Homeland Security and Terrorism Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access homeland security and terrorism research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas. For additional information, to request documents, or to arrange a briefing, contact the RAND Office of Congressional Relations at ocr@rand.org or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • View from the end of the Ilulissat Icefjord to the town Ilulissat at the Disko Bay in western Greenland at midnight in July, photo by renelo/Getty Images

    Testimony

    Climate Change and U.S. Security in the Arctic

    Sep 19, 2019

    The Arctic's ongoing changes in climate promote both challenges and opportunities. These are influenced by technology, economic, and other factors. Why does climate change in the Arctic matter? And what does the United States need to do about it from a security perspective?

  • World map in red pixels on a dark background, photo by Lidiia Moor/Getty Images

    Report

    Are States Using Cyber Operations to Coerce Others?

    Sep 17, 2019

    Cyber operations have become another tool of statecraft. But have any cyber operations sponsored by Russia, China, Iran, or North Korea met the definition of cyber coercion? If so, how? And what should the United States do to counter it?

  • People carry banners and Algerian national flags during a protest calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit, in Algiers, Algeria, March 22, 2019, photo by Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

    Commentary

    African Dictators Have Been Losing Power—Some to Democratic Governments. Militaries Can Tip the Scales Toward Democracy

    Sep 16, 2019

    Africa's security forces most often make headlines when they commit atrocities, crack down on protesters, or seize power in coups. But Africa's troops can also contribute to democracy and peace when they lay down their arms or refuse orders to turn their guns against the people.

  • The Maute group stronghold with an ISIS flag in Marawi City, in southern Philippines, May 29, 2017, photo by Erik De Castro/Reuters

    Commentary

    Southeast Asia Loves ISIS, but Is the Feeling Mutual?

    Sep 16, 2019

    As the ISIS core in Iraq and Syria attempts to rebuild, Baghdadi and his lieutenants will have to make difficult decisions about where to allocate resources. Now that the caliphate is gone and ISIS must transform into an insurgency, the largely untested lands of Southeast Asia may yield rich rewards.

  • U.S. Marines hold military drills during Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in Washington, D.C., July 4, 2019, photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Commentary

    Americans Have Faith in the Military, but They Don't Understand It

    Sep 13, 2019

    The U.S. military is a central element of America's power and history. It dominates discretionary spending and remains the country's most trusted institution. However, it is peripheral to the daily life of most citizens.

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Briefings

  • Crowd of people walking street, photo by blvdone/Adobe Stock

    How Do We Prevent the Next Homegrown Terrorist?

    May 3, 2019

    What is the right terrorism prevention strategy for the federal government? Brian Jackson will discuss the nature of the homeland terrorist threat, past and current terrorism prevention policies, and recommendations for policymakers. [Washington, D.C.]

  • Chat bot in the form of binary code

    Approaches to Counter Russian Social Media Influence

    Mar 15, 2019

    How can policymakers combat the threat of Russian social media influence? Elizabeth Bodine-Baron will discuss different approaches and policy options to respond to Russian influence via disinformation spread on social media in the United States. [Washington, D.C.]

  • Chinese militaary vehicles carrying DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles, potentially capable of sinking a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in a single strike, travel past Tiananmen Gate during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing Thursday Sept. 3, 2015

    Overcoming the Threats of Our Strategic Competitors

    Mar 27, 2018

    What weapon systems and posture enhancements should Congress and the Defense Department consider to prepare the United States for potential conflicts? In a RAND Congressional Briefing, David Ochmanek will discuss solutions that could help defend against national security challenges. [Washington, D.C.]

  • Capturing data/information theft

    Equifax and the Data-Breach Era: How Worried Should We Be?

    Oct 26, 2017

    Large-scale data breaches have compromised the identifying information of millions of people. What can policymakers do to improve responses to such breaches, and how can the public protect information that has already been compromised? Lilian Ablon and Sina Beaghley answer these questions and more in a RAND Congressional Briefing.

  • Syrian refugees, stuck between the Jordanian and Syrian borders, wait to cross into Jordan near the town of Ruwaished, January 14, 2016

    Lessening the Risk of Refugee Radicalization

    Feb 16, 2016

    Historical cases show that refugee radicalization is not inevitable, but fears within the United States persist. How does radicalization happen within refugee groups? And how can the U.S. government mitigate risks and safeguard the homeland?

