October 19, 2001
Terrorism today reflects both enormous change and remarkable continuity. New adversaries with new motivations and new rationales have appeared in recent years to challenge some of our basic assumptions about terrorists and terrorism. Their emergence, however, has not yet produced the anticipated changes in either terrorist weaponry or tactics that were predicted to follow in the wake of the Aum Shinrikyp's 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway. This presentation examines the implications of these changes and continuities on U.S. national security, with particular reference to the threat of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) terrorism. It further assesses the policy issues and questions raised both by the threat and the attendant preparedness and response measures adopted in recent years.
Dr. Bruce Hoffman is Vice President for External Affairs and Director of The Rand Corporation, Washington, DC office. He was the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he was also Reader in International Relations and Chairman of the Department of International Relations. Dr. Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, the leading scholarly journal in the field, and a member of the advisory boards of both Terrorism and Political Violence and Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs. He holds degrees in government, history, and international relations and received his doctorate from Oxford University. In November 1994, the Director of Central Intelligence awarded Dr. Hoffman the United States Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, the highest level of commendation given to a non-government employee, which recognizes sustained superior performance of high value that distinctly benefits the interests and national security of the United States. In recognition of his academic contributions to the study of political violence, in June 1998 Dr. Hoffman was awarded the first Santiago Grisoliá Prize and the accompanying Chair in Violence Studies by the Queen Sofia Center for the Study of Violence in Valencia, Spain. Dr. Hoffman is Chairman of the International Research Group on Political Violence, a Washington, D.C.-based group, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Airey Neave Trust in London, that seeks to find new approaches to countering terrorism. He was also a member of the Panel of Experts appointed by Argentina's National Congress, Special Bichamber Investigation Follow-Up Commission of the Attacks Against the Israeli Embassy and the A.M.I.A. Building, to advise the Argentine government and Supreme Court. Dr. Hoffman's latest book, Inside Terrorism, is published by Columbia University Press in the U.S. and by Orion Books in Britain. Foreign language editions have been published in eight countries.