The war against the organized crime : the revolution of the downsizing , ( = selective targeting) by Paolo Dealberti
HOPE is the name of a anti-drug program run in Hawaii and now also in Alaska, Arizona, California and Washington. This program select as targets the violent criminal drug addicts. It is about random controls and when someone is found using a drug is jailed and the probation or parole suspended. The result are impressive if we consider that 80% of the methamphetamine long-term users self clean-up after one year. Who is involved in HOPE is not forced to receive treatment instead they are required to stop to use drugs. Only 15% fails and it is forced to treatment.
Since 2004 ,(the first application was in High Point, N. Carolina), is implemented by The National Network for Safe Communities the Drug Market Intervention Strategy. The strategy is to identify the most violent dealers in an area and to build cases against them. They are arrested and the message to other dealers is clear : if you avoid to escalate to violent actions , to create crack-houses and to sell person-to-person in a street you will not in the selective targeting.
Both strategies are downsizing the war against the drug focusing not on all the dealers or the users but, instead, only on the violent ones. It is more important to reduce the level of the violence and disorder in a community then to reduce the market.
Since years in places like Hawaii we assist to an evolution in the fight against the NSA described as Organized Crime. An NSA that controls around the 28% of the world GDP and it is the biggest and most lucrative industry in the world,( for example the Italian Mafia with more than 150 billion euros revenue is the 8th biggest multinational in the world before Japan Post Holding and Chevron and a bit behind Toyota if it could be possible to rank Mafia Italia Holding in the Fortune 500 Top World Companies 2011).
Now this evolution could become a revolution sustained by heavy political and strategic analysis as well as academic works and an example is the brilliant article of Professor Mark Kleiman ,( “Surgical strikes in the drug wars. Smarter policies for both sides of the border” ,Foreign Affairs Vol. 90 N.5 Sept/Oct 2011).
The basic elements of this vision focused on the situation between Mexico and the USA are the following :
- To focus on the interdiction of the traffics cannot solve the situation of the illicit drug market in the USA. This will simply change the routes of the traffic as the impressive aero-naval US power forced in the mid ´80´s the smugglers to abandon the Caribbean as export route to the USA and to start to use Mexico. This will achieve only to relocate to new routes the traffic but it will never affect the demand in the USA. The cost that has been asking to the Mexican people to achieve is ,( around 1.000 deaths each month),it is too high. By the way from a strategic point of view is important to wonder where the new routes will be developed if it will not possible via Caribbean and Mexico. Canada via Europe ? Or Alaska via Russia ?
- The problems in term of violence and disorder are created by a small minorities of hard users that are consuming around 80% of the illicit drugs
- To destroy the production of cannabis in the USA is creating a substitutive production in Mexico that are increasing the level of violence for something that is not consumed in the USA
- To increase the number of arrested dealers, ( now around 500.000),will make worst the problem of the penitentiary system and not alleviate the situation in term od reduced violence. This because only a minority of the dealers are the trouble makers
- To legalize the use of illicit drugs is not a solution if we consider that around 50% of the detained persons in the USA committed a crime when drunk. To make easier to find drugs can only increase the problem. To think to a fiscal policy of high tax to reduce the legal utilization ,(like with tobacco and alcohol),will only push the price to a level that will stimulate again an illegal market ,(like with the smuggle of cigarettes)
- 40 years of war against the illicit drugs have demonstrated the failure of the classic mix of actions : enforcement, prevention, treatment ,(EPT).
As we mentioned months ago talking about the five wars inside the Mexican war among gangs involved in the illicit drugs business,(I),we agree about the situation in Mexico. Mexico and the USA are facing what Kleiman describes as the great asymmetry. A situation where the drug problem is central in the USA and accidental in Mexico. This because the USA are the market ,( the buyer), and Mexico the route of transit of a production mostly made in the Andean Region. If the USA does not demand the volume of drugs that is demanding or if the routes were in the Caribbean, ( as it was till the mid ´80´s),Mexico should have not this level of violence.
