Today, I had the pleasure of attending a discussion on the book Dark Commerce, authored by Dr. Louise Shelley, founder, and director of the school’s Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University, and a long time friend.
Dark Commerce provides a startling academic viewpoint as to how large and intrinsic networks of criminal trade have proliferated on the back of globalization. Whether it be human trafficking, narcotics, or antiquities plundered during wartime, seemingly all major networks of illicit trade have grown and adapted with the expansion of communications technology and transportation. These networks and illicit enterprises are roughly the size of a G7 country with a shocking impact on their legitimate counterparts, irreversibly damaging environments and governance on a global scale. GMU’s TRACCC program is currently partnering with Development Services Group, Inc. on a large counter-terrorism project for the Department of State which seeks to identify trends and to report on international terrorism.