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.

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  • U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson speaks at Los Angeles International Airport in California, February 20, 2014

    Commentary

    Go Back to Basics to Reform Homeland Security

    The Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 made the broadest and most sweeping changes to the Pentagon since its establishment in 1947. With the Department of Homeland Security in a similar state just over a decade after its hurried creation, it's time for DHS to have a Goldwater-Nichols of its own.

    Jan 28, 2015

  • Report

    Spotlight on 2014

    Spotlight 2014 is RAND Europe’s annual review. We present our research to support policymaking in four areas of transformation: harnessing the power of ICT, safeguarding society, building healthier communities and innovating for efficiency.

    Jan 27, 2015

  • Iraqi security forces guard during the building of a new road between Diyala province and Samarra December 21, 2014. The Badr Organization, a leading political party and militia with ties to Iran, is supervising the new road.

    Commentary

    Salvaging Iraq

    The Iranian government, particularly the Revolutionary Guards, is playing a huge role in helping the Iraqi security forces fight the Islamic State. Iraq and Iran share a 910-mile border that is mostly porous. Iraq's territorial integrity is critical for Iran too.

    Jan 26, 2015

  • French Muslims hold an Islamic flag and a banner reading "Do not touch my prophet, anything but the Messenger of Allah" as they gather in central Paris January 18, 2015

    Commentary

    Eight Lessons from the Charlie Hebdo Attack

    Among the lessons to be learned from the attacks in Paris are that terrorism has many audiences, Al-Qaida remains a threat, would-be warriors are unconcerned with the schisms among jihadist camps, Europe has a more serious problem, such an attack could happen in the U.S., and intelligence is crucial.

    Jan 23, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015

    Blog

    State of the Union 2015: Clarion Calls on Terrorism, Cyber, Education, and More

    The agenda President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union address can perhaps best be characterized as broad, mirroring the range of diverse and emerging issues facing the U.S. in 2015.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • Saudi border guards patrol Saudi Arabia's northern border with Iraq

    Commentary

    ISIS Aims to Occupy Mecca

    As ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reaches for control of the holy sites in and around Mecca and Medina and the wealth that comes with them, the U.S., NATO, and others should consider providing significant equipment and know-how to shore up the border defenses of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • Protesters set fire to U.S. and Israeli flags to protest the Israeli offensive in Lebanon in front of Istanbul University after Friday prayers in Beyazit Mosque in Istanbul, August 4, 2006

    Blog

    Dialogue on Asymmetric Threats Concludes Two-Day Workshop on U.S. and Israeli Security Challenges

    Few nations have more experience with asymmetric conflicts than Israel and the United States. At the National Press Club in Washington, Brian Michael Jenkins of RAND and Admiral Amichay Ayalon, former director of Shin Bet, Israel's security agency, discussed the dynamics of the changing security environment.

    Jan 16, 2015

  • News Release

    New Book About 'Eurojihad' Explores Evolution of Radical Networks Threatening Europe, U.S.

    Europe is central to Islamist terror organizations and the sources of radicalization of these individuals go far deeper than the current situation in Iraq and Syria. European governments are moving beyond policing and security measures by addressing the factors that encourage and facilitate radicalization and recruitment — approaches that might also be of value to the United States.

    Jan 14, 2015

  • t-call-experts-hr

    Multimedia

    Call with the Experts: Implications of the Paris Shootings

    In this excerpt from an exclusive RAND Policy Circle Call, RAND terrorism experts discuss the deadly shootings at the satirical news magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that have raised fears of a larger, more coordinated form of religiously-motivated terrorism throughout Europe and the West.

    Jan 14, 2015

  • Muslims hold placards as they march towards the U.S. embassy in London, May 2011

    Report

    New Book About 'Eurojihad' Explores Evolution of Radical Networks Threatening Europe, U.S.

    Europe is central to Islamist terror organizations and the sources of radicalization of these individuals go far deeper than the current situation in Iraq and Syria. European governments are moving beyond policing and security measures by addressing the factors that encourage and facilitate radicalization and recruitment — approaches that might also be of value to the United States.

