Social discord is the greatest disease to modern civilization as we know it. The largest symptoms of this disease are drugs and crime and the post mortem report always includes terrorism as the cause of death. In the post-pandemic world, the world has become less interconnected. Crimes, however, have found a growing sense of connection and are evolving into robust forms.
Drug control has been a problem of great concern because of the crackdown on the “War on Drugs”. Incarceration, public health emergencies, and crises skyrocketed due to this campaign. It reflects that prohibitionist policies only lead to greater revolts and incite people to violence. There have been multiple international conventions. These conventions have become largely irrelevant as countries like Canada and Uruguay have defied the principles in pursuance of their national interests, namely public safety and well-being. The UNODC, itself, is severely underfunded, with only 15% of the budget for general purposes, which mainly include orchestrating better policies and monitoring drug control policies. It is also being voiced out, especially in European countries like Georgia, that consuming drugs is a matter of “personal choice” and thus the state does not have any power to intervene in private affairs. Such claims make the job of the government difficult because it should develop a line demarcating personal autonomy and public wellbeing. Drawing such a line is difficult because assessing unintended consequences becomes difficult. Some of the biggest consequences are organised crime and terrorism.
Organized crime is fundamentally disruptive and inconspicuously dangerous because a large part of it is under-reported and hidden. Organized crime usually targets vulnerable victims and social groups and leaves an indelible mark on them.. Terrorism, especially its financing and deep nexus with narcotics, has become a global priority for nations hoping to secure a better tomorrow.
The school of thought followed herein-liberalism. Historically, international cooperation in the areas of crime and terrorism has been witnessed. Countries have become vocal about the need to share intelligence, and strategies, and come to a mutual consensus about global policies. Institutional arrangements, like regional groupings and the bodies of the UN, require reform, but they are the most promising forces to combat drugs and crime. Without alliances and cooperation, countries wither. Terrorism affects all countries, so its response should also be global and comprehensive.
Introduction and Problem Statement
As mentioned above, a comprehensive analysis of each of the three problems needs to be developed. To come up with policy recommendations, it is essential to understand what can be claimed as a “problem”, and how much clarity can be employed while defining such problems.
According to the World Drug Report 2022, “more young people are using drugs [in the age of the pandemic] than in previous generations.” Drugs can aggravate conflicts, public safety, and societal well-being. Addiction to drugs has claimed a huge number of lives. The war on drugs
Drug control is a major international security concern because of its uncertainty, rippling effects, and prevalence. Though the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) does not have an official definition of drug control, the term could mean reducing the size of drug markets and combating drug trafficking. The “War on Drugs” was a campaign led by then-US President Nixon whereby drugs were designated as “Pub Enemy No. 1”. As a result of its failure, global leaders pumped nearly a trillion dollars into it. The above characterization is done to indicate that the threat from drugs is significant, and historically, policy-makers have not shared a good track record for effective drug control.
Hence, to have robust drug control, the focus should be on the source of the problem: drug trafficking. According to the UNODC, “Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws”. Drug Trafficking is like the air around us – prevalent everywhere, but impossible to be seen by the naked eye. These “drugs”, when moved from Place A to Place B for any motive using any method is called trafficking. In simple terms, it means the trade of drugs, usually right from its production to consumption, using various means of transportation to camouflage itself into legal trade.
Drug trafficking leaves no one immune: Street children to rich businessmen, everyone is affected. The primary reason for a huge network of drug trafficking is the protectionist policies of the state which put tight legislative restrictions on the use of drugs for recreational purposes. This means that a huge demand existed for drugs, mostly due to their addictiveness, but the supply did not exist due to such policies. In this situation, drug cartels and syndicates found creative ways to facilitate the trafficking of drugs and relied on corruption, incentivization, and black markets to retain and grow their user base. The drug trafficking network is extremely important to study since it is very flexible, adaptive, and agile.
According to the ECOSOC resolution 2002/13 (The Economics and Social Council), “Crime Prevention comprises strategies and measures that seek to reduce the risk of crimes occurring and their potentially harmful effects on individuals and society, including fear of crime, by intervening to influence their multiple causes.” Crime here can be inflicted by individuals, or groups of members, and is usually at a transnational level; crime knows no boundaries. The rise of social media and globalization has had a cascading effect on international security. While some might claim that it led to greater awareness programs and state intervention, the internet has also served as a disruptive tool in society.
Firstly, it provides a platform for criminal organizations to discuss their agenda and make people sympathize with their rationale. This increases their social capital and provides them with additional benefits such as receiving donations, anonymous assistance, and so on.
Secondly, it may inspire individuals to perform acts of violent nature or civil harm and therefore act as a source of recruitment for criminal organizations.
Lastly, the internet serves as a base for transacting with users and providing active demand for any ransom requests.