But about the rest we are interested on going ahead with the Kleiman´s suggestions and to evaluate why this is now a revolution more than an evolution in the strategy against the organized crime.
To do that with have to shortly evaluate the 40 years process of downsizing and shift of priorities and targets in the war against the crime.
At the beginning it was seen and evaluated as a social problems. A group of people started to use illicit drugs and to become addicts. The reasons were found in the society and they were seen as victims. The strategy was to eradicate the reasons that in a society can drive someone to become an hard-user.
It was found that it was simply impossible to eradicate those reasons and the strategy downsized focusing on the stopping of the traffic and selling.
It was to declare a war against the groups that produced, traded and sold drugs. Maybe the most apparent effort in the world was that of the USA in the Caribbean and Andean region with a financial and military engagement. The destruction of the Medelin Cartel with the killing of Pablo Escobar and an invasion to arrest a drug smuggler like the former President of Panama Noriega are the most known examples.
But it seems that after more then a quarter of century also this strategy is failed. Statistics shows that after each clean-up made by the authorities a new group raise to substitute the producer, the traders and the dealers. And unlucky a recession will generate enough people motivated to find a eay to get money with an involvement inside this illegal market.
Now the downsizing finds an intellectual and academic support to reach a step forward : the problem is not the traffic or the selling on itself but if it generates violence and social disorder .
The solution is that of a selected targeting where the targets are :
- Only the violent hard-users
- Only the violent dealers
- Only the violent traffickers
For example Kleiman suggests that a way to achieve a sharp and fast reduction of the level of violence in Mexico is that to create metrics to rank the six leading cartels according their violence. Then to target in the USA the dealers that have them as suppliers. This is possible because the US anti-drug authorities claim to know who is the supplier of each group of dealers. Because the dealers will be a selected target because they buy from the most violent cartel they will change the supplier. In other words the law of market will force the cartels in Mexico to be less violent in order to avoid to lose clients in the USA.
If we consider that this approach sounds we can extend it also to the producers, in other terms to target only the producers that transport using violent traffickers or sell to violent dealers.
Those producers to avoid to be targeted will refuse to sell to violent buyers and the buyers to vaoid to lose the suppliers will be less violent.But with the same logic violent producers will be a target and the buyers to avoid to become itself a selected target will shit to less violent producers. All should initiate a virtuoso process of reduction of the general level of violence.
This from Colombia to Afghanistan. This in theory.
Unlucky the USA did not apply this strategy in Afghanistan against the war lords that used opium to finance their power and it seems that Washington will never do it. It is not a matter of military power. To bombard the opium fields with herbicide in order to destroy the cultivations is something that the USA have the military power to do even if not an American solider is in Afghanistan. Today the satellite inform about the location of the fields and in few days the USAF can destroy the production. But it seems that for Washington costs less to have the drug ,( with the related social problems and costs in term of violence), in the American streets than to destroy the production of some war lords and ,consequently, to lose their support. In other words it seems that to have violent dealers and hard-users that kill in the American street is not such a cost and danger for the National Security like the risk to lose the support of a war lord in southern Afghanistan.
This example can show how this strategy can collapse once it faces the reality of the international politics. And each countries that produce drugs is , unlucky, a strategic player in any local exchequer , (as well as any transit country like Mexico or Albania or Turkey or Italy…).
Kleiman´s approach is valid in some contests and in some situation and can be used and be extremely effective . Logically it has to be used together with the EPT approach but ,as told, we are not here to talk about it .
We are here to evaluate how the further escalation of this downsizing toward less complex targets ,( from the change of what in society can be the source of the use of illicit drugs to the selective targeting of violent users and dealers), can originate a revolution in the relation between the states and the NSA called Organized Crime.
But before to go ahead it is interesting to remember four facts happened in Italy , Mexico, Peru´and in some African Countries.
