Small Wars Journal

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 26: COVID-19, Revolutionaries and BACRIM in Colombia

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 11:50pm

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 26: COVID-19, Revolutionaries and BACRIM in Colombia

Alexandra Phelan, John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker

The COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunities and challenges for Criminal Armed Groups (CAGs)criminal cartels, gangs, maras, and mafiasworldwide.  This strategic note assesses the situation among Colombia’s revolutionaries (the FARC – Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, ELN – Ejército de Liberación Nacional, and dissident factions, and BACRIM – bandas criminales. Of increasing concern is the active strategic repositioning of these entities to maximize their trans- and post-pandemic postures to the detriment of the communities within which they are embedded and the public institutions meant to represent them.   

ELN Combatant

ELN Combatant. Guerrilha ELN - Colômbia Profunda 06,

Source: Flickr, https://fliic.kr/p/PBrf1B (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

 Key Information: Emily Hart, “‘Comply or die’: Colombia’s guerrillas impose their own Covid-19 lockdowns.” The Telegraph. 23 May 2020, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/23/comply-die-colombias-guerrillas-impose-covid-19-lockdowns/:

Families are being shot dead for breaking coronavirus restrictions in rural Colombia as guerrillas enforce a brutal parallel lockdown.

Armed groups, many of them dissidents of the now disbanded Farc militia, are declaring those who break the rules to be military targets in a bid to sow fear and expand their territories while the government turns a blind eye.

“They are trying to reap terror and gain territorial control so that - after this crisis - people in these areas will not report them for drug trafficking, illegal mining, and corruption - the activities they carried out before and will carry out again after coronavirus…”

Key Information: “Grupos armados se expanden durante la emergencia por coronavirus en Colombia.” El Universo. 18 May 2020, https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2020/05/18/nota/7844970/grupos-armados-se-expanden-durante-emergencia-coronavirus-colombia:

En medio de la pandemia de coronavirus los grupos armados ilegales de Colombia han aprovechado las condiciones de aislamiento en el país para fortalecer su “legitimidad social”, aumentar su control territorial y emprender acciones que les confieran ventaja militar, denunció este lunes la Defensoría del Pueblo.

El organismo emitió una alerta temprana según la cual estos grupos ponen en riesgo a la población civil al decretar normas de conducta a partir de la regulación a establecimientos comerciales y de ocio, y del control de precios sobre víveres y materiales de sanidad.

Además, bloquean las vías terrestres y fluviales de algunos lugares, y restringen la llegada de alimentos y suministros médicos.

Durante la cuarentena que comenzó el 25 de marzo la entidad ha documentado 10 homicidios en los departamentos de Arauca, Cauca y Nariño que presuntamente fueron cometidos porque las víctimas habían violado las medidas impuestas bajo amenazas, y dos de ellos fueron producto de un ataque a una misión médica.

Key Information:  “Temor el las regions del país por fin del cese al fuego del ELN.” El Tiempo. 2 May 2020, https://www.eltiempo.com.colombia/otras-ciudades/fin-del-cese-del-fuego-eln-en-colombia-490880:

Después de varias peticiones de líderes sociales y políticos para extender el cese al fuego, el Eln decidió reanudar operaciones militares este viernes primero de mayo y señaló que la pausa se “cumplió de acuerdo a lo prometido”.

El grupo guerrillero calificó como “desafortunado que el gobierno de Iván Duque no hubiese respondido de manera recíproca ni escuchado las propuestas para avanzar en la búsqueda de la paz”.

Esta situación avivó la preocupación en los habitantes de los 11 municipios que hacen parte del Catatumbo y temen el regreso de las dinámicas de guerra del Eln y que ponga en riesgo la vida de las familias campesinas.

Key Information: ¿Cómo combaten el ELN y las FARC el coronavirus?” Semana. 30 April 2020, https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/como-combaten-el-eln-y-las-farc-el-coronavirus/667376:

El Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN, aseguró que la llegada del coronavirus los tomó por sorpresa, igual que al Gobierno y que su ideal en este momento es que el contagio no llegue a las zonas de influencia del país donde ellos tienen presencia.

