Violent extremism has emerged as a pressing problem around the globe. Extremist groups now produce homemade bombs of rapidly increasing lethality, and in the future, might include biological or chemical agents that exponentially expand their deadly reach. The use of cars, trucks, buses, and airplanes as effective delivery modes exacerbate the problem. Sleeper cells, lone wolves, and returning foreign fighters with ready access to weaponry, communication, and infrastructural systems add to the challenge on the home front. Impending violence expected from global trends of climate change and resource shortages portend that the impact of extremist violence will grow with deadly consequences for innocent victims and political consequences for national leaders into the foreseeable future.
The US homeland faces a bewildering array of security issues on a daily basis. As many as 65% of Americans polled recently say terrorism is a top threat facing the country. Current critical concerns include: how to increase the effectiveness of voluntary reporting of suspicious behavior, how to effectively develop “de-radicalization” programs for terrorist prisoners, how to create virtual environments that can maximize the success of early responders without causing bodily injury, how to prepare for security challenges associated with forced migration, how to anticipate and mitigate the threats posed by terrorist pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, how to effectively evaluate of programs aimed at countering violent extremism, and how to understand and anticipate the rapid and complex changes associated with reliance on cyber-systems, from insider threats to anonymous, state-sponsored or state-sanctioned information warfare. The contemporary threat environment is diverse, complex and increasingly hybrid in nature.
The TCV seeks to bring together the work of several different groups of academics carrying out cutting edge research. Scholars in Political Science, Computer Science, Communications, and Global Studies are learning more about the seeds and solutions to ethnic, religious, and other transcultural conflicts.