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Abstract

In the early 1990s, patterns in terrorism began to change. In particular, while the number of terrorist events was declining, the lethality was growing. This growth in terrorism was largely fueled by religious and millennial motivations. Three years after September 11, many studies by scores of institutions have been undertaken to find new ways of dealing with the evolving challenge of terrorism. On September 8, 2004, upon the approach of the third anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the RAND Corporation held a conference in Washington, D.C., to share the results of its recent studies with government officials, military officers, congressional staff, foundations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), foreign embassy representatives, and the public at large. Conference participants discussed RAND’s research on terrorism in terms of four broad categories: (1) Understanding the Nature of the Terrorist Threat; (2) Taking Direct Action Against Terrorists and Terrorist Organizations; (3) Seeking to Reduce the Support for Terrorists, in terms of finances as well as recruits; and (4) Protecting the Homeland. The conference proceedings includes a transcript of remarks on “A Strategic Approach to the Challenge of Terrorism” by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

This publication results from RAND’s continuing program of self-initiated research. Support for such research is provided, in part, by donors and by the independent research and development provisions of RAND’s contracts for the operation of its U.S. Department of Defense federally funded research and development centers.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

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