Gray Area Phenomena: Confronting the New World Disorder

Gray Area Phenomena: Confronting the New World Disorder

Gray Area Phenomena: Confronting the New World Disorder

Gray Area Phenomena: Confronting the New World Disorder

Excerpt

Within a few short years the nature of the international system and the verities that shaped U.S. national purpose have undergone fundamental changes. The United States emerged a victor from the Cold War, but success has undone more than one champion; and unlike a game, which ends, having won the Cold War has only made the playing field more crowded. The rules are more complex, and identifying purpose is more perplexing. Many new challenges at home and abroad now emerge demanding immediate attention and action at a time when what we should do is unclear and when resources for programs are more constrained than ever. We will be engaged for some years to come in sorting through the current bewildering world disorder in search of an organizing paradigm to assist us in clarifying our purposes and courses of action. In that process of sorting, this volume addresses some of the essential problems that we face and offers some ideas for shaping that new paradigm.

The contributors collectively address the challenge of international narcotics control by applying "the Manwaring paradigm." The paradigm is the basis for an improved strategy and theory of engagement for weak governments of the developing world, built around the concept of the "gray area phenomenon, GAP." GAP is defined as "threats to the stability of nation states by non-state actors and non- governmental processes and organizations," and involves "immense regions or urban areas where control has shifted from legitimate governments to new half political, half-criminal powers." Narcotics trafficking is only one of several gray area phenomena. As someone who spent a large part of a twenty-nine-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service directing, formulating, and observing the U.S. government's and the international community's endeavors to control illicit narcotics, I believe that the proposals outlined here offer the essentials for organizing thoughts and actions and could result in a more effective . . .

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