Cover: Simple Models to Explore Deterrence and More General Influence in the War with al-Qaeda

Simple Models to Explore Deterrence and More General Influence in the War with al-Qaeda

Published Jul 16, 2010

by Paul K. Davis

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Simple, conceptual models can be used to help guide thinking about how to deter or to otherwise influence potential, actual, or disengaging terrorists and the many people who support their organizations directly or indirectly. Deterring terrorism is best approached as part of a broad effort to influence all elements of a terrorist system, and simple, conceptual models of decisionmaking can help in understanding how to affect others' behavior. The paper lays out a theory of how to use influence (including deterrence) to affect elements of a terrorist system, touching on root causes, individual motivation, public support, and likely factors in the decisionmaking of terrorist organizations.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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