Terrorism, as defined by a UN panel on March 17, 2005, led by then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, refers to any act “intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants to intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act” (United Nations). Terrorism is arguably one of the most significant topics of discussion for the sustenance of international peace and security.
According to the Spring 2017 Global Attitudes Survey, globally, people consider terrorism the top threat. This study gives an important insight: the fear of terrorism is worse, if not as bad, as the actual act of terrorism. The pandemic has made terrorism difficult as people are coping with mental health issues, the dark net has been receiving a huge subscriber base, and the tracing of terrorists is becoming difficult.
There are various forms of terrorism which are growing in vicious forms. Religious terrorism (like ISIS) has its core ideology of symbolism and plays on emotions, which leads to extensive damage, like the approach of “suicide bombers”. Financial terrorism refers to financing those acts or supporting those acts, which aim to inflict damage on a huge number of people. According to the Council of Europe, financing terrorism is important for the sustenance of terror groups, and a linkage between drug syndicates and financial terrorism can also be drawn herein (Hara and Michal).
The fundamental problem associated with terrorism is its nexus with crime and drugs. The three aforementioned topics seem to be deep-rooted and bred in atmospheres where the air is breathed by those who practice corruption, illegal profit-making activities and extreme ideologies.
One noteworthy point about dealing with terrorism is the lack of global consensus. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) puts a global hit-list on terrorists, but a lot of countries tend to disagree on which members should be considered the most important terrorists.
The historical state of drug control, which stemmed from the war on drugs, will be discussed to understand the gravity of the drug problem and develop feasible and measurable solutions. The history of terrorism will then be examined, as well as the transition from groups to individuals, from traditional sources to the dark web. Finally, a context will be provided regarding organized crime groups, how they pose a threat to society, and how their evolution brings about changes.
In 1971, then POTUS Mr. Richard Nixon declared “drug abuse” to be public enemy number one. Consequently, The ideology of such a policy was primarily “prohibitionist” and largely assumed the fact that drug prohibition would lead to the objective of a decrease in drug addiction, usage, and overdosage, which could eliminate criminal enterprises (Rieder, Travis N). However, while the goal was idealistic, it turned out to be one of the greatest disasters witnessed in history.
Historically, prohibitionist policies on drugs stem from the same perspective as prohibitionist policies on alcohol. Below is a contextualization of the USA. Like drugs, alcohol has the potency to cause a “high” and therefore lead to dependency and states of low-level consciousness where an individual is vulnerable to causing harm to others. Also, alcohol and drugs are related in that the level of addiction is generally stable, and users are usually for a longer time frame. The intensity of some psycho-active drugs (like crack cocaine) is greater than that of alcohol, but the general short-term and long-term effects of both alcohol and drugs are overlapping. The alcohol prohibition policy led to the cheap, efficient production of alcohol which was mixed with toxic substances to replicate the “high”; these substances had relatively high potency to harm the health system. Hence, the legalization of alcohol leads to safer, responsible, and controlled drinking. Only a few today would argue that the prohibition of alcohol was wise.
The war on drugs led to a huge number of incarcerations. According to the CATO institute, the number of people in prison for drug-related activities increased by about 3 times from the 1980s to 2014. One noteworthy observation is that people of African American origin were sent to jail more than five times as often as those of white origin. The biggest failure of the War on Drugs comes in terms of its economic allocation of resources (Christopher and Abigail). The US government alone spent at least $1 trillion on interdiction policies.
The deep nexus that was created in terrorist organizations is one of the most powerful manifestations of this campaign’s disaster. Boko Haram, for example, is a Nigerian most-wanted terrorist organization that uses drugs to drug its fighters, usually teenagers, to complete military operations (Onuoha and Freedom). The drugs smuggled would be used for trade, trafficking, terrorism and totalitarianism. Also, these terror organizations maintain a huge drug user base, as they quote very low prices and often mix the drugs with foreign materials to increase the “high” dosage.
A glaring health emergency emerged when users couldn’t discern the potency of illicit drugs due to the information asymmetry and the marketing which underground drug cartels use to profit from their activities. As a result, users were not equipped with adequate information on dealing with drugs since their information on conventional drugs became irrelevant with the onset of new chemical substances. Without regulation or restrictions, this market is dictated by those players who have no responsibility for the users.
Synthetic drug, for example, refers to altering the chemical properties of certain psychoactive drugs to retain the “high”. With marijuana, CUMYL-4CN-BINACA, as mentioned by the WHO and with cocaine, stereoisomers of cocaine are some of the common types of synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs are hugely problematic for three reasons.
Firstly, synthetic drugs are man-made chemicals, which have no validation on the potency, or no measure to check the strength of the dosage (Vera et. al.). These drugs can claim lives even if the user uses them once, and overdose-related deaths are frequent here.
