A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

White Paper: A Multi-Layer Assessment of Terrorism in its Current and Future Manifestation


White Paper: A Multi-Layer Assessment of Terrorism in its Current and Future Manifestation

START researchers provide expert insight

July 25, 2013

START researchers participated in a series of interviews that resulted in a white paper aimed to advance the ongoing national dialogue on terrorism, exploring how scholars, practitioners and operators understand terrorism in both its current manifestation and as anticipated in the future. The paper, "Over a Decade Later?What Now? What Next?: A Multi-Layer Assessment of Terrorism in its Current and Future Manifestation," also seeks to better refine and address the "disease" (preconditions, perceptions, and underlying drivers) and not just the "symptoms" (terrorist attacks) of terrorism, and spark new thinking about:

  • the merits of a whole-of-nation response to terrorism;
  • the value of creating a national defense narrative that is clear, inclusive and helpful for explaining to domestic and international audiences what the U.S. is fighting for; and
  • what it means to define our terrorism response in accordance with our nation's values.

Among the social science researchers, interagency analysts and military officers interviewed, START's Gary Ackerman, Victor Asal, Martha Crenshaw, Clark McCauley and John Sawyer contributed to the report providing their expertise and empirically based research findings. The white paper was written and published by the Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

The paper can be downloaded here.