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Abstract

Traces the recent evolution of international terrorism against civilian and U.S. military targets, looks ahead to where terrorism is going, and assesses how it might be contained. The authors consider the threat of information-based terrorism and of weapons of mass destruction, with an emphasis on how changes in the sources and nature of terrorism may affect the use of unconventional terror. The authors propose counterterrorism strategies that address the growing problem of homeland defense.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

    Ian O. Lesser

  • Chapter Two

    Terrorism Trends and Prospects

    Bruce Hoffman

  • Chapter Three

    Networks, Netwar, and Information-Age Terrorism

    John Arquilla, David Ronfeldt, and Michele Zanini

  • Chapter Four

    Countering the New Terrorism: Implications for Strategy

    Ian O. Lesser

Book Review Excerpts

"The authors of this study, who are senior analysts at RAND, the renowned national security think tank, analyze how, at the dawn of the 21st century, the historical contours of terrorism have been replaced by new types of groups whose motivations, organizational structures, and tactics greatly differ from their earlier counterparts… The book's findings will be of great interest to those concerned about terrorism, counterterrorism, and U.S. national security policy."

- Journal of Homeland Security

"… Provides an effective overview of the emerging forms of terrorism and the strategies to counter it."

- U.S.I. Journal

"… In chapter 3, entitled 'Networks, Netwar, and Information-Age Terrorism', John Arquilla, David Ronfeldt, and Michele Zanini, each an expert in international terrorism, spin a cautionary tale regarding the security of networked global information systems. John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt were among the first to study the impact of information technology on warfare. They are credited with coining the terms 'cyberwar' and 'netwar'… Chapter 3 describes one change in the focus of international terrorism of which librarians and information professionals particularly should take note. Terrorists' strategy has been radically altered by the availability, use, and vulnerability of networked information systems… The message…should be heeded by librarians and information professionals of all types-the vulnerability of information systems to threats of systematic disruption is clear, serious, and in need of critical analysis and review."

- The Library Quarterly

"Countering the New Terrorism is an insightful and practical volume for those involved in the world of counterterrorist policy."

- Joint Forces Quarterly, Spring 2000

"Countering the New Terrorism is a compilation of articles from some of the best and brightest analysts at RAND. Bruce Hoffman, one of the foremost authorities on terrorism, describes his views on terrorism trends and prospects, while the authors of 'netwar', Arquilla, Ronfeldt, and Zanini discuss networks, netwar, and information-age terrorism. The editor, Ian Lesser, details implications for strategy to counter the new terrorism. This book is full of fresh new ideas, and is a must read in considering the future of terrorism."

- Terrorism Research Center

"…goes beyond current debates concerning weapons of mass destruction and provides a new perspective on the changing nature of world politics. The authors' observations on the emergence of amorphous terrorist networks with ambiguous political and religious goals make an important contribution to the literature on terrorism and international affairs."

- Perspectives on Political Science

"Competent and well-structure analysis and clear conclusions make this book a useful source."

- Journal of Peace Research

"…provides a vital foundation for those who wish to understand the changing nature of international order and a framework for action on the part of those responsible for combating it."

- Security Management Magazine

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