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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.
Colombia has experienced significant political instability and violence over the past century due to a number of factors, including the proliferation of small-arms trafficking. The authors identify the sources and routes used by arms traffickers to acquire, buy, sell, receive, transfer, and ship weapons. They also examine the various groups and individuals who purchase and use these munitions. The authors examine Colombia's political conflict through the lens of small-arms trafficking and conclude with policy implications for the United States.
Examines al-Qaeda??s evolution and the emergence of the broader global jihadist movement-groups affiliated, associated, or inspired by al-Qaeda-and the threat that they pose to the United States and U.S. allies and interests. The authors conclude by setting out a four-pronged strategy to counter the jihadist threat.
Examines violent terrorist groups that, while not formally allied with al-Qaeda, could pose a threat to Americans now or in the future and to the security of our friends and allies. The authors show how terrorists use criminal organizations and connections to finance their activities, and they identify distinct strategies to neutralize or mitigate these threats.
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.
Combat stress casualties are not necessarily higher in city operations than operations on other types of terrain. Commanders and NCOs need to have the skills to treat and prevent stress casualties and understand their implications for urban operations. The authors review the known precipitants of combat stress reaction, its battlefield treatment, and the preventive steps commanders can take to limit its extent and severity.
The Dynamic Terrorist Threat: An Assessment of Group Motivations and Capabilities in a Changing Worldby Cheryl Y. Marcum Susan S. Everingham Jill Hoube Kim Cragin M. Rebecca Kilburn Sara A. Daly
As the war on terrorism wages on, our nation's policymakers will continue to face the challenge of assessing threats that various terrorist groups pose to the U.S. homeland and our interests abroad. As part of the RAND Corporation's yearlong "Thinking Strategically About Combating Terrorism" project, the authors of this report develop a way to assess and analyze the danger posed by various terrorist organizations around the world. The very nature of terrorism creates a difficulty in predicting new and emerging threats; however, by establishing these types of parameters, the report creates a fresh foundation of threat analysis on which future counterterrorism strategy may build.
This study of the Mumbai, India, terrorist attack of November 2008 identifies the operational and tactical capabilities displayed by the terrorists and evaluates the response of the Indian security forces, with the goal of helping counterterrorism authorities in India and elsewhere to prepare for or counter future terrorist attacks on urban centers.
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.
Terrorism and Development: Using Social and Economic Development to Inhibit a Resurgence of Terrorismby Peter Chalk Kim Cragin
This report examines the social and economic development policies enacted by three countries--Israel, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom--to inhibit a resurgence of terrorism within their jurisdictions. Drawing on a broad research base, including numerous first-hand interviews, the authors outline the initiatives implemented by each country then assess their effectiveness, with the aim of informing U.S. decisionmakers of the benefits and pitfalls of such initiatives as they develop policy to counter terrorism.
Using a two-tiered framework areas applied to eight case studies from around the globe, the authors of this ground-breaking work seek to understand the conditions that give rise to ungoverned territories and make them conducive to a terrorist or insurgent presence. They also develop strategies to improve the U.S. ability to mitigate their effects on U.S. security interests.
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