Martin C. Libicki

Photo of Martin Libicki
Senior Management Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office

Education

Ph.D. in economics, M.A. in city and regional planning, University of California, Berkeley; S.B. in mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Martin Libicki is a senior management scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research focuses on the impacts of information technology on domestic and national security. This work is documented in commercially published books—e.g., Conquest in Cyberspace: National Security and Information Warfare (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Information Technology Standards: Quest for the Common Byte (Digital Press, 1995)—as well as in numerous monographs, notably How Insurgencies End (with Ben Connable, 2010), Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar (2009),How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa'ida (with Seth G. Jones, 2008), Exploring Terrorist Targeting Preferences (with Peter Chalk and Melanie W. Sisson, 2007), and Who Runs What in the Global Information Grid (2000). His most recent research involved organizing the U.S. Air Force for cyberwar, exploiting cell phones in counterinsurgency, developing a post-9/11 information technology strategy for the U.S. Department of Justice, using biometrics for identity management, assessing the Terrorist Information Awareness program of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, conducting information security analysis for the FBI, and evaluating In-Q-Tel. Prior to joining RAND, Libicki spent 12 years at the National Defense University, three years on the Navy staff as program sponsor for industrial preparedness, and three years as a policy analyst for the U.S. General Accounting Office's Energy and Minerals Division. Libicki received his Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley, writing on industrial economics.

Research Focus

Commentary

  • Network defender working at the Air Force Space Command Network Operations & Security Center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs

    Don't Buy the Cyberhype

    Although the risk of a debilitating cyberattack is real, the perception of that risk is far greater than it actually is, writes Martin Libicki. In fact, a major cyberattack of the kind intelligence officials fear has not taken place in the 21 years since the Internet became accessible to the public.

    Aug 16, 2013 | ForeignAffairs.com

  • Globe and computer keyboard

    What Is an Act of Cyberwar? It's a Decision, Not a Conclusion

    Perhaps making war can persuade the attacker to stop. Yet, war also risks further disruption, great cost, as well as possible destruction and death—especially if matters escalate beyond cyberspace, writes Martin Libicki.

    Mar 4, 2013 | NYTimes.com

  • running a test in a U.S. Air Force cyber lab

    A Cybercrisis Is Inevitable — and Manageable

    The United States can manage a cybercrisis by taking steps to reduce the incentives for other states to step into crisis, by controlling the narrative, understanding the stability parameters of the crises, and trying to manage escalation if conflicts arise.

    Jan 9, 2013

  • binary code and laptops

    A Matter of Degree: Who Can Authorize a Cyberattack?

    Understanding when the United States should engage in cyberwar and who should approve cyberattacks requires understanding that cyberwar has multiple personalities: operational, strategic, and that great gray area in-between., writes Martin Libicki.

    Jan 9, 2013 | Federation of American Scientists

  • digital globe

    Cyber Operations Can Supplement a War, but They Cannot Be the War

    The U.S. military, with its high-tech systems, must protect itself from cyber threats with much the same careful management that protects it against vulnerabilities associated with, say, explosives. But there can be no choice between boots on the ground and fingers on a keyboard, writes Martin Libicki.

    Dec 19, 2012 | The International Economy

  • Setting International Norms on Cyberwar Might Beat a Treaty

    Restricting cyberweapon development could be harmful inasmuch as its core activity is the discovery of vulnerabilities in software--the very activity also required to bulletproof software against attacks from criminal hackers, writes Martin Libicki.

    Jun 11, 2012 | U.S. News & World Report, Debate Club

  • Seven Billion? No Need to Panic

    We cannot wish away serious ecological issues, such as the steady increase in greenhouse gases or the steady decrease in critical resources (e.g., phosphates). But population growth per se need not portend ecological catastrophe, writes Martin Libicki.

    Nov 4, 2011 | CNN

  • Stop the 'War' on Terror: Calling It a 'War' Is a Boon to Terrorist Recruiters

    Military might against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups isn't working – and no wonder. After studying the record of 648 terrorist groups between 1968 and 2006, we've found that military force has rarely been effective in defeating this enemy, write Seth Jones and Martin C. Libicki.

    Aug 6, 2008 | Christian Science Monitor

Publications

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