Secondly, synthetic drugs are responsible for the huge global market for drugs. A lot of drugs are inaccessible except for the rich sections of society. Hence, to replicate the effect of the drug, cheap alternatives are made, whereby properties are altered in a bid to retain the high. This means that synthetic drugs have an added incentive for use because of the low price barrier and uncertainty and adventure in terms of the “high” one can experience.
Thirdly, information on synthetic drugs is scarce and undocumented. Due to the secrecy maintained in underground markets, users are unable to inquire about the properties of these drugs. The spread of diseases, health complications, and deaths are common in synthetic drugs. It has continued to be a risky choice for injecting drugs, but continues to be a popular one.
Dismantling drug traffickers is like slashing the heads of a Hydra – it only replaces itself with an efficient form. Since drug trafficking enjoys an inelastic demand, particularly in the pandemic whereby the coping mechanisms for adults have increasingly been narcotics, it is safe to presume that a highly demanded and profitable market exists. The emerging markets make counterfeiting efforts a humongous task. And the worst part is that the market is only evolving – only growing to a worse form, without constraints (Bright et. al.).
Narco-Terrorism may be defined as the use of narcotics, by drug traffickers, to influence, enforce or inflict terror to reduce the enforcement of anti-drug laws. It is noteworthy to highlight that the international community has not coined this term, under any consensus, and so the use of this term is largely conceptual. Emma Bjornehed believes that there are two different definitions of narcoterrorism; “the definition of narcoterrorism is almost dual, where the emphasis is placed on the drug aspect or the terrorism aspect may vary considerably (Popović et. al.).
Organized crime, historically, was a battle of territories and the fear one group could extract from its environment. As there is no international framework to deal with organized crime, but mere conventions, most organized crimes are transnational (Boutellis et. al.). In London, criminal underworlds continued to rise in the nineteenth century. Street groups like “Peaky Blinders” grew in popularity and power for two reasons: it showed that state power could be challenged and it showed an association for criminal purposes can inflict significant damages. Studying the historical trend of the nineteenth century, the role of a “leader” to steer the operations were common, where power relations were usually imbalanced. The structure and role were fluid.
In the twentieth century, groups like Yakuza in Japan rose to power. Here, a shift in carrying operations was witnessed. Members can have “well-defined”, clear jobs, and the management would be scientific, and goals were met creatively. The family was an integral unit for the cohesion and functioning of the group, as it guaranteed continuity in operations. However, more rational systems have evolved.
A formal system of rules, regulative authority and leadership governed such organized criminal groups. These systems have also been open- membership had limited restrictions, and heavy engagement with the environment was observed.
Terrorism has evolved and has found its roots from the beginning of civilization. Perhaps the most prevalent form of terrorism is religious terrorism, which occurred after the eleventh century, where the common targets included Jews and Shia Muslims.
State-sponsored terrorism has also been a popular means to inflict damage, as the state can use the pretext of sovereignty and external threats to finance and support terrorists to fulfil the political agenda of a state. Middle Eastern nations have used extremist groups as a tool to voice out against and perpetuate separatism and disharmony.
The role of globalization in terrorism is immense (Mekaj et. al.). As people got interconnected, terrorists understood the value of publicity in orchestrating even a small attack, which could be publicized and used to command fear from the public. Also, recruiting individuals became easier as search costs were lower and anonymity was higher.
Cyber-attacks and terrorism involving crypto-currency is the newest form of terrorism, which has its principles based on the oldest practices of terrorism: secure anonymity and engaging in regular transactions without compromising traceability.
Construct Alternative Policy Responses
There are many alternative policy approaches to drug prohibition. The International Narcotics Commission Bureau (INCB) has continued to remain vocal on drug prohibition and has vested its interests in the three key drug policy conventions. However, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has made a lot of recommendations on the legal aspect of marijuana.
In practical terms, some countries, including developed ones like Canada and the USA, believe that the aforementioned conventions are irrelevant and do not consider the context of the current generation.
Canada, for example, is a golden example of a country that has defied the conventions and proceeded with the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. The rationale for Canada was simple: prohibition just did not live up to its promises (Bahji et. al.). Economically, socially, and culturally, the government of Canada felt it was right to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Today, there is a negligible increase in crime rates and drug use rates. This finding is significant because it attacks the core argument of drug prohibition that legalization leads to an increase in drug abuse and drug-related crimes. The Canadian approach is multi-faceted and a lot can be learnt.
- Economically, private players like Canopy Growth have capitalized on the drug market and are contributors to the GDP by generating a huge amount of revenue, which is taxable by the government. Thus, the amount which drug cartels and organized crime groups would receive for providing drugs is now at the hands of corporations, which work closely with governments to provide safer solutions.
