Since the end of the Cold War, the need to widen the concept of security and distinguish between "hard" and "soft" security threats has been increasingly accepted, but the implementation of strategies to face "soft" security threats has been less prominent. Moreover, there has been a failure to understand in what way old and new security threats overlap and in many ways in fact reinforce each other. This research area covers both traditional and non-traditional security threats, but more importantly seeks to understand their connection with each other. Another aim is to understand their impact on the region and what can be done to combat them.
Non-traditional and often transnational threats to security have risen to prominence, primarily in developing and post-communist areas. Among these, the trade in illicit drugs arguably carries the largest societal, political, and economic consequences. Linkages between security threats and weak political and economic performance not only reinforces the negative development, it in fact threatens the very fabric of the weak states in which security threats thrive.