“De la mano con las medidas de confinamiento que se han tomado, también en las zonas se ha promovido evitar el flujo de pasajeros y tomar medidas para la carga y el transporte de mercancía y de comida sobre todo, para evitar que llegue el virus a nuestras zonas”, aseguró alias ‘Uriel’ uno de los comandantes más buscados por las Fuerzas Militares.

En diálogo con SEMANA, ‘Uriel’ dijo que ante la pandemia, el ELN pretende estar más retirado de la población y centrar sus esfuerzos en entrenar mejor a su gente y afianzar los procesos de formación mediante el desarrollo de escuelas.

“Está más parado ese proceso que llamamos ‘Trabajo político administrative’, que es el trabajo de acompañamiento a las comunidades.” Asimismo, aseguró que aún no se han registrado personas con el cuadro patológico del covid-19 y que se está evitando a toda costa que entren personas externas a las comunidades para prolongar la probabilidad de contagio que puede haber.

Key Information: “¿Grupos criminales aprovechan pandemia para fortalecer sus negocios ilícitos?” VerdadAbierta.com. 8 April 2020, https://verdadabierta.com/grupos-criminales-aprovechan-pandemia-para-fortalecer-sus-negocios-ilicitos/:

En zonas de Antioquia, Cauca, Córdoba y Nariño han circulado mensajes de organizaciones armadas en los que hacen llamados perentorios a los pobladores para que se tomen en serio la cuarentena decretada desde el 23 marzo. Además, la presión a las comunidades también es por temor a contagiarse y morir, o caer presos al buscar asistencia médica.

Sobre el tema son pocas las autoridades que hablan, y aquellas que se atreven a hacerlo dicendesconocer del tema, además de que solicitan no ser identificados por razones de seguridad. Quienes sí hablan, a cambio de mantener su anonimato, son algunos líderes sociales y analistas regionales. Unos y otros expresan sus preocupaciones por el impacto que las supuestas imposiciones de presuntos grupos armados ilegales tienen entre unas comunidades atemorizadas por el creciente número de infectados por Covid-19 en el país y su empobrecimiento debido al aislamiento al que están sometidas.

Este portal se dio a la tarea de recopilar mensajes emitidos al parecer por distintas organizaciones armadas ilegales. Se obtuvieron panfletos, mensajes en redes sociales y fotografías a nombre de las Guerrillas Unidas del Pacífico (Gup); el Frente Oliver Sinisterra; las Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (Agc); disidencias del Frente 18 de las Farc; el Bloque Virgilio Peralta Arenas; disidencias del Frente 6 de las Farc; y la guerrilla del Eln.

Key Information: Carlos Cerón, “En medio de controles por Covid-19 disidencias de Farc pintan vehículos en Cauca.” W Radio. 25 March 2020, https://www.wradio.com.co/noticias/regionales/en-medio-de-controles-por-covid19-disidencias-de-farc-pintan-vehiculos-en-cauca/20200325/nota/4025700.aspx:

Presuntos integrantes de la estructura Dagoberto Ramos, disidencia de las Farc, aprovecharon los controles que se realizan para evitar la propagación del coronavirus y pintaron grafitis en algunos vehículos en zona rural del norte del Cauca…

Entre tanto, se informó que, entre los sectores de La Chivera y Pajarito del municipio de Caloto, y en otros sitios como Río Negro y San Francisco, Toribío y en la vereda El Filo, entre Balboa y Argelia, se registraron retenes ilegales por parte de sujetos armados.

Organismos judiciales investigan versiones que indican que los individuos aprovecharon los controles que las autoridades indígenas y civiles de esas zonas realizan para evitar la propagación del coronavirus, y ejecutaron este tipo de acciones.

En el municipio de Argelia también fue advertida la presencia de disidencias de las Farc, estructura Carlos Patiño.