- Public Health: The drug users and potential users who are interested in consuming cannabis receive official, professional and accurate information regarding side effects and instructions for responsible usage of drugs. This avoids complications in drugs and hugely mitigates the problem of a drug overdose. Moreover, users do not have to be concerned about the quality of drugs, or if any chemically altered properties have been introduced since the government and its ministries make sure the quality goes through various levels of assessment.
- Rehabilitation Centers: Post legalization, a huge amount of focus has been kept on rehabilitation centers, to ensure proper recovery from drug addiction, and other services including targeting mental health, which might have been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rehabilitation centers also help in providing key services, which reduce the chances of relapsing and secure faster recovery from drug addiction (Mennis et. al.).
- Crime scenes and markets: A long-debated argument by the proponents of drug prohibition remains the prevalence of crimes with the legalization of drugs. However, the legalization of marijuana has proved the opposite. It has reduced the number of drug syndicates and has choked their main sources of revenue. The credibility of underground markets and the demand for them has been on a steep fall after the entry of private players
- Education and Awareness: The government of Canada was cognizant that no bid for legalization of drugs could be possible unless education and awareness schemes targeted important stakeholders like teenagers. Appropriate practices about the usage of marijuana, along with the mixing of marijuana with alcohol and other substances, and responsible usage of marijuana are key considerations. Moreover, the government needs to make sure that it does not incentivize people to try out marijuana but merely uses its fiat to promote public safety. To do this, it has teamed up with health agencies and introduced a massive campaign aimed at general wellness. Uruguay:The case of Uruguay is somewhat similar as the country faced a prevalence of drug markets and drug addiction, however, legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. This resulted in multiple benefits
- Decrease in crime rate: Uruguay, like Canada, is a developed country. This means the legislation and judicial systems, despite being efficient, face problems subject to corruption, bribery and red-tapism. The era of globalization and the interconnection with internet-related crimes has affected Uruguay. Also, the drug markets and turf wars have significantly reduced (Musto and Clara).
- Civil liabilities are negligible: The proportion of the population who are under the influence of cannabis and simultaneously orchestrate terror attacks or even civilian harm is abysmally low. It may be shocking to know that driving under alcohol influence has a greater chance of a motor-related death than marijuana does
- Increased technical assistance and greater cooperation are needed. More investment needs to be made in UNODC, and general funding for the prevention of drug trafficking must be boosted. The POTUS Mr. Biden focused on the importance to end the war on drugs (Ofer and Udi).
- Newer forms of trafficking, that is via postal offices, and the dark web should be dealt with thoroughly. Supply chain resilience should be maintained for which a major operation becomes busting of drugs in transit.
- Women require adequate treatment in rehabilitation centers (in case of relapses, or complications) as they are often under-represented in treatment and care. Special forms of assistance in terms of mental health, pregnancy and career advancement should be made accessible to women.
- Online platforms must be developed to disseminate prevention messages and tackle networks of suspicious pages which may incite violence or incentivize online users to promote hate speech and take violent action.
- The most vulnerable stakeholders must be safeguarded, by providing support and access to educational opportunities. Rehabilitation and socio-economic services should be provided to them.
- A transparent and open mechanism should be maintained and any suspicion of transport of illicit substances by firms on the pretext of legal trade should be dealt with sternly, including the freezing of assets and blacklisting key persons behind such actions
- Provision of special health services to people who had a history of relapses, and drug-use disorders, including psychosocial services
- Invest in research, and forecasting of effects on public safety, with a particular effect on underground market and syndicates associated with narco-terrorism, and financial-terrorism
- In conflict and post-conflict regions, drugs appear as a lucrative tool: high profitability with a sustained market leads to crime continuity. Thus, policy responses should focus on ensuring the rule of law is strengthened. This could be done in multiple ways. Firstly, there should be a context-specific approach, whereby drug users are promised a safe and better future. This approach is context-specific, because the use of drugs is based on multiple economic and social conditions, and understanding the root cause is important to prevent unintended consequences. Secondly, sufficient anti-corruption mechanisms, and provision of greater autonomy to narcotics offices, and investigation bureaus of a country will empower them to remain accountable while also enjoying sufficient power. Lastly, information-sharing has become crucial, and a chain of information amongst nations is needed to coordinate and reduce cross-border drug trade.
- Information about synthetic drugs should be consistently developed, and the effects of such drugs should be assessed, as the popularization of these kinds of drugs can lead to fatalities in huge numbers (e.g. crack cocaine was popularized due to the affordability of the drug and its immediate euphoric effect in the early 1980s, ultimately led to an epidemic and a public health crisis).
