International and Homeland Security Issues
Transnational organized crime has long been identified as an international security threat. In October 1995, President Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 42, which formally classified transnational organized crime a security threat to the US and its interests. By 2000, the UN had followed suit with the completion of the Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. The international community has rapidly adopted local, regional and international policies and practices to curb the growing threat from organized crime and corruption.
While the discussions that led to the foundation of the concept of homeland security began well before September 11th, 2001, but it was the terror attacks of that day that brought homeland security to the forefront. Homeland security is most commonly associated with the need to secure the homeland against terrorism, but homeland security is actually a broader concept that is predicated on the prevention and defense against aggression targeted at the U.S. and its interests. In this larger context, it is no surprise that elements of the fight against transnational organized crime are now integral to the US Department of Homeland Security.
The goals of TraCCC have always overlapped with the larger efforts to support national, homeland and international security organizations. For example, TraCCC assisted the US Border Patrol Academy in Artesia NM to revise and update the Law and Spanish curriculum. Among conferences TraCCC has held which address homeland and international security, the most relevant is ‘Transnational Crime and Peacekeeping: Comparative Perspectives’, held in early September 2001, which was sponsored by the McCormick-Tribune Foundation to analyze the impact of transnational crime on peace missions. Finally, TraCCC’s staff has delivered lectures at numerous security-related institutions, including the National Defense University, the US Special Operations Command, the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, and the Naval Postgraduate School.
Between 2005 and 2008, TraCCC focused greatly on Russian Security hosting events as well as publishing research and books. In March of 2005, TraCCC co-organized a conference of chapter writers for the forthcoming book “Russian Business Power: The Role of Russian Business in Foreign and Security Relations,” at the Center for Security Studies of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. The book was published in 2006 as a part of the Routledge Series. Continuing on this topic, in October of 2005 TraCCC researchers Nabi Abdullaev and Simon Saradzhyan presented Trade-offs between security and Civil Liberties in Russia’s War on Terror: Four Regional Case Studies at the Moscow Carnegie Center; and again TraCCC cohosted a half-day conference in April of 2006 with CERES on security threats to Russia, focusing on organized crime, terrorism, and the Russian government’s fight against those elements. In 2008, TraCCC added another book to its Routledge series,” Russia’s Battle with Crime, Corruption and Terrorism,“ examining Russia’s attempts to tackle the challenges of the new and increasing security threats of rising crime, corruption and terrorism that it has experienced since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
TraCCC has hosted a number of guest speakers on the topic of international and homeland security. Some of these include, Ikram Sehgal, founder of the largest security firm in Pakistan, Pathfinder G4S; Alexandre Kukhianidze, the Director of TraCCC’s Caucasus Office, for a rountable discussion on “Combating Corruption in Georgia: Reforms without Democratization?”; Grant Newsham, executive director for corporate security at a prominent Western financial services firm in Japan; Alain Bauer and Xavier Raufer, two French Government advisors on crime and terrorism; and Major General Muniruzzanam (ret.) of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies.
Dr. Louise Shelley has also been a guest speaker on the topic for many years. In November 2010, she moderated a panel at the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Bangkok, Thailand. She also wrote one of the conference articles entitled “Restoring Trust for Peace and Security.” In May 2011, Dr. Louise Shelley, William Courtney, and Kenneth Yalowitz were published in the Christian Science Monitor with the article, “ How exposing corrupt regimes can serve US security,” which discussed the fight against foreign corruption and the success of US policy. In March of 2012 , Dr. Louise Shelley was quoted in hetq online article, ” Obama calls ‘Brothers’ Circle’ a National Security Threat…But Who are They?”; and later delivered a paper titled, “Human Smuggling and Trafficking into Europe: A Comparative Perspective,” at the Conference on the Politics and Policy of Border Security held at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, Germany and sponsored by the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Migration Policy Institute.