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. As a public service, RAND disseminates all its unclassified research online or in printed documents.
Assisting Arab democratic transitions will not eliminate religious extremism. But successful transitions would directly challenge the jihadist brands that promote attacks on America, writes Julie Taylor.
Wary of communicating with each other and with al Qaeda's field commands, al Qaeda central could become more isolated, more dependent on its affiliates, allied groups, and individual acolytes, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Of the plots foiled in the last 10 years on U.S. soil, the would-be terrorists came from many different ethnic groups. We know of no cases where ethnic profiling helped stop a terrorist plot, write John Hollywood and Kevin J. Strom.
The unanswered question is just what will endure in the Arab world: comparatively peaceful demonstrations leading to regime change, or brutal tactics by authoritarian regimes to crush dissent and cling to power, writes John Parachini.
A truly monumental attack that could cripple key U.S. computer systems — something akin to the Stuxnet worms attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure, for example — would take many months of planning, significant expertise, and a great deal of money to pull off, writes Isaac Porche.
There may be some spontaneous acts by individuals enraged by Bin Laden's death who are inspired to follow him into martyrdom. But these are the spasms of reaction, not planned retaliatory operations, and will not demonstrate that Al Qaeda can survive Bin Laden, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
What's needed is an international conference of all the regional players that have a greater stake in the outcome of the Afghan/Pakistan conflict than does the U.S., writes David Aaron.
If some measure of democracy does result, the elected governments likely will reflect the popular antipathy that the "Arab street" has for both the United States and Israel, writes David Aaron.
The Taliban view incarceration foremost as a means to attract new recruits and enhance the jihadist resolve and ideological purity of their own members, writes Arturo Munoz.
How should police and intelligence agencies deal with the specter of homegrown terrorism? One of the best tools available is intelligence gleaned from the local community, writes Peter Chalk.
The U.S. and its allies could help Libyans communicate with the outside world by deploying cellphone base stations on aircraft or tethered balloons, write Dan Gonzales and Sarah Harting.
The new, post-Qaddafi era is likely to be marked by the emergence of long-suppressed domestic groups jostling for supremacy in what is sure to be a chaotic political scene, writes Frederic Wehrey.
The most favorable outcome achievable in Egypt might be what we see in Iraq, but without the violence, writes Harold Brown.
Attacks on airports give terrorists the symbolic value they seek and guarantee the attention of the international news media, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Immunization remains the best and first line of defense against serious infectious illness. This year's seasonal flu shot incorporates vaccine for H1N1. It's safe, and it's vitally important to get it, write Art Kellermann and Katherine Harris.
The highly sophisticated Stuxnet computer worm suspected of sending Iran's nuclear centrifuges into self-destruction mode forces a difficult debate on whether longstanding firewalls in our country's democracy should be breached for the sake of national security, writes Isaac Porche.
The recent foiled plot by a naturalized citizen to bomb Washington-area metro stations has national counterterrorism officials warning that the U.S. faces not only risks from abroad, but also homegrown terrorism, write John S. Hollywood and Kevin J. Strom.
One can legitimately argue for reducing the United States' commitment to the Afghan war, but it makes no sense to denigrate the tactics and techniques best designed to counter an insurgency, writes James Dobbins.
We have come through wars, depressions, natural and man-made disasters, indeed higher levels of domestic terrorist violence than that we face today, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
In a world where viruses travel as fast as jets, it becomes important for governments to share timely information and accelerate the production and delivery of vaccines, writes Melinda Moore.