The rise of transnational organized crime in the last decades of the twentieth century was as unexpected as the end of the Cold War, if far less dramatic and abrupt. In some respects, however, the challenges posed to national and international governance and international security by criminal organizations could prove more enduring, more complex and, in some respects, more difficult to manage than the relationships of the nuclear arms race era. It has to be acknowledged that the failure to manage the transnational organized crime challenge would appear to have much less destructive consequences than those of a failure to manage superpower crises. Nevertheless, these consequences would be far from negligible, especially in the medium and long term.