More Homeland Security and Terrorism Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

RAND periodically sends newsletters to update Congress on highlights of recent work about terrorism and homeland security.

  • Border fence between USA and Mexico at El Paso/Juarez

    CATCH UP QUICK: Human Smuggling, Terrorism, Coast Guard in the Arctic, and more

    Aug 19, 2019

    RAND experts have testified and answered questions for staff on a variety of homeland security topics this year, including terrorism prevention, fentanyl flows into the United States, and Coast Guard workforce issues.

  • In Case You Missed It: Illicit Supply of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids

    Aug 1, 2019

    RAND's Bryce Pardo discusses how illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids, often from China, are changing the U.S. drug policy landscape. He outlines four potential policy responses to combat the synthetic opioid crisis.

  • In Case You Missed It: How Do We Prevent the Next Homegrown Terrorist?

    Jun 7, 2019

    In this Congressional briefing, Brian Jackson discusses past and current terrorism prevention strategies. He also shares considerations for policymakers and the federal government forging a path forward.

  • Central America on a globe, photo by Bobtokyoharris/Getty Images

    Central American Migrants Pay Smugglers Hundreds of Millions of Dollars On Their Way North

    May 16, 2019

    Who is making money off the flow of migrants from Central America to the United States, and what can policymakers do to disrupt these transactions? A new Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center report finds that transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) are not the only, or even the main, culprits bringing migrants to our border.

  • In Case You Missed It: Approaches to Counter Russian Social Media Influence

    Apr 1, 2019

    In this Congressional briefing, Elizabeth Bodine-Baron discusses different approaches and policy options to respond to the specific threat of Russian influence via disinformation spread on social media in the United States.

  • Runners pass through scanners as they are checked by New York Police Department officers upon arrival for the New York City Marathon, November 3, 2013

    Considering Homeland Security Policy in the 116th Congress

    Feb 4, 2019

    What are the biggest homeland security policy issues facing the 116th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including information warfare, cyber threats, terrorism, and more.

  • A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew conducts vertical replenishment training with the crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Maple in Southeast Alaska's Western Channel

    Catch Up Quick: Homeland Security Issues for Congress

    Aug 14, 2018

    Catch up on the homeland security issues facing Congress, including cybersecurity, the Coast Guard and United States border, and countering violent extremism.

  • Afghanistan

    In Case You Missed It: A Path Forward in Afghanistan

    Jun 14, 2018

    U.S. assistance to Afghanistan has been enormous in scale and complexity for more than a decade and a half. How can the United States increase stability in Afghanistan through civilian and security assistance and best advance U.S. national security objectives? RAND's Laurel Miller recommends a path forward.

  • wargaming

    Overcoming the Threats of Our Strategic Competitors

    Apr 13, 2018

    What weapon systems and posture enhancements should Congress and the Defense Department consider to prepare the United States for potential conflict? David Ochmanek provides recommendations for revising U.S. forces and force planning.

  • Web access

    In Case You Missed It: Data Thieves

    Mar 22, 2018

    In 2017, there were more than one thousand data breaches exposing over a billion records of sensitive data. What's happening to stolen data and how is it being monetized? Lillian Ablon addresses these concerns.

  • Pedestrians walk along 5th Avenue in New York City, June 14, 2016

    Where Do America's Jihadists Come From?

    Dec 19, 2017

    RAND expert Brian Michael Jenkins writes that nationality is a poor predictor of later terrorist activity, and most jihadists in the United States are made in the United States—not abroad.

  • Farmer in tractor preparing land with seedbed cultivator

    In Case You Missed It: Federal Research and Devleopment for Agricultural Biodefense

    Dec 7, 2017

    Daniel M. Gerstein testified before Congress to discuss threats to U.S. agriculture and how federal investments in R&D could help maintain a healthy and vibrant agricultural sector.

