"Thus it is said that one who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements."
Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
State and Nonstate Associated Gangs: Credible "Midwives of New Social Orders"
The monograph examines contemporary populism and neopopulism, 21st century socialism, and a nonstate actor (al-Qaeda) seeking regional and global hegemony. They are: first, paramilitary gang permutations in Colombia that are contributing significantly to the erosion of the Colombian state and its democratic institutions, and implementing the anti-system objectives of their elite neo-populist sponsors; second, Hugo Chavez’s use of the New Socialism and popular militias to facilitate his populist Bolivarian dream of creating a mega-state in Latin America; and, third, al-Qaeda’s strategic and hegemonic use of political-criminal gangs to coerce substantive change in Spanish and other Western European foreign and defense policy and governance. Lessons derived from these cases demonstrate how gangs might fit into a holistic effort to force radical political-social-economic change, and illustrate how traditional political-military objectives may be achieved indirectly, rather than directly.