The rapid spread of international crime since the end of the Cold War is unprecedented in scale, facilitated by globalization and technological advances, and poses a significant challenge to the United States and democratic governments and free market economies around the world. The President has identified international crime as a direct and immediate threat to the national security of the United States. To meet this challenge, the Departments of Justice, State, and Treasury--working closely with numerous federal agencies--jointly developed a comprehensive national strategy to fight international crime and reduce its impact on Americans. The International Crime Control Strategy, which was released in May 1998, provides a dynamic action plan that serves as a roadmap for a coordinated, effective, long-term attack on international crime. The Strategy's eight overarching goals, supported by implementing objectives, are as follows:

At the direction of the President and as part of the International Crime Control Strategy, a US Government interagency working group has prepared the following comprehensive assessment of the threat posed by international crime to Americans and their communities, US businesses and financial institutions, and global security and stability. The assessment is divided into five parts: