Research Areas

Tracking the Impact of Homegrown Extremism: 

In 2016, we launched our new “Terrorism in America After 9/11” project providing in depth data on who the more than 350 Americans accused of jihadist terrorism crimes are and the threats they pose. The database received more than 350,000 visits in 2016, and is a regular source for the Washington Post and other outlets covering both jihadist terrorism and the deadly toll of far-right-wing terror.

Assessing the Future of the Terrorist Threat: 

In 2016, New America published four policy papers on the terrorist threat. “Jihadist Terrorism 15 Years After 9/11” analyzed the transformation of the threat while “ISIS in the West” examined more than 700 cases of Westerners joining militant groups in Syria. “All Jihad is Local” examined 3,500 of ISIS’ own personnel files while “China’s De-extremization of Uyghurs in Xinjiang” delved into China’s fraught efforts at countering violent extremism.

Promoting Local Resilience: 

We published “War and Tweets: Terrorism in America in the Digital Age,” a report based on field research in Orlando. The report draws lessons from Orlando’s response to the deadliest attack in the United States since 9/11 in order to inform responses to future attacks. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer spoke at the launch event for the paper.

Building the Definitive Drones Resource: 

We track drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Our data is widely cited by news outlets including the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post. We also track the global proliferation of drones with our “World of Drones” database. Luke Hartig, a program fellow, published a paper on President Obama’s Presidential Policy Guidance for the use of drone strikes, which he helped craft while on the National Security Council.

Analyzing the Future of War: 

In 2016 New America and Arizona State University (ASU) held their second annual Future of War conference. The Chief of Staff of the Army, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force all spoke. More than 650 policymakers, practitioners, and analysts attended the conference. The Future of War team also continues to teach and lecture at ASU and publish widely.

Acting Beyond the White Paper: 

In 2016, we published six books disseminating our ideas far beyond the traditional policy paper. Peter Bergen’s United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists, received rave reviews in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and was the basis for an HBO documentary. Janine Di Giovanni’s The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria, also received excellent reviews in the New York Times and other outlets for its chronicling of the human toll of the Syrian war. David Kilcullen’s Blood Year: The Unraveling of Western Counterterrorism expanded the essay he wrote of the same name, which won Australia’s renowned Walkley prize. Rosa Brooks’ How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon examined the blurring of the lines between war and not-war and how it is changing our society. It also received strong reviews in the New York Times and other outlets. Brian Fishman’s The Master Plan: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory provides one of the best looks at what drives ISIS based on never before seen documents from the group itself while David Wood’s What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars explores the impact of our wars on those fighting them. Reviews of Fishman and Wood’s books have not yet come out as they were just published.