The rapid spread of international crime since the end of the Cold War is unprecedented
in scale, facilitated by globalization and technological advances, and poses
a significant challenge to the United States and democratic governments and
free market economies around the world. The President has identified international
crime as a direct and immediate threat to the national security of the United
States. To meet this challenge, the Departments of Justice, State, and Treasury--working
closely with numerous federal agencies--jointly developed a comprehensive national
strategy to fight international crime and reduce its impact on Americans. The
International Crime Control Strategy, which was released in May 1998, provides
a dynamic action plan that serves as a roadmap for a coordinated, effective,
long-term attack on international crime. The Strategy's eight overarching goals,
supported by implementing objectives, are as follows:
- Extend the first line of defense beyond US borders.
- Protect US borders by attacking smuggling and smuggling-related crimes.
- Deny safehaven to international criminals.
- Counter international financial crime.
- Prevent criminal exploitation of international trade.
- Respond to emerging international crime threats.
- Foster international cooperation and the rule of law.
- Optimize the full range of US efforts.
At the direction of the President and as part of the International Crime Control
Strategy, a US Government interagency working group has prepared the following
comprehensive assessment of the threat posed by international crime to Americans
and their communities, US businesses and financial institutions, and global
security and stability. The assessment is divided into five parts:
- Chapter I addresses the Global Context of International Crime, identifying
those factors--including the implications of a changing world, the greater
sophistication of criminal organizations, and institutional shortcomings elsewhere
in the world--that have contributed to the growing problem of international
- Chapter II provides a comprehensive overview of specific International
Crimes Affecting US Interests--including their effect on American lives
and livelihood, costs to US business interests at home and abroad, and impact
on US national security interests around the world.
- Chapter III addresses Worldwide Areas of International Criminal Activity,
particularly as source areas for specific crimes and bases of operations for
international criminal organizations. This section includes an analysis of
the driving factors in different countries and regions that allow criminal
organizations and international criminal activity to flourish, as well as
an assessment of the impact of international criminal activity on stability
in these countries and regions, including threats to the growth and nurturing
of democratic and free market systems. Finally, this section discusses the
characteristics, criminal operations, and international presence of organized
crime groups originating in these countries or regions.
- Chapter IV addresses the Consequences of International Crime for US Strategic
Interests, including the ability to work cooperatively with foreign governments
and the problem of criminal safehavens, kleptocracies, and failed states.
- Chapter V offers a perspective on the Future of International Crime
as it develops in the next 10 years.