The U.S. Capitol attack on January 6 has fueled momentum for new approaches and laws to counter attacks by domestic violent extremists. It will be crucial for policymakers to reckon with what new laws and law enforcement can achieve, and what they can get wrong.
Apr 7, 2021 The Hill
U.S. counterterrorism strategy has long been driven by the assumption that security at home depends on fighting terrorists abroad. How will that square with the president's pledge to end forever wars? Is it possible to get out of warfighting without shutting down vital counterterrorist operations?
Mar 12, 2021 Military Times
Momentum is building in Congress for legislation to deal with domestic terrorism. Here are five purely pragmatic reasons to be wary of addressing domestic terrorism with a new law.
Feb 24, 2021 The Hill
The beliefs driving today's domestic extremists are deeply rooted in American history and society. For this and several other reasons, shutting them down will prove far more difficult than combating homegrown jihadists.
Feb 1, 2021 The Hill
The political environment is changing in a way that goes beyond immediate security concerns. The prevalence of threats and violence as a feature of American politics will ripple throughout the political system. Our politics could be distorted by the vicious atmosphere for years.
Jan 25, 2021 NBC News THINK
The history of politically charged violence in and against the United States can be read in the reports of its national commissions. The takeover of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 demands such an inquiry.
Jan 20, 2021 Los Angeles Times
The deadly mob assault on the U.S. Capitol Building was a predictable possibility. Democracy held, but security failed, spectacularly. We need to be better prepared for future acts of political violence.
Jan 11, 2021 The Hill
The COVID-19 pandemic has roiled the elections. The United States is deeply divided and the political system is polarized. Under these fraught circumstances, even a minor event can have far-reaching repercussions. What are the prospects for domestic terrorism in the context of U.S. elections?
Oct 7, 2020 The RAND Blog
To keep the jihad going after 9/11, al Qaeda exhorted homegrown terrorists to take up arms in the United States. ISIS later made similar appeals. These calls to arms yielded some plots and a few attacks, but overall, the American jihad was a failure.
Sep 23, 2020 The Hill
The U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic has further cleaved an already deeply divided society. The conditions facing the United States today are reminiscent of those that gave rise to the radicalism of the 1970s and could once again lead to political violence, including terrorism.
Aug 17, 2020 NBC News THINK
Today's self-selecting solo terrorists answer only to their god, whether seeking to destroy all government, pursuing racial separation or genocidal goals, expressing sexual dissatisfaction, or simply wanting to leave their mark. Military operations are irrelevant. This is a deeper societal problem.
Jul 20, 2020 Fox News Channel
Russia's hostile information operations are continuous and extend to a broad range of domestic issues. First Amendment concerns are important, but they do not protect hostile information campaigns by foreign actors, nor are they a legal excuse for inaction by the United States.
May 11, 2020 The Hill
Iranian retaliation for Soleimani's killing and counter-retaliation by the United States seem likely. But Tehran and Washington have good reasons to inflict limited pain without engaging in a full-scale war.
Jan 6, 2020 Fox News Channel
Fifty years ago, urban guerrillas in Rio de Janeiro kidnapped the American ambassador to Brazil, setting off a worldwide wave of terrorist kidnappings that continues today. Although few of the terrorist groups that engaged in kidnapping over the past half century have survived, seizing hostages funded their operations and earned them notoriety. And for that reason, it will likely remain a mainstay of the terrorist tool kit.
Sep 25, 2019 Homeland Security Today
It's not clear if Hadrian's Wall was necessary to prevent Scottish fighters from invading the Roman Empire. Neither is it clear how effective Trump's wall would be at repelling undocumented immigration and smugglers. Hadrian's Wall may have been of symbolic value to those on both sides of it. Trump's could be, too.
Mar 6, 2019 United Press International
Leaving ISIS detainees in the desert may sound like an apt punishment, but it's dangerous. Repatriation and prosecution could help ensure ISIS volunteers don't scatter to other jihadist fronts.
