As the U.S. is withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Department of Defense and Pentagon are cutting excess programs, security analysts are faced with the challenge of doing more with less. How can the U.S. best use its resources, military, and intelligence tools to focus in on the major threats to U.S. national security?
Fine tuning what too look for and where to look for it is key to this process. A team of analysts at Syracuse University’s Global Black Spots—Mapping Global Insecurity Project (GBS-MGI) is developing a new research methodology that goes beyond the traditional state level analysis to find “Black Spots,” or areas of insecurity that are beyond government control. The team probes the local-level characteristics of a region using open source information to determine where terrorism and transnational crime may develop in the future. Their findings provide a map of global insecurity that is being applied by U.S. intelligence agencies.
The Summer 2011 issue of the National Strategy Forum Review shares this process with our readers. The case studies below are a sample of the estimated 600+ Black Spots operating around the globe. This unique research demonstrates that traditional security analysis must add a deeper, more local component to the search for future security threats.