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Better ways are needed to understand how terrorist groups increase their effectiveness and become more dangerous. Learning is the link between what a group wants to do and its ability to actually do it; therefore, a better understanding of group learning might contribute to the design of better measures for combating terrorism. This study analyzes current understanding of group learning and the factors that influence it. It presents detailed case studies of learning in five terrorist organizations and develops a methodology for ascertaining what and why groups have learned, providing insights into their learning processes.
Technology systems play a key role within a larger, integrated strategy to target groups' efforts and protect the public from the threat of terrorist violence. This study draws on relevant data from the history of a variety of terrorist conflicts to understand terrorists' counter-technology efforts. Fully exploring adversaries' counter-technology behaviors can help make the best choices to protect from the nation from the threat of terrorism.
Whether U.S. terrorism-prevention efforts match the threat continues to be central in policy debate. Part of this debate is whether the United States needs a dedicated domestic counterterrorism intelligence agency. This book examines such an agency's possible capability, comparing its potential effectiveness with that of current efforts, and its acceptability to the public, as well as various balances and trade-offs involved.
Challenges and Choices for Crime-Fighting Technology Federal Support of State and Local Law Enforcementby William Schwabe Brian A. Jackson Lois M. Davis
Under the American federal system, most law is cast as state statutes and local ordinances; accordingly, most law enforcement is the responsibility of state and local agencies. Federal law and federal law enforcement come into play only where there is rationale for it, consistent with the Constitution. Within this framework, a clear role has been identified for federal support of state and local agencies. This report provides findings of a study of technology in use or needed by law enforcement agencies at the state and local level, for the purpose of informing federal policymakers as they consider technology-related support for these agencies. In addition, it seeks to characterize the obstacles that exist to technology adoption by law enforcement agencies and to characterize the perceived effects of federal assistance programs intended to facilitate the process. The study findings are based on a nationwide Law Enforcement Technology Survey and a similar Forensics Technology Survey (FTS) conducted in late spring and early summer2000, interviews conducted throughout the year, focus groups conducted in autumn 2000, and review of an extensive, largely nonacademic literature. Companion reports: Schwabe, William, Needs and Prospects for Crime-Fighting Technology: The Federal Role in Assisting State and Local Law Enforcement, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 1999. Davis, Lois M., William Schwabe, and Ronald Fricker, Challenges and Choices for Crime-Fighting Technology: Results from Two Nationwide Surveys, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 2001.
With terrorism still prominent on the U.S. agenda, whether the country's prevention efforts match the threat the United States faces continues to be central in policy debate. One element of this debate is questioning whether the United States should create a dedicated domestic intelligence agency. Case studies of five other democracies--Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK--provide lessons and common themes that may help policymakers decide. The authors find that* most of the five countries separate the agency that conducts domestic intelligence gathering from any arrest and detention powers* each country has instituted some measure of external oversight over its domestic intelligence agency* liaison with other international, foreign, state, and local agencies helps ensure the best sharing of information* the boundary between domestic and international intelligence activities may be blurring.
Concerns about how terrorists might attack in the future are central to the design of security efforts to protect both individual targets and the nation overall. This paper explores an approach for assessing novel or emerging threats and prioritizing which merit specific security attention and which can be addressed as part of existing security efforts.
Changes in technology and adversary behavior will invariably produce new threats that must be assessed by defense and homeland security planners. An example of such a novel threat is the use of cruise missiles or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by terrorist groups. Individual threats cannot be assessed in isolation, however, since adversaries always have many options for staging attacks. To examine this threat, RAND utilized a ?red analysis of alternatives? approach, wherein the benefits, costs, and risks of different options are considered from the point of view of a potential adversary. For several types of attacks, the suitability of these systems was compared against other options. This approach can help defense planners understand how the capabilities that different attack modes provide address key adversary operational problems. Given the insights this analysis produced about when these systems would likely be preferred by an attacker, RAND explored defensive options to address the threat. UAVs and cruise missiles represent a ?niche threat? within a larger threat context; therefore, defenses were sought that provide common protection against both this and other asymmetric threats. The monograph concludes with a discussion of cross-cutting lessons about this threat and the assessment of novel threats in general.
The ability to measure emergency preparedness is critical for policy analysis in homeland security. Yet it remains difficult to know how prepared a response system is to deal with large-scale incidents, whether it be a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or industrial or transportation accident. This volume describes a method, based on the concept of system reliability, for evaluating the preparedness of emergency response systems.
In December 2001, a conference held in New York City brought together individuals with firsthand knowledge of emergency responses to terrorist attacks to discuss ways to improve the health and safety of emergency workers who respond to large-scale disasters. The meeting considered the responses to the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the 1995 attack at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as well as the emergency responses to the anthrax incidents that occurred through Autumn 2001. This book is intended to help managers and decisiomakers understand the unique working and safety environment associated with terrorist incidents, understand the equipment needs of emergency workers, and improve education and training programs and activities directed at the health and safety of emergency responders.
Firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical service responders play a critical role in protecting people and property in the event of fires, medical emergencies, terrorist acts, and numerous other emergencies. The authors examine the hazards that responders face and the personal protective technology needed to contend with those hazards. The findings are based on in-depth discussions with 190 members of the emergency responder community and are intended to help define the protective technology needs of responders and develop a comprehensive personal protective technology research agenda.
U.S. communities depend on reliable, safe, and secure rail systems. Each weekday, more than 12 million passengers take to U.S. railways. This book explains a framework for security planners and policymakers to guide cost-effective rail-security planning, specifically for the risk of terrorism. Risk is a function of threat, vulnerability, and consequences. This book focuses on addressing vulnerabilities and limiting consequences.
Case studies of 11 terrorist groups in Mindanao, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and southwest Colombia show how these groups have exchanged technologies and knowledge in an effort to innovate (i.e., improve their operational capabilities). The analysis provides national security policymakers with insight into the innovation process and suggests ways that government policies can create barriers to terrorists' adoption of new technologies.
Examines how terrorists make technology choices and how the United States can discourage terrorists' use of advanced conventional weapons. Concludes that the United States should urgently start discussions with key producer nations and also decide on an architecture needed to impose technical controls on new mortar systems that should enter development soon.
Deterrence--a central feature of counterterrorism security systems and a major factor in the cost-effectiveness of many security programs--is not well understood or measured. This paper offers a framework for understanding how security systems may deter or displace attacks and how to measure the relative deterrent value of alternative systems. This framework may aid in attempts to achieve increased security benefits with limited resources.
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