Introduction and Context
Terror-related incidents, corruption, mafia, warlords, peace-keeping, etc. are some of the terms which we come across quite often these days. While on the one hand there’s intense competition amongst the multinationals, on the other hand, the spurt in private armies, the presence of UN peacekeeping forces in different locations around the world has ensured that the violence-related incidents keep finding front-page headline in mainstream media around the world. Jackson (2004) points out that the urge to control resources is one key reason for giving rise to the tendencies of war and mafia, which gradually turns into a vicious cycle of events leading to the rise of private armies and pockets of influence.
On the macro scale, Perl (2004) cites the example of North Korea in illustrating the extent to which organized crime has been gaining state sponsorship. Such help is continuing almost unabated because of the sharp divide amongst several leading economies around the world on how to handle the problems. It is under such circumstances that the geopolitical balances around the world make an interesting subject for study. This study is therefore an effort to find out a larger picture of the role of mercenaries, private armies, state sponsors, global arms trade, drug trafficking, and democratic institutions. An effort would also be made to see how the economic growth over the years has impacted such developments over the years.
Research Questions and Objectives
The main intention of the study is to develop an understanding of the diversities prevailing around the globe in terms of economic development, conflict of interests, and dichotomies amongst the conflicting blocks. During the study, an effort will be made to analyze the prevailing situation in some of the worst affected countries in terms of warring factions and the role of mercenaries, and how these countries have progressed over the years, particularly in the post globalization period. A broader understanding will be made about the subject by soliciting the opinion and recommendations of reputed organizations and analysts. An attempt would be made to seek answers to the following key objectives;
- How and why is war becoming privatized?
- What constitutes the global Anti Money Laundering Regime (AMLR) and to what extent it is effective?
- How is the internet being used as a weapon of war?
- What is the extent of the global illegal small arms trade?
- Are western governments in any way complicit in the trafficking of narcotics out of war zones?
- Is there a legal definition of complicity and how some private companies, directly or indirectly, are influencing the situation?
- What is democratic policing and what are the limitations for such policing?
- To what extent do major organized crime groups combine ritual tradition with criminal opportunism and murder?
This thesis is a qualitative study focusing on an analysis of the origin and growth of mercenaries, organized crime groups and how it is linked with economic interests. The study will therefore be carried out using;
- Literature review from some of the research journals, reputed newspapers, government documents, etc.
- Analyzing some recent incidents involving organized groups like Yakuza, the Cosa Nostra, or Triad gangs.
- Focusing on case studies explaining the challenges of interdiction and prevention.
- Soliciting the views of some of the reputed political commentators, social activists, intellectuals, experts in security establishments, international aid agencies, and keepers on their viewpoints about the ground realities. This can be done either by interviewing those persons or by using their views expressed in the media/ newspapers.
- Jackson, Stephen (2004). Protecting Livelihoods in Violent Economies. Quoted from Ballentine, Karen, Nitzschke, Heiko (eds). Profiting from peace: Managing the resource dimensions of civil war, (p. 153-177). Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Reinner.
- Perl, Raphael F. (2004). ‘State Crime: The North Korean Drug Trade’. Global Crime. Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 117–128. Routledge.