Key Information: “Con amenazas, disidencia de las Farc dice que hará cumplir cuarentena en Nariño.” Tubarco. 25 March 2020, https://tubarco.news/tubarco-noticias-occidente/tubarco-noticias-narino-tubarco-noticias-occidente/con-amenazas-disidencia-de-las-farc-dice-que-hara-cumplir-cuarentena-en-narino/:

La disidencia 29 con injerencia en Nariño recalcó que declarará como objetivo militar a quien infrinja las medidas contra el coronavirus.

Preocupada dijo sentirse la disidencia del frente 29 de las antiguas Farc en Nariño por la desobediencia ante las medidas restrictivas para evitar la propagación del coronavirus.

A través de un panfleto manifestó que hará cumplir el aislamiento obligatorio en municipios de la cordillera de Nariño y sur del Cauca.

“Persona que sea observada en la calle en diversas ocasiones será multada y si reiteran serán objetivo militar”, precisa la disidencia…

La disidencia del frente 29 de las Farc Estiven González libra una fuerte disputa territorial contra bandas criminales y el propio Eln…

Third Generation Gang Analysis

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the seams in the varied relationships between the state and organized crime.[1]  In Latin America, criminal armed groups (CAGs) including Mexican cartels, Brazilian prison-street gang complexes, along with maras in El Salvador (and throughout the Northern Triangle of Central America – NTCA) have exploited the situation to further their goals.[2] Similar situations have been seen among mafias in Italy and gangs in South Africa.[3]

COVID-19 has also presented opportunities and challenges to CAGs in Colombia. In some cases, CAGs and insurgents have leveraged the crisis in order to further expand proto-authority while simultaneously aiming to enhance and consolidate social legitimacy. FARC dissidents have managed to double their membership over a one-year period (since May 2019), going from roughly 2,600 members to almost 4,600 and present in 138 municipalities. It is alleged that 2,600 are armed combatants while another 2,000 belong to clandestine support networks.[4] The largest fronts are led by “Gentil Duarte,” and former FARC leaders “Iván Márquez” and “Jesús Santrich,” and have established structures in Guaviare, Vaupés, Meta, Arauca, Guainía, Vichada, and Casanar.

Soon after a nationwide quarantine was decreed on 24 March, CAGs throughout the country began to enforce lockdown measures in areas of territorial influence and control. Colombian news outlet VerdadAbierta[5] compiled pamphlets, messages on social media, and photographs where such communiqués warned communities that they must comply with the mandatory preventive isolation decreed by the Colombian government. These communiques were obtained from the United Guerrillas of the Pacific (Guerrillas Unidas del Pacífico – GUP), the Oliver Sinisterra Front, the Gulf Clan (Clan del Golfo, or Self-Defense Forces of Colombia/Guerrillas Unidas del Pacífico – AGC), FARC dissidents’ 18 and 6 Fronts, the Virgilio Peralta Arenas Block, and the ELN. These messages were obtained throughout the departments of Cauca, Antioquia, Córdoba, and Nariño.

Colombia’s Ombudsman’s Office issued an early warning that CAGs were taking advantage of the isolation period in order to expand territorial control and use the pandemic to their military advantage.[6] Specifically, civilian populations under areas of CAG influence are at heightened risk where there is not only the fear of catching or dying from COVID-19 and economic and social vulnerabilities, but also illegal armed groups that are, in many respects, arbitrarily imposing control orders in various regions throughout Colombia. For example, the Ombudsman’s Office warned that CAGs were regulating commercial and leisure establishments, controlling food and medical supply prices, blocking land and waterways in some regions, and restricting the arrival of food and medicine. Concerningly, the Office documented at least ten homicides in the Arauca, Cauca, and Nariño departments that were allegedly committed because the victims had violated measures imposed by CAGs.[7] Two homicides were alleged to be the result of an attack on a medical mission in Nariño.[8]  

