Fighting Serious Crimes: Strategies and Tactics for Conflict-Affected Societies is an invaluable resource for anyone battling serious crimes in societies seeking to avoid conflict, to escape from violence, or to recover and rebuild. Packed with practical guidance, this volume includes real world examples from more than twenty of today’s conflict zones, including Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Colombia. All the major challenges are covered, from initial assessment to legal and institutional reform, investigation to prosecution, criminal intelligence to witness protection, the use of international tribunals to the role of international military forces. The volume draws on the firsthand experience of dozens of practitioners, distilling what they have learned into clearly organized and highly readable text that is supplemented by check-lists and sidebars that help readers conduct assessments, identify international and regional legal instruments (such as treaties), and complete a host of other key tasks.

Contributors

Elaine Banar • Adalbert Gross • Michael Hartmann • Deborah Isser • Andrew Mackay • Vivienne O’Connor • David C. Ralston • Colette Rausch • Thomas Stevenson 

Experts

Thomas Barfield • Kurt W. Bassuener • Hudson Benzu • Roberto Courtney • Felipe De La Torre • Christian De Vos • Fidelma Donlon • Michael J. Dziedzic • Charles Erdmann • Larry Gwaltney • Isabel Hight • Christiana Hoffman • Alex Innes • Goran Klemencic • Agnieszka Klonowiecka-Milart • Peter Korneck • Neil J. Kritz • Kenneth Lowrie • Leanne McKay • Joyce Kasee Mills • Marco Maria Monaco • Assad Mubarak • Maria Nystedt •Bruce Ohr • Bruce “Ossie” Oswald • Michael Platzer • David Reddin • Ali Saleem • Govind Prasad Thapa • Kim Thomas • Horst Tiemann • Catherine Volz • Abla Gadegbeku Williams • Gerard Winter

Organized crime networks pose a serious and growing threat to security. That is because those networks cooperate with hostile states and terrorist organizations. And those networks perpetuate state and institutional weakness that frustrates efforts to improve security and foster development. Fighting Serious Crimes offers exactly what we need: firsthand accounts of what has worked in the past, expert assessments of current threats, descriptions of new tools, and explanations of how to apply those tools effectively.

General H. R. McMaster, author, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam

This handbook offers policymakers and practitioners an invaluable combination of breadth of coverage, pragmatic focus, and wealth of experience. Brimming with experience and brilliantly edited, this volume is truly a useful tool.

Cherif Bassiouni, Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor of Law and President Emeritus, International Human Rights Law Institute, DePaul University College of Law

Fragile states with weak institutions often provide ample opportunity for criminal organizations, particularly those with international ties, to deepen and expand instability, violence, and lawlessness. This book is compelling reading for those interested in how efforts to establish the rule of law and develop justice institutions can counter such threats—and, more broadly, help nations to emerge both strong and free after critical moments of transition.

William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, US Department of State

This volume is the product of years of patient and diligent work, and the outcome is a truly outstanding contribution to law enforcement capacity- and institution-building . . . . A repository of knowledge hitherto longed for but never before accessible in tangible form.

Richard Monk, former Commissioner of the UN International Police Task Force

Fighting Serious Crimes provides us with reliable and analytical information covering many different facets of the problem of serious crimes. It also presents practical steps that we can take to build the rule of law in our countries.

Surendra B. Shah, Additional Inspector General of the Nepal Police

Related Publications

What’s Next for Libya’s Protracted Conflict?

What’s Next for Libya’s Protracted Conflict?

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

By: Thomas M. Hill

This week in Cairo, the United Nations will host the final round of scheduled talks between representatives from Libya’s two opposing governments: the House of Representatives (HoR) based in the eastern city of Tobruk and the High Council of State (HCS) based in the western city of Tripoli. The talks which began in April are intended to yield a “solid constitutional basis and electoral framework” for ending the country’s longstanding political stalemate.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionPeace Processes

The New U.S. Plan to Stabilize Conflicts: The Case of Libya

The New U.S. Plan to Stabilize Conflicts: The Case of Libya

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun;  Thomas M. Hill

Almost 11 years after ousting the dictatorship of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya remains a largely ungoverned land divided among warlord-led factions that fight with support from rival foreign countries. Libya’s instability resonates widely, permitting the trafficking of weapons to the Sahel and migrants to Europe. Repeated peace efforts have failed to help Libyans form a unified national government, yet Libyans continue to show the capacity to overcome communal divisions and build peace at local levels. That demonstrated capacity offers an opportunity that can be expanded by the U.S. government’s decision, under its Global Fragility Strategy, to direct a new peacebuilding effort toward Libya.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience

Elie Abouaoun on Libya’s Elections

Elie Abouaoun on Libya’s Elections

Friday, December 17, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

With the vote likely to be postponed, USIP’s Elie Abouaoun says frustrations are high over Libya’s political and economic stagnation as the international community tries to “generate a new political agreement … just to make sure the elections can happen without a major outbreak of violence.”

Type: Podcast

Democracy & Governance

Young and Angry in Fezzan: Achieving Stability in Southern Libya through Greater Economic Opportunity

Young and Angry in Fezzan: Achieving Stability in Southern Libya through Greater Economic Opportunity

Monday, November 22, 2021

By: Mary Fitzgerald;  Nate Wilson

The Fezzan region of Libya is home both to the country’s largest oil field, making it key to Libya’s oil-based economy, and to some of its direst poverty. Young people have borne the brunt of the region’s chronic development challenges, making them vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups and criminal networks. This report focuses on the grievances of Fezzan’s youth and explores how peacebuilding efforts can channel their needs and aspirations into larger conversations about the region’s long-term political and economic development.

Type: Peaceworks

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

View All Publications