  • Hands typing with visual of computer code

    In Case You Missed It: Equifax and the Data-Breach Era

    Nov 13, 2017

    There has been a recent string of large-scale data breaches that have compromised the private information of millions of customers. Lillian Ablon and Sina Beaghley briefed Congressional staff on how the government and breached companies can better protect victims.

  • Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando police chief John Mina, and FBI agent Ron Hopper at a news conference after the attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016

    Catch Up Quick: Homeland Security Issues for Congress

    Aug 15, 2017

    Catch up on the homeland security issues facing Congress, including cybersecurity, terrorism, terrorist financing, and countering violent extremism.

  • The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen in this undated photo in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 5, 2017

    In Case You Missed It: North Korea's Continuous Provocations

    Aug 9, 2017

    Bruce Bennett briefed congressional staff North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, China's role on the Korean Peninsula, and implications for U.S. policy.

  • The Grand al-Nuri Mosque where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a new caliphate in July 2014 is seen in ruins after it was retaken by Iraqi forces from Islamic State militants, June 30, 2017

    In Case You Missed It: The Terrorist Diaspora

    Jul 13, 2017

    An overview of the testimony presented by Colin Clarke before the House Homeland Security Committee Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry into the United States on July 13, 2017.

  • Binary code bursts from phones held by a crowd of people with an overlay of glowing electronic numbers

    Homeland Security Issues in the 115th Congress

    Mar 9, 2017

    RAND experts provide insight on the biggest homeland security issues facing the 115th Congress, including cybersecurity, terrorism, emergency response, DHS management issues, and border security.

  • The ISIS hashtag is seen typed into a Twitter smartphone app, February 6, 2016

    Can U.S. Social Media Strategy Weaken ISIS on Twitter?

    Aug 29, 2016

    ISIS opponents on Twitter outnumber supporters by a six-to-one margin, but the supporters are much more prolific, each producing 50 percent more tweets per day. What steps could policymakers take to help defeat the message of terrorists?

  • Tourists leave from the Enfidha international airport in Sousse, Tunisia, June 27, 2015, after being evacuated following a terrorist attack on the beach

    In the Wake of Terror, is it Safe to Travel?

    Apr 22, 2016

    Major terrorist events trigger public fear that other attacks may soon follow, but there is a lack of evidence to suggest this. Among other findings, RAND researchers discovered an absence of multiple terrorist events following large attacks over the last two decades.

  • French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (L), French President Francois Hollande (C), French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (R), and students observe a moment of silence at the Sorbonne University, Paris, France, November 16, 2015

    American Response to the Terrorist Attacks in Paris

    Dec 15, 2015

    The November 13th coordinated assault in France punctuated a wave of terror attacks. What do the attacks mean for the coalition against ISIS and the global refugee crisis—and how should America respond?

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs official arrests an undocumented immigrant

    Prior Removal and Recidivism

    Jul 30, 2015

    Where should local officials direct their funds in order to address criminally involved unauthorized immigrants? A RAND study suggests local public safety interests and federal immigration enforcement priorities may well align around unauthorized immigrants with a record of prior removal.

  • Confirming information security

    Securing Cyberspace: Is Information-Sharing Enough?

    May 6, 2015

    Information-sharing is an important part of helping to keep companies and government institutions safe from online threats. But in order to address the nation's cybersecurity problem, a broader approach is required.

  • Chain link fence protecting American border

    Homeland Security Issues in the New Congress

    Jan 22, 2015

    From immigration and border security to terrorism and Department of Homeland Security management issues, the new Congress will be confronted with a legislative agenda and policy decision making that will have both major domestic and global repercussions.

  • Computer keyboard with data protection key

    October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    Oct 28, 2014

    Credit card data breaches and photo leaks have policymakers and companies scrambling to make financial data and private information more secure. RAND research focuses on identifying threats to information security and data integrity, and implications for personal and institutional privacy.

  • A man holds up a sign in memory of U.S. journalist James Foley during a protest against the Assad regime in Syria in New York City, Aug. 22, 2014

    Why the U.S. Swaps Prisoners But Doesn't Pay Ransom

    Sep 9, 2014

    Why is the U.S. willing to exchange prisoners but not pay ransom? While there may be confusion about American policy on this issue, there are key differences between the Bergdahl and Foley cases.


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