Responding to COVID-19, the ELN ordered a month-long ceasefire from 1 April until 30 April as a “humanitarian gesture” towards the Colombian population “suffering from the devastation of coronavirus.”[9] They argued that the ceasefire was “active,” insofar that they reserved the right to “defend themselves” against the attacks carried out by state forces, paramilitaries, and drug trafficking organisations throughout various regions of the country. The ELN also called on President Duque of Colombia to meet with the ELN’s delegation in Havana to discuss a temporary, bilateral ceasefire, using the crisis as an opportunity to resume peace talks. In a Semana interview with commander “Uriel” of ELN’s Western Bloc, it was noted that the ELN intended to withdraw from popular mobilisation to focus on “Administrative Political Work,” which included shifting efforts to training their combatants and develop schools to “strengthen training processes.”[10] The ceasefire ended on 1 May, with ELN leaders claiming [that the Duque administration was not interested in negotiations yet the ELN allege that they had “no offensive plans” during the crisis.[11]

Organized criminal enterprises—including the range of CAGs—are resilient entities.  They are formed by a variety of networks spanning local and global licit, mixed, and illicit political economies. CAGs, like other organized crime groups, are adaptive and resilient, constantly reinforcing their power and potentials for profit.[12] They can be inhibited by interruptions of global illicit flows but will reinforce their organizational capacity by seeking new opportunities for territorial control, governance, and profit.[13] Yet, these opportunities are not all positive expressions of humanitarian concern and ‘social banditry’ as described in numerous cases.[14] In some cases, these opportunities are occasions for renewed or accelerated armed violence as CAGs seek relative superiority over their rivals and the state for territorial control and economic dominance.[15] Moreover, the arbitrary enforcement of self-imposed laws by CAGs raise grave concerns for civilian populations already living in vulnerable regions, coupled with new risks posed by the pandemic.

ELN ALERTA

 National Liberation Army/Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) COVID-19 Quarantine (Cuarentena) Notice [16] Source: @jmantillaba, Twitter. 26 March 2020, https://twitter.com/jmantillaba/status/1243155042812727296/photo/2.

Sources

Carlos Cerón, “En medio de controles por Covid-19 disidencias de Farc pintan vehículos en Cauca.” W Radio. 25 March 2020, https://www.wradio.com.co/noticias/regionales/en-medio-de-controles-por-covid19-disidencias-de-farc-pintan-vehiculos-en-cauca/20200325/nota/4025700.aspx.

“¿Cómo combaten el ELN y las FARC el coronavirus?” Semana. 30 April 2020, https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/como-combaten-el-eln-y-las-farc-el-coronavirus/667376.

“Con amenazas, disidencia de las Farc dice que hará cumplir cuarentena en Nariño.” Tubarco. 25 March 2020, https://tubarco.news/tubarco-noticias-occidente/tubarco-noticias-narino-tubarco-noticias-occidente/con-amenazas-disidencia-de-las-farc-dice-que-hara-cumplir-cuarentena-en-narino/.

“Grupos armados se expanden durante la emergencia por coronavirus en Colombia.” El Universo. 18 May 2020, https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2020/05/18/nota/7844970/grupos-armados-se-expanden-durante-emergencia-coronavirus-colombia.

“¿Grupos criminales aprovechan pandemia para fortalecer sus negocios ilícitos?” VerdadAbierta.com. April 2020, https://verdadabierta.com/grupos-criminales-aprovechan-pandemia-para-fortalecer-sus-negocios-ilicitos/.

Emily Hart, “’Comply or die’: Colombia’s guerrillas impose their own Covid-19 lockdowns.” The Telegraph. 23 May 2020, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/23/comply-die-colombias-guerrillas-impose-covid-19-lockdowns/.

“Temor el las regions del país por fin del cese al fuego del ELN.” El Tiempo. 2 May 2020, 2020, https://www.eltiempo.com.colombia/otras-ciudades/fin-del-cese-del-fuego-eln-en-colombia-490880.

End Notes

[1] See, for example, Whitney Eulich and Ana Ionova, “A helping hand? Amid pandemic, gangs cast themselves as protectors.” Christian Science Monitor. 19 May 2020, https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2020/0519/A-helping-hand-Amid-pandemic-gangs-cast-themselves-as-protectors.