-Italy 1982, Rino Formica was a member of the Italian government and proposed an amnesty to the camorristi, (members of the camorra),if the leave the organization and also to buy the offshore boats they used to smuggle as a way to finance their integration in the legal way, ( the money was supposed to be a capital an ex-camorrista should use to start a job).
-Mexico 2011 , the former foreign minister Jorge Castaneda proposed an amnesty for the cartels that want to suspend any illegal activity and to let them to invest their black money inside the legal economy.
-Due the economic consequences for an interesting part of the farmers on 18-8-2011 Peru has suspended the strategy of eradication of the opium fields.
-In July 2011 the Italian Divisione Investigativa Antimafia , (DIA , anti-mafia investigative unit),denounced that different criminal groups were involved on buying the title of Consul or Plenipotentiary Ambassador in country like Ghana,Nigeria,Senegal in order to hide their members behind the diplomatic immunity.
Those facts are ,simply, telling us that it is not new to imagine a downsizing that can go well beyond the Kleinman´s approach and that can reach the borderline to offer to the Organized Crime the impunity or the immunity in order to reintegrate the black money inside the legal economy.
If Mafia Italia Holding ,( we use the term holding because the Italian mafia is composed by different mafias : mafia del Brenta in Veneto, n´drangheta in Calabria, camorra in Campania,sacra corona unita in Puglia, cosa nostra in Sicilia),is the 8th multinational in the world and for that bigger than Microsoft or Nestle that means something. And it means something also that around the 28% of the world GDP is originated by all the world mafias that are composing the NSA described as Organized Crime , (II).
What does it mean ?
“Simply” ,(and unlucky),that the biggest holder of liquidity in the world is neither the Bank of China, nor the Chinese Sovereign World Funds or the SWF´s of the International Forum of the SWF but the Organized Crime Holding , (OCH).
If you want to see the situation in a different perspective the most stabilizing financial force in the world after the concerted action of the Central Banks is not some conservative pension funds that act against the speculation but the OCH that can use its tremendous financial power to stabilize a market.
And ,consequently, the most destabilizing force in the financial markets is not the coalition of some speculative hedge funds but ,again ,OCH that can speculate without limit in term of money to invest.
We are living in markets where uncontrolled voices ,(without a lot of real competence if we consider that all the rating firms told that Lehman was a superlative investment on 14-9-2008 and then the bank bankrupted on 15-9-2008….and not mention Parmalat, Enron…),can support the laser focused action of a small group of speculators that are acting without the money to back their buy/sell but only using some financial instruments that give them this power. Let´s imagine now if a power with real money behind will use the same instruments with a buying power that is two or three magnitude bigger than that of the speculators.
In other term the real political problem against the division of Italy in two is the concern about the risk of the creation of a state with the euro, an integrated financial market and … with the money of Mafia Holding and of Organized Crime Holding that can flow without any control in the legal economy.
But if we consider this downsizing approach this will be the inevitable step in the next years in a world that needs money to re-start and to stabilize.
The next step will be : if you want to avoid to be a selected target you have to accept our conditions to finish any illegal activity and to put your money ,(that we need), in the legal economy.
The only political point that that day will count is to see if the State Actors, as we know them from the order imposed by the Peace of Westphalia, will have the power to dictate the frame of the agreement instead to be forced to accept one from the NSA called Organized Crime Holding.
Paolo Dealberti is writing a spy-story where an NSA is using a virtual world to achieve targets explained in this article. As he likes to tell ” sometimes the reality is well beyond the fantasy”.
II) About the NSA´s and the download of a document about the existing 21 types of NSA´s at : http://prosumerzen.net/category/from-geopolitics-to-biopsherepolitics/no-state-actors-nsa/
You can re-publish this article if you write at the beginning or at the end the following sentence with an active hyperlink to Prosumerzen :“This Paolo Dealberti ©2011´s article is republished with permission of Prosumerzen wwww.prosumerzen.net”