Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Qualifiers and Caveats James J.F. Forest, Ph.D. Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program Conference on the The Nexus Between Terrorism and Trafficking.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Qualifiers and Caveats James J.F. Forest, Ph.D. Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program Conference on the The Nexus Between Terrorism and Trafficking."— Presentation transcript:

1 Qualifiers and Caveats James J.F. Forest, Ph.D. Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program Conference on the The Nexus Between Terrorism and Trafficking February 22, 2013

2 Criminals and Terrorists  Much in common – rational actors, operate secretly, use similar tactics (kidnapping, extortion, assassination) to obtain resources, power Conceptual paradigms offered:  Nexus, intersections, hybrids  Continuum (groups shifting incrementally)  Transformation (become less one, more the other)

3 Researching a “Nexus”  Lots of specific conditions involved  No formula, no perfect predictors  Any common patterns? If the “Nexus” exists, what do we need know?  Who  Where  When  Why  How  What kinds

4 Who? (Group & Individual Characteristics)  Group characteristics Goals, capabilities, leadership, areas of operation, support networks, interpersonal relationships  Less “Organization” more “Networked individuals”  Individual facilitators are the heart of collaboration  “Trusted handshake” based on:  Mutual friends/acquaintances who vouch for you w/their life  Family ties, clan, tribe, etc.  Religious beliefs (doctrinal knowledge, credentials, etc.)  Battlefield veteran status (Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq)  Shared experiences (prison, battlefield, oppression)

5 Where? (Location-related conditions)  Global access to banking systems, materials, weapons, technologies, knowledge, infrastructure, etc....  Access to markets (incl. pipelines, routes, conduits); Global markets = more opportunities for profit  Internationally linked criminal markets in which various actors, including terrorists and insurgents, engage in profit- seeking activities  Domestic cash economies, shadow economies, depressed/dysfunctional economies  Physical terrain for illicit crops, smuggling  State weakness (limited intell, security capabilities), border insecurity, ongoing conflicts, safe havens  Corruption, kleptocracy, low development/high need and other “legitimacy grievances”, and much more...

6 When? (Temporal/Event-related Conditions)  Inter-state or intra-state conflicts  Coup/regime collapse, foreign military occupation, other events that enhance the perceived need for action within a particular environment;  Transitioning state governments (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya);  Governance challenges in dozens of countries worldwide;  Long-term projections: No indication that demand for drugs, weapons, illicit sexual services, etc. will decline any time soon  Experiences lead to expansion of trusted handshakes; patterns of successful collaboration can lead to more trust & willingness for future collaboration

7 Why? (And if not, why not?)  Power, resources, operational capacity common goals  Money is centrifugal force that brings them together  Expertise (money laundering, travel document forgery)  Relatively few “strategic alliances”, more tactical, transactional, sub-contract kinds of relationships Even if we see many of these conditions, we may not see a terrorist-trafficking nexus. Why not?  Trust is much harder to build than destroy  Once you become involved in trafficking, difficult to get back out (much different from disengagement from political violence)  Failed states less hospitable than weak states  OPSEC: Risk aversion regarding money, resources

8 How?  Money laundering dimensions  Diaspora network connections  Individual trusted relationships  Profit sharing?  Operational security?  Impact of arrests, operations interrupted?

9 What kinds? (Short-term / Long-term & other characteristics)  Strategic alliances  Long-term commitments; shared intelligence, revenues, etc.  Transactional supply chain relationships  Often based on territorial control by each group  Tactical alliances  Short-term, in response to perceived mutual threat  Sub-contract relationships  Often based on unique/specialized capabilities  Spot sales and barter agreements  Like drugs for explosives (Madrid 2004: 66 lbs. hashish = 440 lbs. explosives) - Adapted from Phil Williams (2002) and Annette Idler (2012)

10 Summary  At minimum, broad stroke characterizations of a “terrorism trafficking nexus” require significant qualifiers and caveats  Occasional convergence based on a variety of contexts and group/individual attributes  This is a very contextual phenomenon  Reinforces a common truth – there is no “one size fits all” kind of policy solution or universal strategy to deal with this problem

11 Qualifiers and Caveats James J.F. Forest, Ph.D.


Download ppt "Qualifiers and Caveats James J.F. Forest, Ph.D. Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program Conference on the The Nexus Between Terrorism and Trafficking."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google