[2] This is the fourth strategic note in a series covering CAGs and COVID-19 in Latin America, including Mexico).  See John P. Sullivan, José de Arimatéia da Cruz and Robert J. Bunker, “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 22: Rio’s Gangs Impose Curfews in Response to Coronavirus.” Small Wars Journal. 10 April 2020, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/third-generation-gangs-strategic-note-no-22-rios-gangs-impose-curfews-response-coronavirus; John P. Sullivan, Robert J. Bunker and Juan Ricardo Gómez Hecht, “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 23: El Salvadoran Gangs (Maras) Enforce Domestic Quarantine / Stay at Home Orders (Cuarentena domiciliar).” Small Wars Journal. 5 May 2020, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/third-generation-gangs-strategic-note-no-23-el-salvadoran-gangs-maras-enforce-domestic; and Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, “Mexican Cartel Strategic Note No. 29: An Overview of Cartel Activities Related to COVID-19 Humanitarian Response.” Small Wars Journal. 8 May 2020, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/mexican-cartel-strategic-note-no-29-overview-cartel-activities-related-covid-19.

[3] On COVID-19 and the Italian mafias, see Anna Sergi, “Organised crime and COVID-19.” Essex Social Science on COVID-19. 20 May 2020 Webinar by @Uni_of_Essex on Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/421004597 and Luchiano Pollchieni, “Rule, support and buy: Making sense of Mafia strategies in the COVID-19 aftermath.” Word on the Street, Urban Violence Research Network (UVRN). 18 May 2020, https://urbanviolence.org/rule-support-and-buy. On COVID-19 and gangs in South Africa, see John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker, “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 24:  COVID-19, Gangs and Lockdown in Cape Town.” Small Wars Journal. 18 May 2020, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/third-generation-gangs-strategic-note-no-24-covid-19-gangs-and-lockdown-cape-town.  Japan’s  Yakuza has also been reported to seek advantage from the coronavirus pandemic. See Alessia Cerantola, “Japanese Gangs Vie for Power Amid Pandemic.” OCCRP: Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. 22 April 2020, https://www.occrp.org/en/coronavirus/japanese-gangs-vie-for-power-amid-pandemic.

[4] See “Disidencias de las FARC duplican su número de hombres en solo 12 meses.” El Tiempo. 31 May 2020, https://www.eltiempo.com/unidad-investigativa/disidencias-de-las-farc-duplican-su-numero-de-hombres-en-armas-solo-12-meses-501426.

[5] See “¿Grupos criminales aprovechan pandemia para fortalecer sus negocios ilícitos?” VerdadAbierta.com. 8 April 2020, https://verdadabierta.com/grupos-criminales-aprovechan-pandemia-para-fortalecer-sus-negocios-ilicitos/.

[6] See “Grupos armados se expanden durante la emergencia por coronavirus en Colombia.” El Universo. 18 May 2020, https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2020/05/18/nota/7844970/grupos-armados-se-expanden-durante-emergencia-coronavirus-colombia.

[7] Ibid.

[8] See “Ataque a misión médica en Nariño deja dos personas Muertos.” RNC Radio. 4 April 2020,  https://www.rcnradio.com/colombia/sur/ataque-mision-medica-en-narino-deja-dos-personas-muertas.

[9] See “El ELN Frente A La Pandemia Por El Coronavirus COVID-19.” ELN Voces. 30 March 2020, https://eln-voces.net/el-eln-frente-a-la-pandemia-por-el-coronavirus-covid-19/.

[10] See “¿Cómo combaten el ELN y las FARC el coronavirus?” Semana. 30 April 2020, https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/como-combaten-el-eln-y-las-farc-el-coronavirus/667376.

[11] “Colombia’s ELN rebels have ‘no offensive plans’ during coronavirus crisis.” Colombia Reports. 4 May 2020, https://colombiareports.com/colombias-eln-rebels-have-no-offensive-plans-but-defensive-plans-during-coronavirus-crisis/.

[12] Fabian Zhila, “The Leviathan of Organised Crime.” RUSI – Strategic Hub on Organised Crime. 21 May 2020, https://shoc.tusi.org/informer/leviathon-organised-crime.   

[13] See Benoit Gomis, “How the Illicit Drug Trade Is Adapting to the Coronavirus Pandemic.” World Politics Review. 20 April 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/28696/how-the-illicit-drug-trade-is-adapting-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic.