    Jan 14, 2015

  • A woman with a French flag with the words 'I am Charlie' reacts while paying tribute to the victims of a shooting at the offices of French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, during a candlelight vigil at the Liberty Square in Taipei, January 9, 2015

    Commentary

    Why al Qaeda in Yemen Attacked Paris

    The bloodshed in the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was a startling reminder of al Qaeda's ambitions, capabilities, and ruthlessness. And whether or not the attack was planned as a marketing device to help al Qaeda emerge from the expanding shadow of the Islamic State, it may be having that effect.

    Jan 12, 2015

  • Candles and a placard that reads 'I am Charlie' at the French embassy in Berlin, January 7, 2015, tributes to victims of a shooting at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris

    Blog

    Terror in Paris, Answers from RAND Experts

    The attack that claimed the lives of 12 people in the offices of a Paris-based satirical magazine sent waves of terror and disbelief across France today. RAND experts discuss what the terrorists stand to gain from the attack, what it could mean for Muslims around the world, and more.

    Jan 7, 2015

  • Health workers don protective gear before entering an Ebola quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Sierra Leone, December 19, 2014

    Commentary

    What Have We Learned from the Ebola Outbreak?

    For much of 2014, the world has confronted the most deadly Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the disease in 1976. What lessons have emerged? What should the world do to better prepare for transnational outbreaks?

    Dec 31, 2014

  • A prisoner, behind bars

    Commentary

    A Grim Choice: The Attempted Rescue of Hostages

    Many described the attempt to rescue Luke Somers from al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen as “botched,” suggesting it was badly or carelessly planned or executed. “Desperate” may be more apt. Such measures aren't undertaken without a grim calculus weighing the chances of success against a range of other outcomes, most of which involve the hostages' doom.

    Dec 19, 2014

  • An airline passenger stands in a full-body scanner at a TSA checkpoint at LAX in February 2014 after U.S. authorities issued a warning to airlines to watch out for militants who may have hidden bombs in their shoes

    Commentary

    What Research Says About Profiling

    When police take action on the basis of race, creed, or ethnicity it is corrosive, unfair, ineffective, and can stoke the flames of police-community tension. But as we have found from a variety of assessments, law enforcement is best served when it bases its activities on risk—not on personal characteristics.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • A hostage runs toward a police officer outside Lindt cafe, where other hostages are being held, in Martin Place, Sydney, December 15, 2014

    Blog

    Could the Sydney Café Siege Happen Elsewhere?

    As the world mourns those lost in the Sydney café siege, investigations have begun examining the efficacy of Australia's anti-terrorism measures and details about the background and motives of the gunman. At the same time, terrorism experts are reflecting on where else such an attack could emerge.

    Dec 17, 2014

  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (L) discusses a report on the CIA's anti-terrorism tactics on the floor of the U.S. Senate as Senators Debbie Stabenow (rear) and Patty Murray look on, Washington, December 9, 2014

    Commentary

    Why the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA May Both Be Right

    Given that many questions of fact regarding the CIA's program of enhanced interrogation techniques can probably never be conclusively answered, the real issue comes down to a value judgment: whether inflicting physical pain on prisoners is an acceptable means of reducing the risk of terrorist attacks.

    Dec 12, 2014

  • Posters of a boy, killed in Shi'ite-Sunni violence, displayed on his grave in Sanaa, Yemen, November 17, 2014

    Commentary

    The Tortured Roots of Sectarian Violence

    The recent increase of sectarian terrorism is best understood as a product of the ancient Sunni-Shiite divide, the growth of modern-day extremist groups, the Iranian-Saudi rivalry, and the growing phenomenon of fractured states.

    Dec 12, 2014

  • A bulldozer is parked in the Queens borough of New York where a concrete foundation is all that remains of a house that burned to the ground during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012

    Report

    Lessons Learned from Implementing Infrastructure Resilience Guidelines

    The Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force developed guidelines to ensure that federal agencies incorporate key principles of resilience into their formulation, evaluation, and prioritization of infrastructure investments related to Sandy rebuilding. An initial assessment of the implementation of the guidelines identifies opportunities and challenges.

    Dec 9, 2014

  • Rob Cox and Kenneth Feinberg at RAND's Politics Aside 2014

    Blog

    In the Wake of Disaster: Practical and Philosophical Challenges of Victim Compensation

    When tragedy strikes, Kenneth Feinberg is often the person companies and governments turn to for help to determine appropriate monetary compensation. At RAND's Politics Aside event last week, he shared some of his thoughts on what goes into making those decisions, and why it's so important to meet with victims.

    Nov 20, 2014