Skip to Content
Manchester Metropolitan University Library
Emerging threats and security planning: how should we decide what hypothetical threats to worry about?

Emerging threats and security planning: how should we decide what hypothetical threats to worry about?

Jackson, Brian A., 1972-; Frelinger, Dave

"Concerns about how terrorists might attack in the future are central to the design of security efforts to protect both individual targets and the nation overall. In thinking about emerging threats, security planners are confronted by a panoply of possible future scenarios coming from sources ranging from the terrorists themselves to red-team brainstorming efforts to explore ways adversaries might attack in the future. This paper explores an approach to assessing emerging and/or novel threats and deciding whether, or how much, they should concern security planners by asking two questions: (1) Are some of the novel threats 'niche threats' that should be addressed within existing security efforts? (2) Which of the remaining threats are attackers most likely to execute successfully and should therefore be of greater concern for security planners? If threats can reasonably be considered niche threats, they can be prudently addressed in the context of existing security activities. If threats are unusual enough, suggest significant new vulnerabilities, or their probability or consequences means they cannot be considered lesser included cases within other threats, prioritizing them based on their ease of execution provides a guide for which threats merit the greatest concern and most security attention. This preserves the opportunity to learn from new threats yet prevents security planners from being pulled in many directions simultaneously by attempting to respond to every threat at once."--Page 4 of cover

eBook, Paperback, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, CA : RAND 2009

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Brian A. Jackson, David R. Frelinger
ISBN: 0833048643, 9780833047311, 9780833048646
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 17-19).
Note: Print version record.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (x, 19 pages).
System: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Series: RAND Corporation occasional paper series ; OP-256-RC
Subject: United States Defenses Planning.; Terrorism Prevention.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Terrorism.; National security United States Planning.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Political Freedom & Security Terrorism.; Terrorism United States Prevention.; United States.; Strategic planning.; Military readiness Planning.; Civil defense United States.; National security Planning.; Strategic planning United States.; Civil defense.
Restrictions: Use copy Restrictions unspecified
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.]: HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010.
Series Title: Occasional paper (Rand Corporation) ; OP-256-RC.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Cover
  2. Preface
  3. Contents
  4. Tables
  5. Summary
  6. Emerging Threats and Security Planning: How Should We Decide What Hypothetical Threats to Worry About?
  7. The Variety of Emerging Threats Challenging Security Planning
  8. Framing a Middle-Ground Approach to Addressing Emerging Threats
  9. Identifying Niche Threats
  10. Prioritizing Emerging Threat Scenarios
  11. Conclusions: Security Planning for the Niche and the Novel
  12. References.