[14] See, for example, the cases described in Notes 1 and 2.  For background, see John P. Sullivan, “Criminal Insurgency: Narcocultura, Social Banditry, and Information Operations.” Small Wars Journal. 3 December 2012, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/criminal-insurgency-narcocultura-social-banditry-and-information-operations.

[15] While all three type of CAGs discussed in this strategic note (FARC, ELN, and BACRIM) have leveraged the COVID-19 situation for political and territorial advantage, the threat of armed violence remains. See “Broken Ties, Frozen Borders: Colombia and Venezuela Face COVID-19.” Crisis Group Latin America Briefing N°42. Bogotá/Brussels: International Crisis Group. 15 April 2020, https://www.crisisgroup.org/latin-america-caribbean/andes/colombia/b24-broken-ties-frozen-borders-colombia-and-venezuela-face-covid-19.

[16] For a COVID-19 quarantine (cuarentena) notice distributed by the Frente Oliver Sinisterra FARC-EP on 20 March 2020, see @jmantillaba, Twitter. 26 March 2020, https://twitter.com/jmantillaba/status/1243155042812727296/photo/1.

For Additional Reading

Alexandra Phelan, Nuri Veronika, Helem Stenger and Irine Gayatri, “COVID-19 and violent extremist groups: adapting to an evolving crisis.” Monash Lens, 28 April 2020. 

John P. Sullivan, José de Arimatéia da Cruz and Robert J. Bunker, “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 22: Rio’s Gangs Impose Curfews in Response to Coronavirus.” Small Wars Journal, 10 April 2020.

John P. Sullivan, Robert J. Bunker and Juan Ricardo Gómez Hecht,  “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 23: El Salvadoran Gangs (Maras) Enforce Domestic Quarantine / Stay at Home Orders (Cuarentena domiciliar).” Small Wars Journal, 5 May 2020.

Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, “Mexican Cartel Strategic Note No. 29: An Overview of Cartel Activities Related to COVID-19 Humanitarian Response.” Small Wars Journal, 8 May 2020.

John P. Sullivan and Robert Bunker, “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 24:  COVID-19, Gangs and Lockdown in Cape Town.” Small Wars Journal, 18 May 2020.

John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker, Eds. Strategic Notes on Third Generation Gangs. A Small Wars Journal-El Centro Anthology.  Bloomington: Xlibris, 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: El Centro

About the Author(s)

Dr. Alexandra Phelan is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Monash University, and Deputy Director of the Monash Gender, Peace and Security Centre (Monash GPS) in Victoria, Australia. Her research focuses on insurgent governance, and her PhD examined why the Colombian government shifted between counterinsurgency and negotiation with FARC from 1982-2016. Based on an extensive examination of primary FARC material, and interviews with former and active FARC, ELN, M-19 and AUC members, she examined how insurgent legitimation activities shaped government response. She can be found on Twitter at @Alex_Phelan

Dr. John P. Sullivan was a career police officer. He is an honorably retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, specializing in emergency operations, transit policing, counterterrorism, and intelligence. He is currently an Instructor in the Safe Communities Institute (SCI) at the Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California. Sullivan received a lifetime achievement award from the National Fusion Center Association in November 2018 for his contributions to the national network of intelligence fusion centers. He completed the CREATE Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism at the University of Southern California and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the College of William and Mary, a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis from the New School for Social Research, and a PhD from the Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). His doctoral thesis was “Mexico’s Drug War: Cartels, Gangs, Sovereignty and the Network State.” He can be reached at jpsullivan@smallwarsjournal.com.

Dr. Robert J. Bunker is Director of Research and Analysis, C/O Futures, LLC, and an adjunct research professor, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College. He holds university degrees in political science, government, social science, anthropology-geography, behavioral science, and history and has undertaken hundreds of hours of counterterrorism training. Past professional associations include Minerva Chair at the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College and Futurist in Residence, Training and Development Division, Behavioral Science Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy, Quantico. He has well over 500 publications—including about 40 books as co-author, editor, and co-editor—and can be reached at docbunker@smallwarsjournal.com .