Proceedings Of The Marine

FALL 2014

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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6 Proceedings Fall 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings that have evolved to become more complex, volatile, and destabi lizing." 1 Moreover, in 2013, the book Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization, 2 received widespread attention, arguing that threat networks are forming new, lethal alliances — some temporary and some Recognizing TOC Threats In 2011, President Obama released the Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, recognizing the reality that TOC networks "are proliferating, striking new and powerful alliances, and engaging in a range of illicit activi- ties as never before. The result is a convergence of threats Threat Convergence When enemies unite. by Mr. Douglas Farah President, IBI Consultants LLC Senior Associate, Americas Program, CSIS Combating Networks and Securing Borders In recent years, the concept of threat conver- gence from transnational organized crime (TOC) networks to terrorist groups — into new and more dangerous hybrid threats to U.S. national security — has gained currency in law enforcement, academic, and intelligence communities. One of the primary zones of co nve r ge nce fo r t he TOC and terrorist nexus is Latin America, and of par ticular concern are the seven countries of Central America. In Central America, El Sal- vador, Guatemala, and Honduras are at the cen- ter of the regional conver- gence phenomenon. This emerging threat combi- nation comprises a hybrid of criminal/terrorist, and state/non-state fran- chises, combining multiple nations acting in concert and traditional transnational orga- nized crime networks and terrorist groups acting as proxies for the nation-states that sponsor them. Today, the United States should view these hybrid franchises as a tier-one security threat. Understanding and mitigating transna- tional organized crime threats require a whole-of-government approach, includ- ing collection, analysis, law enforcement, policy, and programming. No longer is the state/non- state dichotomy viable in tackling these problems, just as the TOC/ terror- ism divide is increasingly disappearing. Serban Bogdan / iStock / Thinkstock

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