Mar 5, 2019 The Hill
Detailed information on how many would-be terrorists may have sought to cross the southern border is being withheld on the grounds that it is sensitive. The refusal of officials to offer a fuller explanation of the numbers illustrates how the continued expansion of secrecy in government is damaging the ability of the public to assess the risk and evaluate the response.
Feb 13, 2019 The Hill
Terrorists are increasingly using vehicles as attack weapons, killing more than 150 people in the last 18 months. If this trend continues, the urban landscape will change as bollards, barricades and barriers, chicanes and checkpoints surround and subdivide public spaces. But do they make us safer?
Dec 19, 2017 U.S. News & World Report
American jihadists are made in the United States, not imported. Homegrown terrorists have accounted for most of the jihadist activity in the U.S. since 9/11, with most of those who carried out or plotted terrorist attacks either born in the U.S. or arriving as children.
Dec 4, 2017 The Hill
The terrorist attack in Barcelona has added urgency to discussions of what can be done to prevent terrorists from using vehicles as weapons. Many potential security measures would be disruptive, costly, and could easily be circumvented by a determined terrorist.
Sep 5, 2017 Fox News Channel
To leaders of the Islamic State group, murder of its own and collective suicide are keys to its defense strategy. The group targets malcontents and the most suggestible, knowing they are desperate to belong to something and willing to die for it.
Jun 20, 2017 U.S. News & World Report
Terrorism has escalated horizontally, not vertically. Instead of weapons of mass destruction, there has been a proliferation of low-level attacks. The trick will be to predict and prevent new plots.
Jun 19, 2017 Newsweek
The eventual fall of ISIS-controlled Raqqa will necessitate a review of U.S. policy in Syria. Policymakers can start thinking about the questions it will raise now.
Jun 16, 2017 Defense One
The number of attacks like the one on London Bridge are low because jihadist ideologies have failed to gain traction in most Muslim countries, and it's difficult to recruit people remotely. Supporting violence and participating in it are two different things.
Jun 7, 2017 Fortune
Terrorists can attack anything, anywhere, any time. Preventing all pure terrorism is impossible, but seeking ways to divert vulnerable people from the terror path as Prime Minister May has discussed is a worthy step in that direction.
Jun 5, 2017 The Hill
The use of chemical weapons today provokes international condemnation, if not always action. Those who order their deployment risk being charged with war crimes. So why would Syria's President Bashar Assad use them?
Apr 14, 2017 U.S. News & World Report
Terrorism aims to create terror. Building an effective counterterror strategy could help society understand how terrorism works, then work together toward a psychologically more resilient and less vulnerable mindset.
Mar 16, 2017 United Press International
The struggle against jihadist terrorism has a long way to go. All courses of action come with risks, but are not mutually exclusive. The U.S. could escalate the fight, work with state partners in the Middle East, or withdraw from the region.
Mar 6, 2017 The Hill
It's not unreasonable to seek a review of immigration, and refugee-vetting procedures make sense. But America's jihadist terrorists are not imported from abroad. They are mostly homegrown.
Feb 10, 2017 The Hill
The deployment of additional U.S. forces and other NATO units to Poland, Norway, the Baltics, and other states symbolically reinforces the West's commitment to the alliance. But countering Russia's influence will require a fundamental reformulation of EU and U.S. political strategy.
Feb 8, 2017 The National Interest
Countering mass violence demands a distinction between attackers who are truly inspired by jihadism and those with lesser links. The latter includes people whose mental states and violent tendencies preexist their exposure to the ideology.
Jan 27, 2017 The Hill
The capture of Mosul, Iraq, may produce a potential trove of information about how ISIS organized itself to run a large city. Collecting, analyzing, and disseminating this material will be a major effort, one of the most important as the city is liberated.
Nov 18, 2016 The Hill
The battle of Mosul is not just about defeating ISIS. It is about restoring Mosul to the multi-ethnic city it once was. The Syrian government's style of warfare in Aleppo, however, accepts that Syria will remain a divided country.
