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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.
The Dynamic Terrorist Threat: An Assessment of Group Motivations and Capabilities in a Changing Worldby Cheryl Y. Marcum Sara A. Daly Kim Cragin M. Rebecca Kilburn Susan S. Everingham Jill Hoube
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.
China's continuing rapid economic growth and expanding involvement in global affairs pose major implications for the power structure of the international system. To more accurately and fully assess the significance of China's emergence for the United States and the global community, it is necessary to gain a more complete understanding of Chinese security thought and behavior. This study addresses such questions as: What are China's most fundamental national security objectives? How has the Chinese state employed force and diplomacy in the pursuit of these objectives over the centuries? What security strategy does China pursue today and how will it evolve in the future? The study asserts that Chinese history, the behavior of earlier rising powers, and the basic structure and logic of international power relations all suggest that, although a strong China will likely become more assertive globally, this possibility is unlikely to emerge before 2015-2020 at the earliest. To handle this situation, the study argues that the United States should adopt a policy of realistic engagement with China that combines efforts to pursue cooperation whenever possible; to prevent, if necessary, the acquisition by China of capabilities that would threaten America's core national security interests; and to remain prepared to cope with the consequences of a more assertive China.
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.
U.S. railroads have improved their productivity, but increasing freight volume threatens performance-degrading capacity constraints. This report describes the current state of railroad capacity and performance for freight transportation. The public consequences of private investment decisions justify a public role in addressing concerns about railroads, but better data and analysis are needed to inform transportation policy-making.