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<em>Countering Terrorism:  Dimensions of Preparedness</em>

Countering Terrorism: Dimensions of Preparedness

Book, MIT Press

Authors: Robyn Pangi, Former Research Specialist, Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness, International Security Program, Arnold Howitt, Senior Advisor, Ash Institute

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Belfer Center Studies in International Security

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security; Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness


"Countering Terrorism presents compelling, well-grounded ideas at the nexus of national security and emergency preparedness."
--Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University and former Assistant Secretary of Defense

"Writing from diverse vantage points, the authors provide in-depth information and highly perceptive analyses about the vast task of preparing the nation for terrorism."
--Warren Rudman, former U.S. Senator and and Co-Chair, Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security

"Countering Terrorism presents sharply focused, probing, and insightful essays useful to practitioners and citizens."
--William Bratton, Los Angeles Police Chief and former New York City Police Commissioner


The United States now knows that it is vulnerable to terrorist attacks. In Countering Terrorism, experts from such disparate fields as medicine, law, public policy, and international security discuss institutional changes the country must make to protect against future attacks. In these essays, they argue that terrorism preparedness is not just a federal concern, but one that requires integrated efforts across federal, state, and local governments.

The authors focus on new threats -- biological attacks, "dirty bombs" containing radioactive materials, and "cyberattacks" that would disrupt the computer networks we rely on for communication, banking, and commerce -- and argue that US institutions must make fundamental changes to protect against them. They discuss not only the needed reorganization of government agencies but such institutional issues as establishing legal jurisdiction to respond to new threats, preparing health workers for attacks involving mass casualties, and equipping police, fire, and other emergency workers with interoperable communications systems. The final essays examine how Israel, Japan, and the United Kingdom have dealt with domestic terrorism, and what the United States can learn from their examples.


Arnold M. Howitt directs the Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness and co-chairs the Crisis Management training program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Robyn L. Pangi is a research associate at the Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness.


For more information about this publication please contact the ISP Program Coordinator at 617-496-1981.

For Academic Citation:

Arnold M. Howitt and Robyn L. Pangi, eds. Countering Terrorism: Dimensions of Preparedness. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003.

Document Length: 352 pp.

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