Beyond Convergence: World Without Order

Beyond Convergence: World Without Order
Beyond Convergence: World Without Order
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This publication describes the disturbing, yet highly important, new trend of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) joining forces with terrorist groups and insurgents in order to create an adaptive, destructive, alternate ecosystem, in which extreme violence and criminal commerce rule. This trend is harmful to both the public interest and public good, as well as to the sovereignty of independent world powers.  As this trend increases, the United Nations has issued a "high warning" (or worse) rating to at least one-third of U.N. state members. Criminal organizations and terrorist groups have access to quick communication, easy travel, military-grade protection and weapons, legal counsel, and other services that make them forces which can destabilize entire nations.  Information about the convergence of TCOs and terrorists and insurgents is very limited due to their ability to remain off the radar of United States defense agencies. It is likely that illicit products used to fund these criminal and terrorist groups comprise two to five percent of global product. These criminal/terrorist networks divert global economic resources, as well as being able to use their power to diminish a state's ability to govern and protect itself. The worldwide nature of this epidemic, how it affects the United States and other world actors, and possible futures are explored in this publication.  

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments  vii

Introduction: World Order or Disorder? ix

Hilary Matfess and Michael Miklaucic

I. Slouching Toward Dystopia

1 The Global Crisis of Governance  21

Phil Williams

2 The Twin Insurgencies: Plutocrats and Criminals Challenge the Westphalian State 47

Nils Gilman

3 The Islamic State Revolution 61

Scott Atran

4 The March Is Not Linear: Big Party Politics and the Decline of Democracy

Worldwide 89

Francis Fukuyama and Hilary Matfess

5 Costs of Hedging Bad: The Global Threat Network and Impact on Financial Market Volatility 117

Jay Chittooran and Scott Helfstein

II. One Network

6 Terrorist and Criminal Dynamics: A Look Beyond the Horizon 137

Christopher Dishman

7 Hezbollah’s Criminal Networks: Useful Idiots, Henchmen, and Organized Criminal Facilitators 155

Matthew Levitt

8 Convergence in Criminalized States: The New Paradigm 179

Douglas Farah

9 ISIL and the Goal of Organizational Survival 195

Jessica Stern

III. Pandora

10 Virtually Illicit: The Use of Social Media in a Hyper-Connected World  215

Tuesday Reitano and Andrew Trabulsi

11 “We Pay, You Pay”: Protection Economies, Financial Flows, and Violence 235

Mark Shaw

12 The Neglected Mega-Problem: Illicit Trade in “Normally Licit” Goods 251

Karl Lallerstedt

13 Cybercrime: The Evolution of Traditional Crime 275

Raj Samani

IV. A Toolbox for the 21st Century

14 Leviathan Redux: Toward a Community of Effective States 297

Clare Lockhart and Michael Miklaucic

15 Communicate, Cooperate, and Collaborate (C3) Through Public-Private Partnerships (P3) to Counter the Convergence of Illicit Networks 331

Celina Realuyo

16 Adapting to Today’s Battlefield: The Islamic State and Irregular War as the “New Normal” 353

Sebastian Gorka

17 Networks at War: Organizational Innovation and Adaptation in the 21st Century 369

Christopher Fussell and D.W. Lee

About the Contributors 391


This publication would be highly useful to the intelligence community, the Department of Defense and its agencies and contractors, members of government and Congress, and policymakers and committees focused on counterterrorism and taking down transnational criminal organizations--and preventing the spread of partnerships between criminal groups and terrorist groups and the devastating consequences that result.

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Defense Dept., National Defense University, Center for Complex Operations, Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Matfess, Hilary
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  • World Without Order
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