The Evolving Terrorist Threat: Implications for Global Security

People light candles at a vigil in Trafalgar Square the day after an attack, in London, Britain March 23, 2017

Candles at a vigil the day after an attack in London.

Photo by Stefan Wermuth/Reuters


Tuesday, June 27, 2017


9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


RAND Corporation
1200 South Hayes Street
Fourth Floor
Arlington, Virginia 22202

About the Conference

With terrorist attacks from London, Paris, and Berlin to Kabul and Manila, this conference will examine the evolving threat from ISIS, al Qa’ida, and other groups. It is divided into three panels. The first explores the threat from ISIS and other groups across the globe. The second focuses on Iraq, Syria and the Middle East. The third examines and assesses the effectiveness of the U.S. and allied strategies.

See below for the conference agenda. A light breakfast and lunch will be available. The social media hashtag for the conference is: #ISISConference.

Register for the Conference

Register Online

8:15 - 9:00 AM

Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:20 AM


Seth G. Jones
Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND

Jack Riley
Vice President, National Security Research Division, RAND

Colin Clarke
Full Political Scientist, RAND

9:20 - 10:40 AM


Change or Continuity Since 2014: ISIS in Global Context?

  • How do you view the ISIS threat on a global scale (including the threat from affiliates in Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere, as well as the threat posed by foreign fighters) now that ISIS is losing its territorial foothold?
  • Are ISIS' objectives fundamentally different from what they were a few years ago?
  • What do answers to these questions mean as ISIS tries to adapt and survive?
  • What does this mean for al Qa'ida and other terrorist groups, including Hezbollah?


Eric Schmitt
Senior Writer, New York Times


Ali Soufan
Chairman and CEO, Soufan Group

Seth G. Jones
Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

10:40 - 11:00 AM

Coffee Break

11:00 - 12:20 PM


Next Steps for the Caliphate in Iraq and Syria: What Does ISIS Look Like in the Middle East by 2018?

  • What will happen if Iraq spirals into vicious sectarian fighting once again?
  • Will ISIS' message resonate in Iraq and Syria and within the region?
  • Which countries within the Middle East are essential to stabilize by 2018 and which partner nations' cooperation are necessary?


Lynn E. Davis
Senior Fellow, RAND


Ryan Crocker
Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq

Linda Robinson
Senior Policy Researcher, RAND

William McCants
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

12:20 - 1:00 PM


1:00 - 2:10 PM

Lunch Speaker

The War against al Qa'ida and ISIS: A Net Assessment


Andy Hoehn
Senior Vice President for Research and Analysis, RAND


The Honorable Michael G. Vickers
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence

2:10 - 3:30 PM


Questioning Fundamental Assumptions: Is the United States Succeeding Against ISIS?

  • How have your views changed over the past year?
  • How should the U.S. and its allies go about ‘defeating' ISIS and al Qa'ida?
  • How would you devise a better strategy?


Mark Mazzetti
Washington Investigations Editor, New York Times


Ben Connable
Senior Political Scientist, RAND

Philip Mudd
Independent Consultant and CNN Contributor

Peter Bergen
Vice President, New America Foundation

3:30 PM

Closing Remarks