Terrorism and Homeland Security

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RAND is a world leader in research on terrorism, counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, disaster management, and homeland security—topics that affect a wide variety of policy areas and challenge individuals and nations worldwide.

  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism February 19, 2015, photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Commentary

    Tackling Radicalization Before It Begins

    Feb 23, 2015

    Why not turn the question of violent extremism inside out and develop programs that reinforce non-radicalization? That is, rather than eliminating drivers, focus instead on strengthening the factors that inhibit violent extremism.

  • Militant Islamist fighters ride horses in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Testimony

    The Threat Posed by Foreign Fighters Returning from Syria and Iraq

    Mar 12, 2015

    An estimated 3,400 foreign fighters have come from Europe and other Western countries to join jihadist fronts in Syria and Iraq. What is the threat posed by these Western fighters? And how can the U.S. better identify and intercept returning foreign fighters from countries covered by the Visa Waiver Program?

Explore Terrorism and Homeland Security

  • An air strike hits a military site controlled by the Houthi group in Yemen's capital Sanaa May 12, 2015

    Commentary

    Yemen: Victim of the Saudi-Iranian Rivalry

    Instability in Yemen does not benefit Iran, Saudi Arabia, or the United States. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a major threat to all three countries. And neither side in the Yemeni conflict has the capability to impose central authority in Yemen by itself.

    May 12, 2015

  • Texas nurse Amber Vinson who had treated Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan steps from an ambulance at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia October 15, 2014

    Commentary

    As Ebola Declines, Lessons Emerge

    Lessons learned through the analysis of this most recent Ebola outbreak as well as other disease outbreaks can have far-reaching consequences, helping authorities to both improve the continuing, ongoing response and plan for the best possible response to future threats.

    May 7, 2015

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    How Accurate Is TV's Portrayal of Terrorism?

    Acclaimed television writer, producer, and author Howard Gordon joins 30-year CIA veteran and RAND senior policy analyst Andrew Liepman for a discussion about the allure of terrorism as a subject for entertainment in this Events @ RAND podcast.

    May 6, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement regarding a January counterterrorism operation that accidentally killed two aid workers held hostage by al Qaeda, April 23, 2015

    Commentary

    The Death of Hostages and High-Flying Illusions

    Risk is unavoidable in fighting war or terrorism. Soldiers are sometimes felled by friendly fire, and civilians ostensibly on the sidelines become accidental targets. It is unrealistic to believe that such tragedies can always be prevented. Risks can be reduced but never entirely eliminated.

    May 4, 2015

  • People run for cover after an explosion in Jalalabad April 18, 2015

    Commentary

    Has Islamic State Entered Afghanistan?

    The bulk of the Islamic State of Khorasan is thought to be in Pakistan, but the group is trying to make inroads into Afghanistan. That said, the group's actual ability to operate in Afghanistan appears rather limited.

    May 4, 2015

  • Report

    Measuring the Resilience of Energy Distribution Systems

    Describes a framework developed by RAND for measuring the resilience of energy distribution systems and summarizes the state of metrics for resilience of the electric power, natural gas, and refined oil products distribution systems.

    Apr 24, 2015

  • Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front man a checkpoint in Idlib, Syria, March 30, 2015

    Testimony

    Breaking the Bank: Undermining Terrorist Financing

    Undermining the financing of terrorist groups must be done as part of a broader effort to undermine terrorist ideology. Policies should focus on the most significant threats to the United States and utilize tools that target the ways these groups finance themselves.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • A group of people rally together

    Tool

    Community Resilience: LEARN and TELL Toolkit

    The LEARN and TELL Community Resilience Toolkit teaches people about community resilience so that they can teach others and—ultimately—help their communities remain strong in the face of economic downturns, violence, weather-related disasters, and other community stressors.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • Teen group learning about community resilience

    Tool

    Disaster Resilience Skills for Youth

    This guide introduces high school youth to key principles of community resilience through youth-friendly talking points and a scavenger hunt game.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Is Bipartisan National Security Policy Possible in Today's Political Environment?