Nov 14, 2016 The Hill
Acts of pure terrorism are truly arbitrary and extremely difficult to protect against, but they are rare. Improved domestic counterterrorist efforts have uncovered and interrupted close to 90 percent of jihadist terrorist plots in the U.S. since 9/11.
Sep 26, 2016 Boston Herald
Much has changed since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Counterterrorism efforts have made progress, and Americans are safer. But it's unclear how much further the fight against terrorism has to go.
Sep 7, 2016 CTC Sentinel
There were no attacks like 9/11 during Obama's eight years in office. But there were plenty of terrorist adversaries. While he will be judged in part for his domestic achievements, Obama's counterterrorism choices are a major part of his legacy.
Aug 22, 2016 The Mark News
The history of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula catalogues every dimension of frustration in combatting terrorism. But is it possible that the United States and its Gulf allies are finally getting the measure of AQAP?
Aug 22, 2016 The Cipher Brief
Jabhat al-Nusra, which recently announced that it was severing its affiliation with al Qaeda, is now Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. This means less than meets the eye, but it does say something about the local atmosphere in Syria.
Aug 8, 2016 The Hill
Whatever the investigations of recent terrorist attacks reveal, the facts may be portrayed (or ignored) to fit narratives written even before the blood has dried.
Jul 11, 2016 The Hill
The Istanbul attack will renew calls to extend existing security screening at the front doors of terminals. But checkpoints create bottlenecks and queues of people waiting to get through them, which then become an easy target.
Jul 1, 2016 The Hill
As national security and war are being redefined for the digital age, Silicon Valley will need to be on the front line of counterterrorism. Its inventors and entrepreneurs are driving the information revolution, and they must figure out how to protect vital systems against malevolent intrusions.
Jun 13, 2016 TechCrunch
Evidence suggests that the threat of terrorism need not affect individuals' behavior and travel decisions, not even in the wake of attacks such as those in Brussels and Paris.
May 21, 2016 USA Today
Anti-Muslim demonstrations complicate efforts to combat terrorism. They also exaggerate the threat, perpetuate overblown fears, and punish innocents who may be on America's side.
May 12, 2016 Dallas Morning News
If they haven't already, the Islamic State's leaders will soon formulate a contingency strategy, a Plan B that the West will then be forced to contend with.
May 11, 2016 Foreign Policy
What effect did killing bin Laden have on al Qaeda's ability to pursue its jihadist goals? Does high-value targeting contribute to counterterrorist strategy more broadly? Does killing terrorist leaders work?
May 2, 2016 The Cipher Brief
Salah Abdeslam is suspected of being the logistics man for the November terrorist attacks in Paris. His capture may provide authorities with a window into the ISIS network in Europe.
Mar 22, 2016 CNN
In less than two years, ISIS's black flag has flown in a dozen countries outside of Syria and Iraq. And terrorist attacks have been carried out in its name in the West, including in America. But how serious is the threat that ISIS's brand of jihad will spread on a global scale?
Mar 18, 2016 The Cipher Brief
It could take a change in leadership in both Al Qaeda and ISIS and perhaps some compromises on mission and strategy, but there are enough points of confluence to make a united jihadist front a realistic and frightening possibility.
Mar 14, 2016 Fox News Channel
The NYPD's purging of its 2007 report on radicalization may give some satisfaction by symbolically breaking the connection between the current mayoral administration and the NYPD's previous intelligence and investigative efforts. But its significance seems questionable.
Jan 26, 2016 The Hill
Dwight and Steven Hammond were charged under a law enacted to fight terrorism, not rein in wayward ranchers. Anti-terrorist laws should not be used to strengthen prosecutors' hands in nonterrorist prosecutions—it makes national security needs look like an instrument of oppression.
Jan 13, 2016 Slate
The handling of terrorist threats on Los Angeles and New York City schools calls into question the ability of national and local government to coordinate a terrorist crisis involving two or more cities.
