"Benghazi was about a video".
How do those engaged in transnational crime view the world? Suppose we could interview the leadership of such organizations and ask them to provide us with a map of the world through their eyes, what would it look like? Would it include states and their border crossings; be focused around places where illegal goods are produced, transported, or distributed; be defined by traditional trading routes; showcase areas that are safe havens and generally outside the reach of law enforcement; display spaces where potential commodities and employees are available; and/or delineate zones of influence and who governs them?
Although such maps are implied in discussions of transnational crime, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the geopolitics of the illicit global economy. In fact, generally these areas are not studied until a major uptick in crime or a security breach has occurred. For example, consider the highlighting of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (or FATA region) in Pakistan during the US-Afghan War post-9/11 or of Hezbollah Territory in Lebanon after the war with Israel in 2006.
What can we learn about the world as those involved in transnational crime envision it by examining the 80 black spots we currently have studied as part of the Mapping Global Insecurity Project? After all, maps represent interpretations of what counts geographically to their creators.