Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization

Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization
Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization
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Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization delves deeply into the important aspects of transnational crime and other illicit networks in a globalized world. Published for the Center for Complex Operations (CCO) Institute for National Strategic Studies by the National Defense University Press.

Editors Michael Miklaucic and Jacqueline Brewer have gathered an impressive cadre of authors who describe the clear and present danger and the magnitude of the challenge of converging and connecting illicit networks; the ways and means used by transnational criminal networks and how illicit networks actually operate and interact; how the proliferation, convergence, and horizontal diversification of illicit networks challenge state sovereignty; and how different national and international organizations are fighting back. A deeper understanding of the problem will allow us to then develop a more comprehensive, more effective, and more enduring solution.

Cybersecurity is becoming a hot topic in the 21st century.  Elective courses of study under Information Technology degree programs are beginning to form at universities for this topical content.   Resources, such as Convergence, may be suitable candidates for university text adoptions and should be available in libraries as a supplemental reading text on this topic.


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

1    Deviant Globalization
2    Lawlessness and Disorder: An Emerging Paradigm for the 21st Century
3    Can We Estimate the Global Scale and Impact of Illicit Trade?
4    The Illicit Supply Chain
5    Fixers, Super Fixers, and Shadow Facilitators: How Networks Connect
6    The Geography of Badness: Mapping the Hubs of the Illicit Global Economy
7    Threat Finance: A Critical Enabler for Illicit Networks
8    Money Laundering into Real Estate
9    The Criminal State
10  How Illicit Networks Impact Sovereignty
11  Counterinsurgency, Counternarcotics, and Illicit Economies in Afghanistan: Lessons for State-Building
12  Fighting Networks with Networks
13  The Department of Defense’s Role in Combating Transnational Organized Crime
14  Collaborating to Combat Illicit Networks Through Interagency and International Efforts
About the Contributors


Defense agencies, members of government, policymakers, and other agencies and defense contractors working within the government on cybersecurity may be interested in this book.  Students and professors involved with cybersecurity and the role that information technology plays in military operations would find this publication very useful. 


New York Times  Article: Globalization Creates a New Worry: Enemy Convergence  by Thom Shanker  May 30, 2013

"As he rose through the ranks of command over a 37-year career in uniform, Admiral [James G.] Stavridis also came to be recognized as one of the military’s most prolific authors on strategy, operations and tactics. Today, though, ask what worries him most, and he answers in a single word: convergence.  That is the new term of choice in national security circles for the coming together of previously unrelated adversaries, who not only might combine in operations, but also share resources, know-how, weapons and technology and personnel.  'This is really the dark end of the spectrum of globalization as you assess rising national security risks,' Admiral Stavridis said in an interview. 'It is something I worry about enormously.'

Read the full review here:

U.S. Army  Article: NDU book addresses emerging networks that combine criminal, terrorist activity  by Michael Norris, Pentagram Assistant Editor  May 17, 2013

"Stavridis, who wrote the preface to 'Convergence,' talked about the intermingling of groups with ideological agendas with those whose main goal is to make money, and how the two have merged in the last several decades. He cited the Taliban in Afghanistan and how it has used drug smuggling to finance its political agenda. 'Weapons, cash and narcotics move along the same transnational routes,' he said. Stavridis said these illicit networks have become very resourceful and innovative in pursuing their goals, citing crudely-made cannons designed to shoot bundles of cocaine across international borders. The leaders of these networks 'wake up every day and ask, "'How can I innovate?"' the admiral said. 'We've got to match that. We have to think harder and faster.'"

The Washington Post  Article: How terrorists can exploit globalization  by James Stavridis  May 31, 2013

Claremont Colleges-- Scholarship @ Claremont --CGU Faculty Publications and Research -CGU Faculty Scholarship  Book Review: Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization by Robert J. Bunker, Claremont Graduate University  January 1, 2013

"Quality work on an increasingly important topic of national security"

Good Reads-- Nathan Kitzke rated this print work with 5 out of 5 stars.

Public Intelligence Blog: The truth at any cost lowers all other costs --Review: Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization    [in categories: Country/Regional, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Crime (Organized, Transnational), Information Society, Threats (Emerging & Perennial)]  Rated 4 out of 5 stars: First Class on the Illicit Networks Not Legalized by US Congress  by Robert David Steele  December 15, 2014

"From the National Defense University Press, which I hold in very high regard, this is the single best book I have seen on the diversity of the illicit threat networks.  Each chapter is individually brilliant and all of them compelling turns of phrase and good graphics.  'Deviant globalization' and the 'geography of badness' jump out."

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Defense Dept., National Defense University, Institute for National Strategic Studies, Center for Complex Operations
  • Miklaucic. Michael
Key Phrases:
  • National Security
  • Crime and Criminals
  • International Crime
  • Transnational Crime
  • National Security
  • Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization
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