Small Wars Journal

The Crime-Conflict Nexus: Warlords and Pseudo-States

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 12:59pm

From ISN ETH Zurich, 1 May.

When a state is unable to maintain its monopoly on violence, power-vacuums inevitably arise. Today, Mark Galeotti provides valuable insights into how organized criminals and warlords fill these vacuums in failed, weak and even pseudo-states.


Read the rest here.


Monopoly on the use of violence is such a poor metric to use for analysis unless it is considered in context with other variables in the operational environment. The U.S. has its own problems with this monopoly. Some would even say there are vast ungoverned spaces in many U.S. cities. This reminds me of Brigade Commander trying to get a handle on the normative levels of violence in Baghdad that would be acceptable during the surge (que flashbacks...ugh).


Tue, 05/07/2013 - 1:46pm

When a state does have a perfect monopoly on the use of force, and uses that against its citizens, isn't that tyranny? If a state fails to perfect its monopoly on the use of force, is it inevitable that the resulting vacuum be filled by warlords or organized crime? Is it not possible that an armed citizenry intent on freedom fill that void? Wasn't the purpose of the US Constitution's 2nd Amendment to prevent a state monopoly on the use of force?