Dec 23, 2015 The Hill
Of 134 jihadist-inspired terrorists who have carried out or plotted attacks in the United States since 9/11, 96 were U.S. citizens and 19 others were legal permanent residents. While some level of comfort may be drawn from the fact that terrorists are not pouring into the country, there is no basis for complacency.
Dec 18, 2015 The Hill
Despite being the focus of renewed scrutiny, only three people involved in terrorist incidents have entered the United States via the visa waiver program in the past quarter-century.
Dec 7, 2015 The Guardian
Terrorists almost always have the advantage. Theoretically, they can attack anything, anywhere, anytime. And governments cannot protect everything, everywhere, all the time.
Nov 16, 2015 Slate
In Paris, the heavily armed terrorists reportedly struck at six locations, including restaurants, a football stadium, and a theater during a rock concert. It seems clear the killers must have had some confederates. That would mean some terrorists are still at large.
Nov 14, 2015 CNN
A bright flash and catastrophic event suggest an explosion, but do not necessarily exclude the possibility of a mechanical failure. This would not, in fact, be the first time evidence pointed to a terrorist attack when none existed.
Nov 12, 2015 The Hill
How should the United States respond to Russia's intervention in Syria's civil war? Here are five options intended to encourage rational thinking based upon realistic presumptions, not media or campaign-driven hype.
Oct 21, 2015 The Hill
The conflicts in Syria and Iraq have generated the greatest volume of refugees since World War II. If the international community is to avoid seeing the emergence of a population of new Palestinians lasting decades into the future, it will have to craft a more coherent approach.
Oct 9, 2015 The Hill
Since the American-led coalition bombing campaign began a year ago, ISIS has suffered some military setbacks and lost territory, but it also has been able to capture several more key cities in Iraq and Syria, and, despite the bombing, continues to attract a large number of foreign fighters.
Sep 28, 2015 The Hill
While terrorists and criminals joining forces is certainly a scary thought, it's nothing new and not something that works as simply in practice as it does on a white board. Still, it's a threat worth watching.
Aug 31, 2015 The Cipher Brief
While terrorism worldwide has increased over the past four decades — and the threat of terrorism continues to dominate Americans' fears — the 14 years since 9/11 have been tranquil on the home front compared to the violent 1970s.
Jul 30, 2015 The Hill
The terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia, and Kuwait are just the latest warnings that ISIS is turning its campaign into a global enterprise.
Jun 29, 2015 New York Daily News
We have to accept that humans, no matter how well-trained they are or how dedicated they are to their mission, are just not very good at maintaining laser-like focus while performing repetitive tasks. That does not mean airport security can ever be completely given over to machines.
Jun 15, 2015 The Hill
In light of recent kidnappings ending in the deaths of American hostages, appointing a 'hostage czar' may seem like a sound idea. But the creation of a high-profile position for hostage issues raises policy questions and comes with operational risks.
Jun 1, 2015 The Hill
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 The Hill
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 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
Poverty and oppression may explain why people in some countries embrace violent extremism, but it does not account for the flow of Western volunteers or the dreamy allure of fighting for a faraway cause. Biographies of those who have reached out to participate in jihad suggest a variety of motives, including alienation, personal crises, dissatisfaction with empty spiritual lives, and adolescent rebellion.
Mar 20, 2015 The Hill
France and the United States follow different approaches in dealing with terrorist suspects. This divergence reflects differences in the threat, historical experience, law, available resources, and public attitudes. France faces a more serious terrorist threat than the U.S. does.
Mar 2, 2015 The Hill
Predicting 'dangerousness' of potential terrorists is a hit-and-miss endeavor. Unless someone is waving a gun, it is extremely difficult. Even with direct access to the subject, parole boards, suicide prevention units and even trained clinicians get it wrong.
