Areas of Expertise: Insurgency & Irregular Warfare/CT; Middle East and North Africa
R. Kim Cragin is the senior research fellow for counterterrorism at the National Defense University. Dr. Cragin has conducted research on terrorism for over 20 years. Prior to joining the National Defense University in 2015, she was a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. She also has taught at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland. Dr. Cragin served as senior staff to the 9/11 FBI Review Commission. In the spring of 2008, she spent three months on General Petraeus' (ret.) staff in Baghdad. Dr. Cragin has conducted fieldwork in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Pakistan, northwest China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka, among others. Her mixed methods research focuses on counterterrorism, foreign terrorist fighters, radicalization and recruitment, and terrorist groups’ use of new technologies.
Dr. Cragin has published widely in academic and policy journals. Her most recent publications include “Preventing the Next Wave of Foreign Terrorist Fighters,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, February 2019; “Virtual Planners in the Arsenal of Islamic State External Operations,” Orbis, Spring 2018; “Metastasis: Exploring the Impact of Foreign Fighters in Conflicts Abroad,” Journal of Strategic Studies, November 2017; and, “The Challenge of Foreign Fighter Returnees,” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, April 2017. Among her many RAND reports are Why Do Individuals Reject Violent Extremism? (2016 and 2017); Social Science for Counterterrorism (2009), Sharing the Dragon’s Teeth: Terrorist Groups and the Exchange of New Technologies (2007) and Dissuading Terror (2004). Kim’s book Women as Terrorists was released in 2009. She has a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Duke University and completed her Ph.D at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
- 2019. Cragin, Kim, “Assessing the Threat from Homegrown Extremists Sympathetic to the Islamic State,” Lawfareblog, 7 July 2019.
- 2019. Cragin, R. Kim. “Preventing the Next Wave of Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Lessons Learned from the Experiences of Algeria and Tunisia, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism," Online release February 2019.
- 2019. Cragin, Kim, “The Challenge of Failed Cities for Countering Violent Extremism.”
- 2018. Cragin, Kim, “The Enemy Gets a Vote,” Lawfareblog, 16 September 2018.
- 2018. Cragin, R. Kim, “The Riptide: How Foreign Fighter Returnees Could Shape the Jihadist Movement,” 20 March 2018.
- 2018. Cragin, R. Kim and Ari Weil. “Virtual Planners in the Arsenal of Islamic State External Operations,” Orbis, Spring 2018.
- 2017. Cragin, R. Kim. “The Challenge of Foreign Fighter Returnees,” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, accepted manuscript, February 2017. Online release April 2017, Published July 2017.
- 2017. Stipanovich, Susan and Kim Cragin, "Metastases; Exploring the Impact of Foreign Fighters in Conflicts Abroad," Journal of Strategic Studies, 29 November 2017.
- 2017. Cragin, Kim R., "Foreign Fighter Hot Potato," Lawfare, 26 November 2017.
- 2017. R. Kim Cragin, "The November 2015 Paris Attacks: The Impact of Foreign Fighter Returnees," Orbis, Spring 2017.
- 2017. Marcellino, William, Kim Cragin and Joshua Mendelsohn et al, “Measuring the Popular Resonance of Daesh’s Propaganda,” Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol 10, No. 1. March.
- 2017. Davis, Lynn, Jeffrey Martini, and Kim Cragin, “A Strategy to Counter ISIL as a Transregional Threat,” RAND Perspective, Santa Monica, RAND Corporation.
- 2017. Cragin, R. Kim and Phillip Padilla, “Old Becomes New Again: Kidnappings by Daesh and other Salafi Jihadists in the 21st Century,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, accepted manuscript.
- 2016. Cragin, R. Kim, “Countering Terrorism,” in R.D. Hooker Jr (ed) Charting a Course: Strategic Choices for a New Administration, Washington DC, NDU Press.
- 2016. Cragin, R. Kim et al, What Factors Cause Individuals to Reject Violent Extremism? Results of an Exploratory Analysis in the West Bank, Santa Monica, RAND Corporation
- 2015. Cragin, Kim, “Semi-Proxy Wars and U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 38:5, pp. 311-327.
- 2014. Cragin, Kim, “A Recent History of al-Qa’ida,” The Historical Journal, 67:3 (September 2014), pp. 803-824.
- 2013. Cragin, Kim, “Resisting Violent Extremism: A Conceptual Model for Non-Radicalization,” Terrorism and Political Violence, (December 2013), pp. 337-353.