By Michael Kenney

From Pablo to Osama is a comparative examine of Colombian drug-smuggling firms, terrorist networks (including al Qaeda), and the legislations enforcement firms that search to dismantle them. Drawing on a wealth of analysis fabrics, together with interviews with former drug traffickers and different hard-to-reach informants, Michael Kenney explores how drug traffickers, terrorists, and govt officers assemble, research, and follow wisdom and adventure. The research finds that the resilience of the Colombian drug exchange and Islamist extremism in wars on medicines and terrorism stems in part from the facility of illicit firms to alter their actions in accordance with functional adventure and technical info, shop this information in practices and systems, and choose and preserve workouts that produce passable effects. Traffickers and terrorists “learn,” construction abilities, enhancing practices, and changing into more and more tough for kingdom gurus to dispose of. The booklet concludes through exploring theoretical and coverage implications, suggesting that luck in wars on medications and terrorism relies much less on battling illicit networks with govt intelligence and extra on conquering competency traps—traps that compel coverage makers to take advantage of militarized enforcement innovations time and again with no wondering even if those courses are able to generating the meant effects.

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Extra info for From Pablo to Osama: Trafficking and Terrorist Networks, Government Bureaucracies, and Competitive Adaptation

Example text

Although they were free to decline, all of the trafficker-informants allowed me to audio-tape their interviews, as did most, but not all, of my government informants. Professional assistants transcribed all the interview tapes, creating an extensive documentary record that facilitated my subsequent analysis. Many respondents, both narcs and narcos, were understandably reluctant to be identified as sources of information for this research. To protect their privacy and security, occupational and otherwise, I cite these interviews anonymously or, in the case of the traffickers, using pseudonyms.

59 Like paleontologists who analyze carbonized impressions etched in slabs of shale to theorize about the form and function of multicellular organisms from the Cambrian period, I interpret a surprisingly rich documentary record to present an illuminating—if inevitably incomplete—rendition of drug trafficking and terrorism. It is one thing to claim that traffickers, terrorists, and law enforcers learn; it is another to show how this process actually unfolds, or fails to, in real organizations. In the chapters that follow, I illustrate how illicit networks and government agencies acquire and analyze knowledge and experience to adapt their organizations and operations in response to feedback.

Meanwhile, drugcontrol and counterterrorism agencies seek to identify, apprehend, and ultimately dismantle trafficking and terrorist groups, reaffirming the state’s ability to enforce law and order. These diametrically opposed aims expose a paradox in narco-narc and terrorist-counterterrorist interactions that is essential to understanding competitive adaptation. 41 Drug prohibition and those who enforce it provide criminal entrepreneurs with the opportunity to reap substantial profits by trafficking in illicit commodities that enjoy robust demand in the United States and other countries.

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