Researchers evaluated the Federal Emergency Management Agency's terrorism risk formula, which considers threat, vulnerability, and consequences of terrorist attacks for allocating resources to the Homeland Security Grant Program.
The U.S. policy goal of preventing Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists remained constant for 20 years even as the dynamics of the war and the will of the policymaking community changed and there was no apparent hope of military victory. Why?
Targets for foreign threats against the United States increasingly include entities that are not part of the U.S. government or military. But too many of these potential victims are unaware of threats against them, are not warned with intelligence reporting about such threats, and lack information about options to protect themselves.
In this Perspective, RAND researchers describe how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security could leverage science and technology communities to support the use of science, technology, innovation, and analytical capabilities during crisis response.
Some policymakers and analysts have expressed concern that weaknesses in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic will motivate terrorists to seek biological weapons. While the prospect of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda pursuing biological weapons is not zero, it is unlikely, given the difficulties involved and the availability of simpler alternatives.
With the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan and a growing humanitarian crisis, the United States faces several policy options. While isolation is the usual response to an unwelcome regime change, engagement offers the only prospect to advance U.S. interests in the country, mainly counterterrorism and humanitarian relief.
Western policy- and decisionmakers continue to grapple with how to define acts of terrorism and when it is appropriate to bring terrorism charges. Establishing a consensus on the definition of terrorism and bringing to center stage the importance of adequately charging acts of terrorism could be more important than ever.
It is not clear that an official designation of domestic extremists as terrorists would confer additional benefits that would outweigh potential risks to U.S. civil liberties. A combined government effort that facilitates mitigation strategies to preempt violence by hate groups, while also actively stemming the flow of online disinformation, may be a good first step in reducing homegrown extremism.
What is the right terrorism prevention strategy for the federal government? Brian Jackson discusses the nature of the homeland terrorist threat, past and current terrorism prevention policies, and gives recommendations for policymakers.
Gathering evidence in the area of counter violent extremism (CVE) is vital, given the increasing role for CVE interventions in the political and security environment. Evaluations of these interventions can play a role in growing this knowledge, by helping the CVE field itself to develop.
National capabilities for terrorism prevention, which refers to options other than traditional law-enforcement action to respond to the risk of individual radicalization to violence, are relatively limited. Most rely on local or non-government efforts, and only a subset receive federal support.
Shortfalls in national terrorism prevention efforts have come not only from limited programmatic focus and resource investment, but also from critics seeking to constrain or halt such efforts. The most effective path for the U.S. government would be to support state, local, nongovernmental, and private terrorism prevention efforts rather than building capabilities itself.
Current terrorism prevention capabilities are relatively limited. In law enforcement, government, and some community organizations, there is a perceived need for federal efforts to help strengthen local capacity. However, any federal efforts will need to focus on building community trust to be successful.
Addressing adaptation by adversaries and its implications for security planning requires understanding the ways attackers can respond to new defensive measures. This paper demonstrates an analysis of such preferences using open source data.
Defeating ISIL is only possible if political conditions change in the Middle East, North and West Africa, and South Asia, and in ways that are exceedingly unlikely. The coalition should focus on reducing ISIL's ability to conduct attacks and on removing the underlying conditions that feed Sunni grievances.