• Collapse in Afghanistan: Early Insights from Experts

    The sudden end to America’s longest war came Sunday as the Taliban rolled into the capital of Afghanistan and the national government collapsed. Thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghans who worked for Americans are waiting to be evacuated. U.S. troops are at the Kabul airport to keep flights going. RAND experts offer explanations.

  • Why Did a Military Superpower Fail in Afghanistan?

    The criticisms of President Joe Biden’s decision to end U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and of the withdrawal’s logistics, while valid, may be beside the point. There are more fundamental problems with the United States’ strategy in the 20-year war, of which the current chaos is only the latest manifestation. They stem from an approach in which military seizures of territory are intended to fight international extremist movements and ideologies, in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The clear conclusion from all the evidence is that military intervention should be focused on military objectives, and should not diverge into political or social engineering.

  • How the Afghan Army Collapsed Under the Taliban’s Pressure

    Despite having larger numbers and better equipment than the Taliban, Afghan forces were never strong enough to sustain government control in the absence of U.S. firepower.

  • How Has the Terrorism Threat Changed Twenty Years After 9/11?

    The U.S. counterterrorism response to the September 11, 2001, attacks yielded some remarkable successes and disastrous failures in hunting al-Qaeda. The top terrorist threat today, though, is domestic rather than foreign.

  • What Went Wrong for the U.S. in Afghanistan

    The Biden administration’s decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan is an admission that the United States has failed in its costly war in Afghanistan. Why has the United States failed? Jason K. Dempsey, who was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the 2009 “surge,” writes that “Luckily for those…. wondering how all the heroism [of American soldiers in Afghanistan] led to an overall outcome in Afghanistan that fell far short of U.S. aspirations, there are two new books that seek to make sense of the war.”

  • U.K. Top General: Western Powers Must Retaliate for Iran’s Drone Strike on Oil Tanker

    General Nick Carter, chief of the British Defense Staff, said Western powers need to retaliate for an Iranian drone strike on an oil tanker, which killed a British security guard and the ship’s Romanian captain. “What we need to be doing, fundamentally, is calling out Iran for its very reckless behavior,” he said.

  • Iran’s Strategic Challenge to Israel

    In a report prepared for the newly elected president of Israel, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) highlights the main strategic challenges facing Israel and policy recommendations for addressing those challenges.

  • Social Media Platforms Do Little to Limit Online Anti-Semitic Content

    A new report shows how social media companies fail to act on anti-Jewish hate on their platforms. As a result of their failure to enforce their own rules, social media platforms like Facebook have become safe places to spread racism and propaganda against Jews.

  • Furloughed Port, Airport Workers Could Be Targeted by Organized Crime

    The U.K. National Crime Agency has issued an alert to furloughed port and airport workers warning they may be vulnerable to organized crime groups seeking to exploit the Covid crisis. The alert warns that as global restrictions on the movement of people and goods are further relaxed, staff who have a detailed knowledge of controls and processes around the border could be targeted.

  • Building Resilience against Agroterrorism, Agro-crime Threats

    Agroterrorism and agro-crime constitute a considerable threat to the economy and public health. To effectively deal with agroterror or agro-crime using pathogens of animal origin, it is crucial that veterinary and law enforcement agencies are equipped to work together to jointly plan, prepare, and respond to animal disease outbreaks.

  • The Role of (Dis)Trust in Disengagement and Deradicalization

    When designing a disengagement or deradicalization program, there is a need for careful consideration regarding who delivers it and how much they are trusted.

  • Factors Linked to Radical Attitudes and Intentions

    There are many risk factors associated with radical attitudes, intentions, and behaviors (including terrorism) by individuals in democratic countries. A new systematic review finds that the most significant factors are traditional criminogenic and social-psychological factors.

  • Al Qaeda Releases “America Burns” Video, Framing U.S. as Nation in Crisis

    A new propaganda video released by A; Qaeda seeks to portray the United States as weakened, divided, and declining, while Al Qaeda and other extremist groups are positioned as ascendant. This propaganda provides two key pieces of information: first, that Al Qaeda continues to see attacking the U.S. as a critical objective in its overall mission, and, second, the video’s references to lone wolf attacks implies that Al Qaeda may still lack the means to direct sustained attacks within the U.S., and instead hopes one or more individuals take the initiative on their own.

  • Can Drone Warfare in the Middle East Be Controlled?

    Drone attacks are causing a crisis in the Mideast and experts are calling for a better regulatory regime. The drone attacks are part of a worrisome trend in the region: The escalating use of UAVs, both for surveillance purposes and to attack opponents, by countries in the region — but also by nonstate actors there, like militia groups in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, among others. But would more rules even have an impact in the region?

  • Deterring Terrorist Attacks in Sports Megaevents

    Large sports events – the Olympic Games, the Superbowl, the Soccer World Cup – are ideal targets for terrorists. What is the best method to identify the most effective defense measures to minimize the chances of a terrorist attack during a sports mega-event?