- Exploring drugs from multiple tangents is important in terms of the environmental effects of the trafficking of drugs. The production of drugs has huge repercussions on the environment. Moreover, when such drugs are busted, they are usually burnt which brings additional harm to climate change. Thus, alternative mechanisms must be developed. One notable mechanism is a carbon credit system: trading in emission permits leads to efficiency and sustainable innovation in firms. The EU-ETS also draws parallel as it provides firms with an option to trade their emission permit after a fixed cap has been decided by the government in consultation with various stakeholders. Environment services should also have a monetary value, which is consistent and enforceable so that offenders are liable and can understand the value of the environment. Taxing on carbon footprint is an emerging answer, however, it has a lot of intricacies and cannot be implemented yet.
- Different regions will face different issues, but the countries where conflict and tensions are rising can feel the deepest impacts of drug trafficking. Putting a blanket on drug production, especially in countries where drug production has been historically achieved will lead to multiple wide-ranging effects. Instead, coordination amongst nations, along with a decentralized approach which is inclusive to drug users must be followed Public Health: As marijuana is a substance by which a person can’t overdose, responsible usage of this drug is not difficult to sustain.Portugal :While the legalization of drugs is a promising approach, the conditions precursor to it are extremely context-specific: it seems that developed nations can adopt it due to social flexibility and mobility. For developing nations, a middle ground is required. The level of awareness and promotion in developing countries is not high, so the people might take the “move” of legislation and come up with their interpretations to incentivize themselves and society to experiment with drugs.While it can be granted that drug-related deaths decreased before the order of decriminalization, the order in itself brought significant benefits to the citizens of Portugal. As per the UNODC report, “The reality is that Portugal’s drug situation has improved significantly in several key areas ‘. Consequently, it also improved its healthcare sector and improved its awareness and education schemes. The most important metrics for assessing the soundness of the policy are two-fold: drug usage amongst the youth decreased, and the HIV rates consequently faced a decline.
Though some might argue that decriminalization leads to an increase in lifetime usage of drugs, it is important to understand that lifetime usage is an inaccurate metric to check drug dependency and associated behaviours.
Also, decriminalization had a positive effect on the crime rate. The number of people arrested and sent to criminal courts decreased, and the proportion of drug-related offenders also witnessed a fall. This meant generally, compliance with laws and judicial proceedings increased. Also, the number of repeat offenders is reduced.
These findings are significant as they provide an amicable roadmap which discerns itself from the binary of either drug prohibition or drug legalization.
Another interesting example is the Russian Federation. Historically, the Russian Federation is known for restricting the freedom of choice of citizens. However, Russia has built a strong policy on rehabilitation centres and providing adequate tools to the youth to ensure that drug dependency does not take place.
Also hailed by the UN, Russia’s approach is unique in many ways.
Firstly, Russia indulges in a lot of regional groupings like the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement. This group ensures the dissemination of information and works together on border management, collective security and other principles. Russia continuously monitors developments and adapts to the newest forms of trafficking of drugs
Secondly, it is robustly dealing with its key stakeholders. Russia acknowledges that though the rise in drug dependence is moderate, it could increase soon. Hence, it is now taking a more informed and pluralistic decision. A greater emphasis is now put on effective, evidence-based systems.
Thirdly, Russia is involving all community stakeholders to ensure collective peace. By putting the youth at the helm, Russia is ensuring to have direct-targeted efforts to reduce a potential drug crisis in the nation.
Therefore, the approach to decriminalization of drugs is an interesting take. On the one hand, it does not promote the usage of drugs and still perceives such usage to be of advantage. On the other hand, it does not allow criminal activities and syndicates to fulfil their activities.
An important facet exists in organized crime: its actions are not impulsive, but rather are a series of convoluted conspiracies aimed at extracting huge profits. If alternative structures to organized crime are not developed, it will erode our economies and our societies. Several countries are hailed to have the best practices to combat organized crime. The UK is hailed to have the most comprehensive one
Protect Vulnerable Stakeholders:
The easiest thing for governments to do is to escape the blame and throw the little man off the bus. Usually, minority communities are at the “helm” of hate speech, or attacks which label minorities as “outcast groups”. This behaviour is particularly dangerous since it causes a lot of polarization in society and makes decisions over-simplistic by sticking to binary ones. The UK, cognizant of such public behaviour, actively targets, pursues and de-stabilizes networks which provide huge harm to the society Also, building resilience amongst these people is important, since the exposure to the hatred they face is a lot.
Increase in the funding capacity:
The government was seriously under-equipped to handle newer, and smarter ways of Serious and Organised Crime (SOC). Hence, it started concentrating its resources on capability enhancement and technology collaboration. This means, more money can be spent to invest in combating corruption and black-marketing practices. Another critical facet is the dark web. The UK is one of the major countries which receives a lot of transactions and breeds a market which exists on the dark web. Usually, teenagers and young adults fall trapped in this network, and the common items ordered here include drugs, weapons, and exotic materials. The dark web continues to provide access to illegal activities at the fingertips of anyone from anywhere, and usually bypassing anonymity is difficult. Therefore, funding for activities that destabilize the dark web becomes important. In 2018, the Home Secretary developed an important program called “soils”, which is a unique tool to identify and curb the sexual exploitation of children.