Mar 2, 2015 The Hill
The investigation will eventually fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge of the events leading up to the attacks in Paris, but some questions will remain unanswered. Embedded in the unknowns are some of the chronic dilemmas faced by counterterrorist authorities everywhere.
Feb 26, 2015 The Hill
ISIS's decision to murder its Jordanian hostage by burning him alive may turn out to be a strategic miscalculation, but it is not madness. Through self-selection, continued fighting, and the exaltation of unlimited violence, ISIS has created a cult whose members command and revel in displays of ever-increasing cruelty.
Feb 10, 2015 The Hill
A grisly video released yesterday by ISIS appears to show Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh burned alive in a cage. Why the shift away from beheadings? What does the execution mean for Jordan? What implications will it have for ISIS?
Feb 4, 2015 The RAND Blog
Today, the U.S. confronts a multilayered terrorist threat and the recent spate of attacks in Europe underscores the necessity for ensuring that intelligence keeps up with it. Intelligence services must continue to prevent terrorist assaults dispatched from abroad, head off new shoe and underwear bombers, intercept individuals returning from jihadist fronts with terrorist intentions, while at the same time uncovering and thwarting homegrown plots.
Jan 30, 2015 The Hill
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 Slate
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
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 The Hill
The existing pool of determined jihadists in America is very small and lacks training and experience, which fighting in Syria and Iraq would provide. Returning jihadi veterans would be more formidable adversaries. Still, the threat appears manageable using current U.S. laws and existing resources.
Nov 19, 2014 The Hill
Critics say President Obama dragged his feet on sending more troops to Afghanistan, on addressing the dangers in Libya, on providing support to Syria's rebels and, most recently, on initiating military action against Islamic State. But is that necessarily such a bad thing?
Oct 22, 2014 Los Angeles Times
More than 60 countries have joined the coalition against ISIS, with at least 12 participating in the air campaign. Eventually, this will be an impressive armada, but the campaign is still in its first stage, and most of the coalition participants joined the effort only recently.
Oct 17, 2014 The Hill
Before embracing American boots on the ground as a strategy to fight ISIS, it's essential to be clear about what they're going to do, what they may require, and what risks may be entailed.
Oct 15, 2014 Defense One
In domestic debates about what the United States should do to blunt the threat posed by ISIS, Americans often forget the adversary also has options. A determined force, ISIS will counter the bombing campaign.
Oct 10, 2014 The Hill
Congress has not addressed President Obama's plans to take other military steps against ISIS. Some members of Congress do not want to vote on the use of military force until after the upcoming elections. Among these are some who fear their vote could cost them votes.
Sep 25, 2014 The Hill
Reports that the United States refused to pay ransom for journalist James Foley, only weeks before it released Taliban prisoners in exchange for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, have caused confusion about U.S. policy. On the surface, it may seem inconsistent. Why release prisoners but not pay ransom?
Sep 2, 2014 The Hill
Disrupting the terrorist safe havens in Syria and Iraq would require a balanced approach that makes the business of terrorist planning and training difficult without entangling U.S. forces in new conflicts and angering the very populations the United States seeks to assist.
Aug 18, 2014 The Hill
The threat of global terrorist enterprises has been enhanced by Western fighters joining al Qaeda offshoots like the Islamic State. With the terrorist threat evolving, the United States has little choice but to evolve with it.
Jul 31, 2014 Slate
While placing explosives inside a cellphone is plausible, it is almost impossible to do so with iPhones without rendering them non-functional, which is why the TSA is now checking cell phones are actually working.
Jul 29, 2014 CNN
In seeking to quell the unrest in Iraq, the United States must balance its own interests with those of a diverse cast of players that includes Iraq, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, an unpredictable and violent jihadist front and others.
Jul 15, 2014 U.S. News & World Report
It is difficult to see how the United States can favorably affect the situation in Iraq without making a costly and risky investment. But that does not mean doing nothing. An immediate objective is to contain the conflict.
