THIS STUDY OF TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME—my tenth book—is the product of years of deep pondering. My continuing concern with post– Cold War global disorder has appeared in several articles and in five books published over the last decade: Deadly Transfers and the Global Playground: Transnational Security Threats in a Disorderly World (Praeger, 1999); Armies without States: The Privatization of Security (Lynne Rienner, 2002); Security, Strategy, and the Quest for Bloodless War (Lynne Rienner, 2004); The Meaning of Military Victory (Lynne Rienner, 2006); and Global Threat: Target-Centered Assessment and Management (Praeger Security International, 2008). Although appearing on the surface to be a quite narrow topic, in reality transnational organized crime is linked with today’s most pressing global security concerns.
An investigation of this magnitude can rarely be executed successfully alone. I wish to thank my two undergraduate student research assistants, Lila Wade and Sarah Patterson, for considerable help with the case studies and for refinement of some of the general ideas. My conversations with Phil Williams at the University of Pittsburgh were invaluable, with Phil radiating the highly unusual combination of keen insight and kind encouragement. Beyond examining the published literature, numerous conversations with several colleagues in government intelligence and defense organizations have significantly contributed to my thinking, and they all deserve thanks. Finally, I wish to express special appreciation to Geoffrey Burn, the editor with whom I worked at Stanford University Press—his integrity, directness, enthusiasm, warmth, and humor made this publishing experience the best I have ever had so far. I also very much appreciated the considerable help from Jessica Walsh,