Improving U.S. Strategy on Transnational Organized Crime

By John Driscoll

Abstract: In recent decades transnational organized crime (TOC) has risen swiftly up the U.S. security agenda, and the scale and scope of potential profits for criminal groups has expanded as a result of improved information and transportation technologies. Domestically, no organized crime threat poses as great a risk as the illicit trafficking of drugs, for which the United States is a top consumer. In the face of these challenges, the U.S. government has developed a National Strategy to Combat TOC, and continued its decades long War on Drugs. Both the broad strategy against organized crime, and specific national drug policies, are deeply flawed and in need of serious revision. For effective progress towards combatting TOC and drug trafficking, the United States will primarily need to shift focus from supply management towards demand reduction policies, develop proper metrics for effectiveness, and increase international and multilateral efforts.

About the Author: John Driscoll is a graduate student at the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. He is pursuing his Master of Arts in International Affairs, with a dual focus in international security issues and conflict resolution. His has a B.A from Elon University, where he double majored in political science and international studies.

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