The New Threat: Transnational Crime
Two major shifts affecting the security of the United States in the past three decades—the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of transnational terrorism—went virtually unrecognized and unanticipated by U.S. policymakers, although in retrospect the signs were plain for everyone to see.
Today, a third threat to American security is in plain sight, but is still unrecognized except for specialists at lower and intermediate decision-making levels. Transnational crime has grown to such proportions in today’s world that it has become a significant factor in geopolitics and a threat to the future of civil government worldwide.
The danger is particularly acute in this hemisphere, in a region generally from the Canadian treeline through the U.S., Mexico and Central America, to Colombia and Venezuela, an area loosely defined as “Mesoamerica.”  This is a glimpse into the future fight of the 21st century—disintegrative forces of blended crime, terrorism and insurgency against governments and civic order. …