extreme conditions, ways of responding to the need for spontaneous and informal rescues, and approaches to dealing with citizen noncooperation. Research should also focus on the origins and consequences of organizational failure, miscommunication, lack of coordination, and jurisdictional conflict. Comparative work on cases of successful coordination should also be prominent on the research agenda. The NSF, FEMA, and other agencies should support research—basic, comparative, and applied—on the structure and functioning of agencies responsible for dealing with attacks and other disasters.
The interface between technology and human behavior is an important subject for investigation. The research agenda should be broad-based, including topics such as decision making that affect the use of detection and prevention technologies; the ways in which deployment of technologies can complement or conflict with the values of privacy and civil liberty; and factors that influence the trustworthiness of individuals in a position to compromise or thwart security. All the agencies creating technological systems for the support of first responders and other decision makers should base their system designs and user interfaces on the most up-to-date research on human behavior, especially with respect to issues critical to the effectiveness of counterterrorism technologies and systems.
A major theme of this report is the need for an overall systems approach to counterterrorism. But many of the U.S. government’s departments and agencies do not have the capabilities needed to assess terrorist threats, infrastructure vulnerabilities, and mitigation strategies from a systems perspective. For example, in order to perform the analyses needed to identify vulnerabilities in complex systems and weaknesses due to interconnections between systems, various threat and infrastructure models must be extended or developed and used in combination with intelligence data. A systems approach is especially necessary for understanding the potential impacts of multiple attacks occurring simultaneously, such as a chemical attack combined with a cyberattack on first responder communications and designed to increase confusion and interfere with the response.
The required range of expertise is very broad. Information about threats must come from communities knowledgeable about chemical, biological, nuclear weapons, and information warfare, while vulnerability analysis will depend on information about critical infrastructures such as the electric-power grid, telecommunications, gas and oil, banking and finance, transportation, water supply, public health services, emergency services, and other major systems. In all these areas threat assessments and red-team activities will be essential.
Currently, there is a large volume of information collected and analyzed by the U.S. intelligence community and in industry that is relevant to assessing