cover image The New War: The Web of Crime That Threatens America's Security

The New War: The Web of Crime That Threatens America's Security

John Kerry, Senator John Kerry. Simon & Schuster, $23 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-684-81815-3

Neither the American government nor the average American citizen gives enough attention to the threat international crime and terrorism pose to the country, argues Kerry (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations from 1987 to January 1997. He maintains that a global criminal axis exists that is composed of five key players: the Italian Mafia, the Russian mobs, the Japanese yakuza, the Chinese triads and the Colombia cartels. The ""big five"" are forming alliances with criminals in other nations that will make it more difficult to curb the power of these organizations, which, according to Kerry, have as their goal ""nothing less than taking over entire countries."" The global crimes he lists in evidence are large and chilling, ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering to the sale of human kidneys. The most frightening development discussed by Kerry, however, is the easy access terrorists have to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The use of such weapons against an American city is a real possibility, he cautions. This is an informative, thought-provoking work in which Kerry argues persuasively that the U.S. must lead the way in developing a working system of international laws to battle transnational crime. (June)