Jul 14, 2014 The Hill
Will the Obama administration be blamed for losing Iraq if it does not order military intervention? Or will history judge the president wise for keeping U.S. forces out of war? As Americans debate assisting Iraq, including the possibility of military intervention, here are 10 things to keep in mind.
Jun 19, 2014 The Hill
As appealing as a successful mission to rescue the 200 school girls held hostage by Boko Haram in Nigeria might appear, the use of U.S. military assets to mount a rescue attempt would be a mistake.
Jun 13, 2014 The Ripon Forum
The historical record suggests that when many hostages are involved, rescues are bloody affairs. Early RAND research on hostage situations showed that of all the ways hostages may be killed—during the initial abduction, trying to escape, murdered by their captors or during the rescue—79 percent died during the rescue.
May 19, 2014 U.S. News & World Report
Those charged with security must think in terms of 360-degree security—not only screening passengers coming through the terminal, but also preventing unauthorized access to the aircraft from the air operations side of airport.
May 13, 2014 Mineta Transportation Institute
Battles between rival rebel groups and within terrorist organizations are not uncommon. Terrorists may compete with each other, sometimes in deadly battles, for the control of sources of financing. Some of the internal struggles are about who will lead.
May 5, 2014 The Hill
In the long run, al Qaeda might be able to reel in its more unreliable offspring, assert more control, demand their obedience, and call upon their resources to assist in global operations. But without a stronger center, that possibility seems remote.
Apr 25, 2014 The Hill
Orlando Sentinel editorial writer Darryl E. Owens interviewed Brian Michael Jenkins, senior adviser to the president of RAND. They discussed last year's Boston Marathon bombing and the current threat of terrorist acts in the United States.
Apr 16, 2014 Orlando Sentinel
Overall, divisions in Al Qaeda's ranks are good news for the United States. While the split will not end the jihadists' terrorist campaigns, it will preoccupy Al Qaeda's leaders and create uncertainty in its ranks.
Feb 25, 2014 The Mark News
No one can predict with any certainty what terrorists might do next. If there is one lesson America learned about counterterrorism on 9/11, it's that the coming attack may look nothing like those that preceded it.
Feb 24, 2014 Insurance Journal
The effects of security measures ought not to be measured solely in terms of prevention. Different types of countermeasures produce different effects, such as deterrence, making it easier for security to intervene during an attempted attack, and providing visible security that reassures the public.
Feb 7, 2014 Inside Science
Counterterrorism is not just about daring raids and drone strikes. It is about the hard work of collecting and sifting through vast amounts of information and managing relationships among organizations that often regard sharing information as an unnatural act.
Feb 7, 2014 U.S. News & World Report
Russia seems to be taking prudent steps to make the games the safe and secure display of athleticism and international good fellowship they once were. The outcome hinges on a pair of unknowns: the secret counterterrorism strategies Russian authorities have undertaken and the terrorists’ capacity for creativity and surprise.
Feb 5, 2014 CNN
Americans should be able to discuss the terrorist threat and how best to meet it, how much of the country’s precious resources should be devoted to homeland security, and the impact intelligence efforts can have on personal privacy and freedom.
Feb 5, 2014 Slate
From the Black September attacks on Israeli athletes in 1972, to the post 9/11 games in Salt Lake City, to the 2012 games in London, security has been a concern at all modern Olympics. Recent terrorist attacks in Russia, though, present particular concern as the world's athletes descend on Sochi.
Jan 31, 2014 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
With little chance of a negotiated end to the fighting, the war in Syria is likely to drag on. And even if somehow the bloodshed were to end relatively soon, the war will leave a legacy of odium and thousands of fighters that will threaten the region and beyond far into the future.
Jan 17, 2014 U.S. News & World Report
The Volgograd attacks have brought renewed world attention to the unresolved conflict in the turbulent Caucasus. The bombings no doubt have rattled Russian nerves. While Umarov's reputation among extremists will rise, President Putin's reputation as defender of Russia is at stake.