The government recognizes that the local government and institutions play a huge role in how social harmony remains intact. As local policemen and administrative officials have frequent connections with the citizens, it is important to build knowledge in them about the identification and tracking of SOC to eliminate the crime at its source.
By empowering the government to put a check on firearm possession, wealth possession and assets possession, it can restrain assets easily and thereby choke the funding for various types of activities.
Terrorism is important to contain because it can manifest in various unknown forms. The security challenges terrorism poses are grave and detrimental to sustained peace. Moreover, emphasis on ideology and symbolism has defeated self-interest and rationality and has put bigger, unattainable goals like the caliphate in the plan.
One of the best policies to maintain internal security is that of India. Its border security ensures that smuggling and trafficking of illegal substances and activities do not take place. Its defence forces ensure that terrorists and violent non-state actors are dealt with aggressively It also continuously works in tandem with regional groupings like the QUAD to come to amicable solutions on geopolitics and sovereignty-related issues. Lastly, its policy of agile tracking of cyber-terrorism and making sure that sympathizers of terrorists are kept under scrutiny, even being imprisoned is vital
The European Union, for example, is also a standing example. Since Europe is a region which always comes under a lot of threats, due to its popularity, and also because a lot of middle eastern nations envy Europe for its prosperity and development, the rest blame it for intervening in the private affairs of states in the pretext of global peace and security.
Prevention of Radicalisation:
Radicalisation is an extremely important topic because it can disrupt and sway the public to participate in activities involving mass crimes. Also, it serves as a tool to normalize activities which harm others. Online communication, especially targeted at kids and teenagers, hinders their ability to discern if an activity is violent. The screen time of children is increasing, and they remain in lesser social networks; they remain vulnerable to various forms of radicalisation.
Information exchange is the key to concentrated and coordinated development. If there is no exchange, the resources cannot be focused on one group. Boko Haram, for example, was the property of a lot of nations and was tackled in Nigeria. Apart from some infamous global groups, there is a lot of inflation asymmetry and countries which generally share information on terrorists and criminals, have greater trust and alliances which leads to better chances of interception of terrorism. Foreign fighters, especially those with military experience, provide huge lapses in security training.
- Specific Criteria Used in EvaluationProtection of Vulnerable Stakeholders:
One of the biggest metrics used to evaluate if a solution is feasible depends on how various stakeholders are treated. Stakeholders refer to various parties, who have various interests and react to various policies in various manners. Vulnerable stakeholders often refer to minorities or other communities who are at a greater chance of being subject to hatred, violence, inattention, and indifference from the government and people in general. It is convenient to overlook the vulnerable stakeholders and ignore their demands. However, to maintain social harmony and avoid discord, the protection of vulnerable stakeholders is crucial. If this metric is not emphasized, then no solution can remain effective in the long-term
Actions should be context-specific, and relying on conventional methods does not provide huge results. Relying upon the previous results to achieve solutions for the future is unsound. It is rather appropriate to opt for those methods which are somewhat risky, and are designed to “scale up” than have solutions which merely act as tools or principles and do not accommodate the new changes in technology and innovations in how groups operate
Sustainability of Issues:
Sustainability is one key metric which can be decisive in policy action. Solutions which are time-sensitive and are good in the short term may turn out fatal. The War on Drugs has shown how unintended consequences can completely overturn the novelty of an idea. An idea is sustainable if it can be gradually phased to a large number of people. Also, it should be flexible and helpful in the long term. Even if it fails to fully achieve all of its objectives, it must be able to fulfil its core goals. If an idea is not sustainable, then consensus will be hard to achieve. However, if an idea is too-broad and over-generalised, then the idea of consensus is fundamentally defeated: there is no point in achieving overarching goals without sustainability because some nations would inherently be at loss, thereby creating disturbances in the international community
Likelihood analysis is extremely important because red-tapism and de-centralization of actions are increasing. A policy or a recommendation is said to be successful only if it is likely to be implemented. The likelihood depends on how the status quo operates, and how various elements and stakeholders respond to differences. A likelihood analysis is based on how actors have incentives and share power relations with different players. A likelihood analysis aims to test the truth and relevance of policy action in multiple ways.
