Countering Terrorism

From Belfer Center Studies in International Security

Countering Terrorism

Dimensions of Preparedness

Edited by Arnold M. Howitt and Robyn L. Pangi





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.


$55.00 X ISBN: 9780262083249 491 pp. | 6.25 in x 9.25 in


$29.00 X ISBN: 9780262582391 491 pp. | 6.25 in x 9.25 in


Arnold M. Howitt

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

Robyn L. Pangi is a research associate at the 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

  • 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

  • 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