Please write a response to each student discussion post. Responses must be at least 150 words.
The role of networks and organizations on the national and international scale is something that seems to dive into very different extremes with the distinction between civil and uncivil networks. In the world of civil networks, the ones that seem to hold the most sway, or at least the most attention, are the civil groups dedicated to improvements on the humanitarian level. The coursework provided examples such as the International Red Cross and Save the Children Fund (Wilkinson 2007, pg. 76), but providing a specific example of the use and emergence of networking falls to the fight against human trafficking in the United States. Well known comedic actor and Hollywood figure Ashton Kutcher takes a deadly serious role in the fight against trafficking. He has committed countless hours of hands on involvement in the work, and even testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capital Hill in Washington D.C. on the topic of the progress of combatting modern slavery. Kutcher is chairman of, and spoke for Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children (Klein 2017). The connections and social influence of a Hollywood actor in the modern social atmosphere is undeniable. More and more we see actors given more weight in their opinions than career politicians.
On the flip side, however, the most successful networks seem to be that of non civil groups, i.e. criminal groups and actions against states or people. John Arquilla mentioned in “Of Networks and Nations” the Zapatista of Mexico and Cali Cartel, which is very interesting to me as my immediate first thought when I started reading the section on non civil networks was the rise of narcoterrorism in the 1990’s. The most well known of these is probably Pablo Escobar, head of the Medellin Cartel. They moved ungodly amounts of cocaine into the United States, and Escobar is famous for having a very straightforward, yet cruel approach to dealing with local government, rivals, or really anyone he wanted something from. He would offer you money, or death. Take the money and do what he asked, or have you and all your family be killed in retaliation. Escobar made some incredible work of networking. When faced with extradition he ran for a political position and won, legitimately even. He ‘played the game’ and orchestrated massive control over the Columbian state. When things went south for him he reverted to true narcoterrorism, particularly in the form of explosions that killed innocent civilians as retaliation or warning against the state. He even had so much control that when he “turned himself in” the Columbian government allowed him to build his own prison, with inmates of his choosing, in the location of his choosing. One of the other most influential groups, and rivals of Escobar, were the Orejuela brothers or ‘Gentlemen from Cali’. They used networking in similar, but much quieter ways. In an attempt to assassinate Escobar they had a military affiliate get a group of special forces operatives from different parts of the world to form a special mercenary task force to carry out the job. The Orejuela brothers ended up helping the Columbian government, and were openly responsible for the assassination of more than 60 Escobar supporters (nacla 2007). Even the rise and fall of these first huge drug lords opened up a power vacuum that would only be filled through this network of corrupt officials and drug profits. Taking the place of Escobar was Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was in the news just a few years ago after finally being captured (AGAIN, since he has escaped custody in the past due to his networking and government contacts).
The increase in how easy it is to contact and spread information plays greatly in to the rise of current networks and their influences. Almost all networks today rely on the internet to increase their reach and influence (Arquilla 2007). It allows for garnering support from entirely different states or groups than your own, that can then allow for third party pressure in your favor on a particular subject or issue. As globalization continues, I feel like this is going to spread more and more, to the point where any major action is taken solely by internationally connected networks or groups, possibly even on an overlapping governmental level similar to the United Nations.
Wilkinson, Paul. 2007. International relations: A very short introduction. Oxford, GBR: Oxford University Press, UK. (page 76). Accessed March 20, 2018 from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/bm[email protected]sessionmgr104&vid=0&format=EB&lpid=lp_105&rid=0
Klein, Betsy. CNN.com. “Kutcher Passionately Testifies on his Anti-Sex Trafficking Efforts.” CNN Politics (2017). Accessed March 20, 2018 from https://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/15/politics/ashton-kutcher-testifies-before-the-senate-on-sex-trafficking/index.html.
NACLA staff. Nacla.org. “The Rise and Fall of the Gentlemen From Cali.” NACLA, Reporting on Americans Since 1967. Accessed March 20, 2018 from https://nacla.org/article/rise-and-fall-gentlemen-cali
Arquilla, John. 2007. “Of Networks and Nations.” The Brown Journal of World Affairs XIV (1): 199–209. Accessed March 20, 2018 from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/219494816?accountid=8289
Enhanced communication has allowed for the growth of “networks” of organizations. What are the pros and cons of these new actors on the international stage? Refer to both civil and uncivil networks- use examples. Support your responses with references to the course material – be sure to read and reference the articles.
Networks are groups of individuals, businesses who are interconnected with one another creating a network of people, for example, a butcher who owns a butcher shop needs meat, cattle, dear maybe even makes jerky, his best friend knows someone who has a cow, and the person who owns the cow knows someone who owns dear where then that person knows how to process dry foods in a warehouse where the butcher will need to go first, this is a small example of a network of people. The pros for networks are having the ability to outsource, keep things on the low when need be, and sometimes knowing who is invested in you and your friendship and or business, another pro would be that Networks consist of many organizations that also help fight or prevent diseases, helps find cures, and address issues like global warming as well. A con about having or knowing about networks, is that anyone can use this method, criminals, and terrorists which make up uncivil networks.
Most civil networks mentioned in the pros are in the above paragraph however, the benefits of international networks include opportunities to receive information on overseas industries/sectors or markets, engaging in skills building and training and employment processes and the import/export procedures. There are different types of Networks and not just the ones listed above, but some of them are Education and research organizations, Learning networks and regional/local organizations. Education and research organizations explore development initiatives and access studies or research, Learning networks are managers and other employees who can attend training activates and finally, Regional/Local Organizations consist of chambers of commerce or trade associations for advice, support, and local news. For the class, I would say my question would be that if you had or are going into a business, how important would having a Network be for you?
“Learn and Develop through Network.” NiBussinessInfo, Invest Northern Ireland, https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studies-common/Universal/IRLS/210/elf/lesson-7/elf_index.html