Firstly, a likelihood analysis shows what actually can be achieved and what should be the goals of a plan. It is not the largest impact of a plan which makes it the best, but the most persuasive one, which sticks to reality. If the goal is clear, the path to reach there is likely to happen, and patterns of such occurrences have happened before, then likelihood analysis will be positive
Secondly, a likelihood analysis shows the effectiveness and uniqueness of a policy. Usually, a unique policy might not be feasible due to multiple reasons. A unique approach which is likely to be implemented will receive multiple
Thirdly, it emphasizes the identification of an actor’s interest. This is different from stakeholder analysis. In Likelihood analysis, we ascertain the needs and objectives of stakeholders and thereby draw a pattern to understand how likely it is that stakeholders will act in a way. In a way, likelihood analysis is an extension of stakeholder analysis and uses such analysis to test the claim of how a policy is or will be proposed to be implemented.
Special Duty of the Government:
The government has a special duty to ensure it has effective roll-out schemes in terms of crises, and disturbances. In case of emergencies, or situations where public safety may be compromised, the government ought to be robust and proactive. Moreover, it is the special duty of the government to ensure that events of harm of great intensity do not occur or at least mitigate the effects of such harm.
The intensity of Harm:
A lot of stakeholders are affected by harm. However, the intensity of harm is decisive in the scope and level of government intervention. If the intensity of harm is of such a disruptive extent, then the government needs to put immediate attention. If such harms are irreversible or if the intensity of harm is such that the people are adversely affected, then such harms should be investigated and mitigation of such harms should be a key priority.
Concerning drug control, the approach of decriminalization of marijuana, when compared to legalization and prohibition stands to be best.
The most vulnerable stakeholders are relatively safeguarded in this approach. In decriminalization, it is reasonable to assume that relevant healthcare reforms will be taking place. Earlier, children and young adults, who were subjected as drug peddlers would be sent to jail, and their futures would remain bleak. Moreover, they tend to be repeat offenders, and are caught in the vicious cycle of the drug trade. In decriminalization, however, matters change for good. Children and young adults will not be held liable, so the relevance of them in the drug trade to blanket investigators on the pretext of regular business falls. Now, decriminalization means that the trade can at least become safer, and young adults as end-users do not have to be the subject of black-mailing and harassment over the threat of being sent to jail. Therefore, this approach is hugely beneficial when compared to the prohibition policy.
Decriminalization also appears to be slightly better, when compared to legalization in multiple areas for vulnerable stakeholders. As stated earlier, it does aim to provide access to a free market of drugs but aims to destabilize the nexus of narcotics and terrorism, and aims to cripple the drug market.
Special Duty of Government:
There exists a special duty of the government to maintain internal security and ensure the growth of drug markets does not take place. By decriminalization, the duty of ensuring innocent actors do not end up in jail is extremely crucial. Ethical, racial and social stereotypes stem up when a certain sect of the poor are incarcerated. In the War on Drugs, it was the special duty of the government to find sufficient evidence before charging innocent actors with harsh sentences. These actors, in the characterization, are termed as innocent because they carry petty amounts of drugs, and even if they don’t, are met with brutality in terms of accusations and abuse. Moreover, it is the special duty of the government to ensure that the offenders do not repeat or actively participate in the drug trade, as it hijacks the objective of incarceration. Without providing adequate mental health, rehabilitation, and support services after being sent to jail, change cannot be expected to take place.
Decriminalization is context-specific, as the law of the land is different and based on the norms of a society. Most developing nations, where terrorism and organized crime can be deeply felt should adopt decriminalization. Such an approach also works best for those countries which cannot invest huge numbers of resources in legalized spots, and put in regulatory mechanisms to ensure firms do not exploit the laws to influence citizens into taking drugs.
The government will likely have major takeaway benefits when it implements decriminalization. Since lesser resources are needed to think of the nuances in legalization, the efficiency of operations is achieved in this regard. Also, it is unlikely, as per historical trends of an increase in drug abuse, or usage of drugs found in committing crimes, or even motor accidents in deciliation, as the government still does not Incentivize citizens to use drugs. The likelihood that narco-terrorism will continue if drugs are decriminalized does not have strong reasoning. If drugs are continued to be prohibited, the war gets bloody. In Mexico, prohibition has led to spring and upsurge of cartels and a decrease in the quality of life of citizens.
The intensity of harm:
The biggest harm arguably while pursuing decriminalization might be felt for adults, whereby they now have access to drugs-hampering productivity. However, the intensity of the harm can be mitigated in multiple ways. Firstly, a comprehensive legal limit of different kinds of drugs based on potency can be framed. (Example-Category A, B and C might be developed for drugs based on lethality, potency and risk of overdosaze, and penalties for possession of each category of drugs can be assigned with different limits.) In a comprehensive approach, the intensity of harm can be reduced and unintended consequences can be kept less harmful with legal reforms and adequate checks and balances.
Concerning organized crime and terrorism, multiple avenues can be selected. Either active searching and de-stabilizing of crime syndicates internally, using regional grouping mechanisms, or continuous series of counter-terrorism operations can take place.
