and even the U.S. Federal Reserve website…[continue]

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