Researchers collaborate across disciplines at RAND to evaluate terrorist, military, nuclear, cyber, and other threats to U.S. national security — identifying emerging threats, scrutinizing known risks, and evaluating potential strategic and tactical responses. Recent studies have included examinations of al Qaeda, the Afghan insurgency, and Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
More near-real-time analysis and better internal and external integration could enhance the performance and value of the Department of Defense's biosurveillance programs. This study, conducted at the request of the Office of Management and Budget, finds that improvements are needed in key enablers, including funding.
Managing homeland security risks involves balancing concerns about numerous types of accidents, disasters, and terrorist attacks. This research presents individuals' relative concerns about homeland security hazards and the attributes which influence those concerns. The consistency and agreement of the rankings, as well as the individual satisfaction with the process and results, suggest that the deliberative method for ranking risks can be appropriately applied in the homeland security domain.
While there is evidence of North Korean biological weapons, little is known with certainty a bout the biological weapon agents the North has developed, which of these agents it has weaponized, and how it would use them. This testimony from RAND expert Bruce Bennett addresses the nature of the potential North Korean biological weapon threat and how the ROK and United States should prepare to counter potential biological weapon attacks.
"At the moment, al Shabaab does not appear to be plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland. But there are several reasons why America should still be concerned about al Shabaab," explains Seth Jones in his October 3, 2013 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "Its terrorist attack at Westgate Mall in Kenya and its follow-up attacks are a stark reminder that the Somalia-based group remains lethal."
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is an amorphous, resilient, and adaptive terrorist organization that has shown extraordinary staying power in the face of counterterrorism operations. The United States should not be the tip of the spear in efforts against AQIM, except in cases involving a direct and imminent threat to the U.S. homeland.
The United States needs to adopt an increasingly nuanced — but long-term — approach to countering the al Qa'ida movement, says Seth Jones. U.S. policymakers should view the al Qa'ida threat as a decades-long struggle like the Cold War.
Lashkar-e Taiba poses a grave danger to U.S. interests and citizens in South Asia, but is less of an immediate risk to the American homeland than a Mumbai-style attack — one dramatic and shocking enough to inspire widespread terror even without the use of weapons of mass destruction or a casualty-count in the thousands.
A Mumbai-style attack is conceivable in the United States, although probably not one at anywhere near the scale of the 2008 assault in India, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Syria is attracting a growing cadre of foreign fighters from the West, who could potentially return home with the capability to conduct attacks against the United States and its allies, says Seth Jones.
In the past, qualitative conceptual causal models called "factor trees" were used to identify the factors that contribute to aspects of terrorism or insurgency and how the factors relate to each other. This report goes beyond the qualitative by specifying a prototype computational social-science model of public support for terrorism and insurgency.
To meet complex security challenges in the future, the Department of Homeland Security must develop integrated plans that set priorities, direct resources to programs and activities to achieve outcomes consistent with these priorities, and conduct evaluations to ensure these outcomes are realized.
"The U.S., while worried about a '9/11 in cyberspace,' also ought to worry about what a '9/12 in cyberspace' would look like," warns Martin C. Libicki in testimony presented before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats on March 21, 2013. The consequences of the reaction to a cyberattack could be more serious than the consequences of the original action itself.
The U.S., while worried about a "9/11 in cyberspace," also ought to worry about what a "9/12 in cyberspace" would look like. The consequences of the reaction to a cyberattack could be more serious than the consequences of the original action itself.
Analysis of data on suicide attacks in Israel suggest that assessing sociocultural, political, economic, and demographic factors in addition to geospatial data enhances the ability to predict future suicide attack targets.
U.S. embassies shored up security in the wake of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Going forward, the security plan for the U.S. diplomatic presence abroad must include strategies to detect and prevent such attacks before they occur.
How do governments characterize cyber threats and what role does law enforcement play in tackling cyber crime in different countries? These are some of the questions RAND Europe investigated on behalf of the Swedish National Defence College to inform the development of the Swedish Cyber Security Strategy.
This report provides an assessment of the validity of preference profiles and associated weights used in the Dutch National Risk Assessment. It also offers recommendations to incorporate public values using scientifically validated methods.
Among security considerations for diplomatic missions abroad is the amount and type of support provided by the host government, the method for acquiring knowledge of what is happening outside the embassy in the surrounding neighborhoods, and the actual structure of the buildings and layout of the diplomatic compound.
RAND analysts posit that federal budget deficit pressure may result in further Defense Department reductions, and suggest starting from a strategy basis in determining cuts, prioritizing challenges, and identifying where to accept more risk.
Questions the current common view of the North Korean missile program and seeks to better characterize the North Korean missile threat by comparing the available data on the North Korea missile program against several possible hypotheses.