Dec 31, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
The American investment in Syria thus far can be accurately described as timid and minimal. The United States can do more to assist the rebels without directly using American military power or sliding into a strategy of escalation.
Dec 23, 2013 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
Recent comments by key U.S. lawmakers have again raised the issue of where the United States is in its campaign against al Qaeda. This has left some to wonder if the terrorism threat is increasing and if Americans are not as safe as they were a year or two ago. Three senior RAND analysts offer their take.
Dec 10, 2013
With its current 47,000 screeners, an armed TSA would become the federal government's largest armed entity outside of the military. In the eyes of many, arming TSA screeners would change the image of the organization from a service aimed at guaranteeing safe air travel to an unwanted imposition of federal authority.
Nov 7, 2013 Los Angeles Times
Shootings at airports are nothing new, writes Brian Michael Jenkins. In fact, they have regularly occurred worldwide in recent years. The motives have included terrorism, crime, and mental illness.
Nov 2, 2013 The RAND Blog
Special operations to capture terrorists are more dangerous than drone strikes, and nimble terrorist adversaries will develop countermeasures to make them even more difficult. But they are politically more acceptable and offer opportunities for intelligence and the visible delivery of justice.
Oct 24, 2013 USA Today
Other than as a geographic expression, Syria has ceased to exist, writes Brian Michael Jenkins. With Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah support, Bashar Assad's forces, at the moment, appear to have gained the initiative over a fragmented rebel movement.
Oct 16, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
By most assessments, U.S. influence in the Middle East has dramatically declined since the Arab uprisings began in January 2011. Critics have blamed this on inept diplomacy by the current administration, but this is only a partial explanation for America's loss of authority in the region.
Sep 16, 2013 Slate
Like the measured attacks that may soon strike Syrian targets, America's first military attacks on Serbia, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan were not aimed at regime change. Their purpose was to retaliate for attacks or coerce changes in policy.
Sep 9, 2013 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
Some believe the Muslim Brotherhood should stay in the political game, adopting the role of loyal opposition. The Brotherhood would remain a minority party, but it could continue to hold offices, provide social assistance that the government does not, and demonstrate its continuing strength at the polls.
Aug 26, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
Over the last 12 years, the campaign against al Qaeda has dominated U.S. policy. From this perspective, al Qaeda has been a beneficiary of the Arab uprisings in general and of recent events in Egypt and Syria in particular. The longer the turmoil continues, the greater al Qaeda's possible gains, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Aug 23, 2013 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
There is, at present, no known terrorist group in the United States that has the organization and human resources to assemble an operation of the complexity and scale of the Mumbai attack, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Jul 10, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
Involvement can transform members of the public from helpless bystanders into active participants in their own defense, thereby reducing fear and alarm, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
May 13, 2013 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
Dealing with chemical weapons in Syria is a complicated and dangerous task, but nowhere near the challenge of securing a nuclear arsenal in a country consumed by crisis, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
May 1, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
The risk of overreaching in the name of homeland security is great. But the best and most likely outcome of this latest attack would be a measured security response built around Americans engaging anew in their own security, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Apr 19, 2013 Slate
With an army divided, any type of foreign intervention would be complex and fraught with extraordinary risk—success would be a long shot. But the loss of a nuclear weapon or fissile material would change the world.
Apr 12, 2013 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
The costly removal of Saddam Hussein won no applause, earned no gratitude, established no reliable ally, and produced no lasting strategic benefit, says Brian Michael Jenkins.
Mar 22, 2013 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto and President Obama both face daunting domestic challenges and have ambitious domestic agendas, but both presidents are savvy politicians who realize that each will benefit from the other's success, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Feb 20, 2013 The Orange County Register
Coinciding with continuing, contentious hearings on the U.S. response to last September's terrorist attack in Benghazi, the attack on the Amenas natural gas facility in Algeria has elevated a more general debate about the war on terrorism and U.S. policy in Africa, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Jan 31, 2013