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.
As debate continues about how to fight a resurgent Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan and along the Pakistan border, leaders in Washington, Kabul and Islamabad seem lost about what to do next.... And most experts agree that an Al Qaeda-orchestrated attack on the U.S. homeland would likely be plotted from their sanctuary in these border areas, write Benjamin Bahney and Renny McPherson.
Given American concerns about nuclear proliferation and the possibility of nuclear terrorism, tying U.S.-Russian cooperation in the nuclear domain with the current Russia-Georgia quarrel may amount to shooting ourselves in the foot in a misguided attempt to punish Russia, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
America is uniquely susceptible to nuclear terror. Beneath our characteristic national optimism lie seams of anxiety, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Will terrorists go nuclear? It is a question that worried public officials and frightened citizens have been asking for decades. It is no less of a worry today, as we ponder the seventh anniversary of 9/11, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Too often we talk only about the ongoing challenges facing education, health care, transportation and economic development across the Gulf South — Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.... We need to determine new ways to work together across state lines to focus on solutions that will benefit the entire region, writes Melissa Flournoy.
A significant emphasis has been placed on female suicide bombers' tactical success, and efforts to determine why they kill focus on al-Qaida's recruitment of women. But little attention is paid to the personal motivation women have for killing themselves and dozens of innocents around them, writes Farhana Ali.
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. Indeed, the US reliance on military force – especially conventional military forces – has often been counterproductive, write Seth G. Jones and Martin C. Libicki.
Muslim female suicide bombers are on the rise.... But for those of us who have studied the phenomenon, the assaults should not come as a surprise, writes Farhana Ali.
As we continue to pour invaluable resources into our sixth year in Iraq, and the U.S. public and politicians wonder what we should do next, now may be a good time to revisit the overarching theory of our campaign plan in the Pacific: Colonel Cardinal's Iceberg Theory, writes Dick Hoffmann.
In academia and, increasingly, corporate America, sabbaticals are a time-honored way to step aside from the daily grind and intellectually reboot. The U.S. Army should embrace something similar, writes Laura Miller.
The time may come to start contemplating whether Syria might follow the example of Libya and make its way off the axis of evil, write Cheryl Benard and Ed O'Connell.
[T]he United States should leave no one in doubt: participation or complicity in a WMD attack will trigger "overwhelming" and searching retaliation, writes Elbridge Colby.
The United States can and should move beyond a "one size fits all" approach to sizing military forces toward a construct that shapes each service for the types of operations it is actually expected to conduct in the future, write Andrew Hoehn and David Ochmanek.
Cheryl Benard and Ed O'Connell write about their time in Syria discovering creative outlets in media, such as how a director in a country known for defending terrorism could produce "entertainment" that portrayed quite the opposite.
The United States no longer can afford to blindly support Musharraf. Hence, America is moving toward defining a new policy direction for Pakistan, and for good reason, writes Farhana Ali.
[K]illing or capturing bin Laden remains a vital national and, indeed, international priority. Not only is it important — it is worth devoting significant resources and making major tradeoffs to do so, writes Elbridge Colby.
Tornado deaths and injuries are the predictable result of poorly conceived construction patterns that threaten to reverse the benefits that have resulted from advanced storm warning and forecasting capabilities, writes Charles Meade.
As the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States approaches, al Qaeda appears to be gaining strength. America remains on alert. As Brian Michael Jenkins states in this commentary for the Washington Post, it's reasonable to wonder whether, how and when this conflict will end.
Nothing is more important in the global war on terrorism than reducing the production of new terrorists, writes Brian Michael Jenkins in a commentary appearing in United Press International.
Sunni insurgents are coming to the view that they cannot successfully resist both the U.S. and the Shiite-dominated government at the same time. Increasing numbers of Sunni fighters in Anbar Province are therefore preparing for a tactical accommodation with the less dangerous enemy, the U.S., writes James Dobbins.