Special Duty of the Government:
Terrorism affects everyone. It is the highest tool of disruption-it is an efficient, pervasive and highly impactful tool. Because terrorism is a low-cost mechanism, its financing and execution can be done from anywhere. Therefore, it is the special duty of the government to take robust, proactive measures to de-escalate the pressures of terrorism and maintain harmony.
The destabilizing of crime syndicates is an important task of the government. It is a national priority and a matter of great concern to internally reduce crime groups. Regional groupings are an emerging and promising mechanism. The best nations, with similar actions, come together and pool resources. Recently, India witnessed multiple National Security Advisors (NSAs) discussing border security, information sharing and ensuring coordinated efforts take place. A continuing series of counter-terrorism operations might lead to unintended consequences, whereby terrorists can flip the narrative and instigate civilians and vulnerable stakeholders to incite violence.
Context-Specific Issues: The biggest issue of organized crime is that it develops and finds ways to manifest itself in specific contexts. Regional and local problems cannot be universalized, and criminals capitalize on this. The government of the UK emphasizes finding context-specific issues. In this paradigm, it might seem difficult to decide on “regional groupings”
Likelihood Analysis: In the multi-polar world order, governments facing similar challenges will likely come together and continue making changes with regional groupings. These groupings also serve
The intensity of Harm: The intensity of harm in terrorism and organized crime is felt most in areas where such activities can be easily instigated. In an age of polarized views, and strong belief systems which do not like to be tested, easy targets can be made, and social discord is at stake. Therefore, internally reducing the power of organized crime decreases the harm, it will not guarantee that wide-scale attacks will cease taking place.
Regional groupings, however, have greater negotiating power in the international community. Also, because they pool resources, their ability to employ resilience in case of terror attacks is remarkable. Greatest solidarity has been witnessed when humanity has been at stake-a narrative can bring allies. In such cases, regional groupings appear to be effective in terms of their operations.
Drug trafficking is evolving, and will continue to act as a threat, despite choosing decriminalization or any other alternative to drugs.
- Economic disparity appears to be a significant problem in developing countries for an increase in organized crime. Also, the lack of safeguard mechanisms and government support to workers in the informal sector has led to a decline in such workforces, and it can be reasonable to assume that with the necessary incentives, crimes will increase.
- Acknowledgement of the global risks organized crime faces is necessary to tackle this problem. Internal disturbances, like the one created by Brexit, has large-scale impacts on how organized crime might evolve (Roman-Urrestarazu et. al.). Law enforcement agencies and reforms in law should have adequate “crime proofing” -a situational crime prevention approach. Adequate public-private partnerships need to be maintained, whereby online service providers can be proactive and provide necessary solutions to prevent crimes.
- Capacity building and cooperation must be at the helm of developing nations. This capacity building can be strengthened by regional groupings, and by sharing key information about crime groups, and freezing of assets.
- Asset recovery is an important aspect: the objective of the transfer of assets and the behaviour of crime groups in response to such actions is essential. The burden of proof and mechanisms of financial auditing and financial reporting must be used efficiently, and with transparency to ensure that no coercion takes place.
- A gender perspective must be applied, whereby harms against women should be looked at with greater investigation, and tighter reforms made on such occurrences. Moreover, organized crime groups run by women should be dealt with in a manner which does not penalize them as people incapable of change, but should instead be looked at as people who need support and additional services.
- In general, the women caught for these offences are at the bottom of the organization, performing high-risk duties like transporting or selling tiny amounts of narcotics. Because the majority of these women pose minimal threat to public safety and their arrests have little influence on drug trafficking networks, pursuing alternatives to jail and lowering the total time spent in prison
As per resolution 75/291 of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, along with recommendations from the EU and other scholarly material (Baker-Beall et. al.), the recommendations include
- Polarization of opinions hate speech, and other forms of hate against groups will lead to an increase in violent non-state actor (VNSA) participation in terrorism. Online content and the spreading of fake news should be dealt with severely. Narratives which involve blaming certain communities must be immediately addressed
- Intelligence-sharing, through regional groupings, especially information about classified and infamous terrorists will help nations in combining resources and forecasting the plans of terrorists. Moreover, such sharing will provide key information, by which nations can take adequate measures and improve their capabilities
- Stregntheing deterrence by improving military capabilities, and making military alliances whereby favourable trade of military equipment thereby leading to mitigation of harms by terrorists
- Freezing of assets of terrorists, and identifying trends in banks which co-operate transactions, mainly “hawala”, should be dealt with harsh punishment
- Increasing funding of international institutions like the CTTF (Counter Terrorism Task Force) and FATF (Financial Action Task Force), and providing sufficient intelligence on terrorists from national authorities.
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