    Should the United States make a nuclear deal with Iran? What threat do cyber attacks pose to our nation? Should there be intelligence reform? In this Events @ RAND podcast, Mike Rogers speaks to these and other timely national security issues.

    Apr 21, 2015

  • Report

    Assessing and Evaluating Department of Defense Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade: Handbook for Practitioners

    This handbook compiles strong assessment practices and examples from a range of sectors in an easy-to-navigate format for personnel responsible for planning and assessing inform, influence, and persuade efforts in the U.S. Department of Defense.

    Apr 17, 2015

  • Report

    Assessing and Evaluating Department of Defense Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade: An Annotated Reading List

    To help broaden the expertise of U.S. Department of Defense assessment personnel and stakeholders, RAND produced a reading list for self-study in best assessment practices across a range of sectors.

    Apr 17, 2015

  • A service member and interpreter talk with residents about malaria prevention in Ethiopia

    Report

    DoD Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade

    The U.S. Department of Defense spends more than $250 million per year on efforts to inform, influence, and persuade. How effective (and cost-effective) are they? How well do they support military objectives? How could they be improved?

    Apr 17, 2015

  • Testimony

    There Will Be Battles in the Heart of Your Abode: The Threat Posed by Foreign Fighters Returning From Syria and Iraq: Addendum

    Document submitted on April 17, 2015 as an addendum to testimony presented before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on March 12, 2015.

    Apr 17, 2015

  • Report

    Identifying and Mitigating Risks in Security Sector Assistance for Africa's Fragile States

    Often those countries most in need of security sector assistance are least able to make good use of it. The author explores the risks of assistance to the fragile states of Africa and how the United States might better anticipate and mitigate them.

    Apr 15, 2015

  • U.S. Senior Master Sgt. Leonard discusses cargo pallet inspection procedures with East Africa air force members during African Partnership Flight-Djibouti February 10, 2015

    Commentary

    Djibouti: Outpost of Stability in an Unstable Region

    The collaborative role being played by the United States and Djibouti represents the kind of partnerships that are now required in the battle against terrorism, because little-known places like Djibouti are one arena where the battle could be won or lost.

    Apr 10, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Wearing Many Hats: Lessons About Emergency Preparedness and Routine Public Health from the H1N1 Response

    This chapter describes some of the challenges the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) faced during the pH1N1 response associated with simultaneous operation of emergency and routine operations.

    Apr 7, 2015

  • Capt. Chuck Marks, commanding officer of Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, listens to Martin Gallivan, associate professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary, talk about the artifacts his team of students uncovered during the excavation of a Powhatan Indian village, a field study being conducted under a cooperative agreement between the Navy and the college

    Commentary

    A Funny Thing Happened When These Military Officers and Academics Got Together

    If senior officers and academics find themselves divided, is there a way to build respect and trust earlier in their careers, when less is at stake? A tabletop exercise suggested that the best way to bridge the civilian-military divide is not via large conferences or formal papers. Instead, it can be done by building trust, one person at a time, over time.

    Apr 6, 2015

  • An Iraqi soldier rides in an armoured vehicle in Salahuddin province, Iraq, March 4, 2015, where Islamic State militants set fire to oil wells in the Ajil field east of the city of Tikrit to try to hinder aerial attacks aimed at driving them from the oilfield

    Commentary

    Oil Bonanza: Good News for the World

    World oil prices have fallen by more than 40 percent since June 2014 and over the next several years prices are more likely to fall than to rise. The global economy will benefit hugely from this shift, and it's possible that global security will also benefit from lower oil prices.

    Mar 31, 2015

  • A damaged picture of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in Idlib, March 28, 2015

    Commentary

    Syria and Iraq: Inside the Terrorist Factory

    As the civil wars in Syria and Iraq continue, they sharpen the sectarian divide between Sunnis and Shias, threatening the stability of the region and attracting a steady flow of foreign volunteers, effectively turning Syria and Iraq into a terrorist factory.

    Mar 30, 2015