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International Organized Crime: Emerging Threat to US Security

NCJ Number
R Godson; W J Olson
Date Published
75 pages
The organized crime threat to the United States is explored.
This report demonstrates that: (1) organized crime has changed dramatically in the last 10 years; (2) international criminals and local organized crime damage major American interests abroad; (3) the effects of international organized crime ripple throughout society; (4) the magnitude of the threat of international organized crime is unknown; and (5) no government has been able to neutralize major international criminal organizations. Research is based on a literature review, interviews with governmental and nongovernmental specialists in the United States, Western Europe, Russia, the CIS, Turkey, and Latin America; the proceedings of a conference of governmental and academic specialists; data when available and apparently reliable; and on-site visits to centers of criminal activity in Latin and Central America, the Caribbean, Central Asia, Turkey, Russia, and Western Europe in 1991, 1992, and 1993. The costs of drug trafficking on the criminal justice and health care systems are provided. Characteristics of the global threat of organized crime as well as its effects on the interests of the United States are examined in depth as are the direct effects on the quality of life in the United States. Four appendixes cover the National Strategy Information Center's Project on Global Ungovernability; excerpts from an interview with a principal operator in the Colombian cartels; an interview with Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations; and methodology and definitions upon which this report is based. Endnotes