CNA’s Program on Transnational Challenges (PTC) is an integrated research program that builds on CNA’s existing work on cross-border and borderless threats, such as terrorism and piracy, and expands into new areas of research on complex and inter-connected trends, including transnational organized crime, natural resource scarcity, and major population shifts and the movement of people globally. The goal of this program is to build understanding not only the direct effects these challenges have on U.S. national security interests, but also the complex second-, third-, and fourth-order outcomes of these challenges that are often difficult to identify and untangle. This program applies the deep expertise in a wide variety of fields—including counter-terrorism, maritime security, cyber security, public health, law enforcement, partner capacity building, regional studies, and environmental science—that exists across CNA using a cross-functional approach to explore current and emerging transnational challenges in the following areas:
- Transnational Challenges and U.S. National Security: Defining and Prioritizing Borderless Threats, 2017.
- Countering Networks of Crime and Extremism, 2017.
- Shining a Light on the Western Balkans, 2017.
- Water Resource Competition in the Brahmaputra River Basin: China, India, and Bangladesh, 2016.
- Piracy, Illegal Fishing, and Maritime Insecurity in Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania, 2013.
- The Long Littoral Project: Summary Report, 2013.
Our work supports a wide range of U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the Department of State; foundations; non-governmental organizations; and the private sector. Please contact Julia McQuaid, Director of CNA's Program on Transnational Challenges, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In the News
“Jonathan Schroden, who directs the Special Operations program at the CNA defense think tank, said the changes could be anything from unconventional warfare and information operations to high-risk missions against near peers.”
Al-Monitor: “Pentagon Adjusts War Games to Cope With Iran Threat”
Julia McQuaid says, “Iran is one example of water stress triggering unrest on the low end, whether those are riots, protests or strikes. Cape Town could potentially be another example.”
CNA: “Water Stress a Compounding Factor in Global Unrest and Terrorism”January 18, 2018
Julia McQuaid says while water stress doesn't lead straight to conflict, "It can be catalyst, It can be a thing that breaks the system."
The New York Times: "Warming, Water Crisis, Then Unrest: How Iran Fits an Alarming Pattern"May 19, 2017
War on the Rocks publishes “Cuba: From Threat to Partner?” by CNA analysts William Rosenau, Ph.D. and Ralph Espach, Ph.D.May 4, 2017
Global Journalist interviews CNA analyst Ralph Espach, Ph.D. in “Venezuela’s Other Crisis: Drug Trafficking"April 17, 2017
CNA releases the sixth episode of CNA Talks, a new podcast on current affairs. CNA analyst and episode host Bill Rosenau, Ph.D. discusses Latin American security issues with Ralph Espach, Ph.D. and guest scholar Joseph S. Tulchin, Ph.D.April 12, 2017
New Security Beat quotes CNA analyst Julia McQuaid in “Water and the Rise of Insurgencies in the ‘Arc of Instability’”March 21, 2017
CNA releases the fifth episode of CNA Talks, a new podcast on current affairs. Dr. Eric Thompson moderated a discussion on ISIS’s use of social media, drones, tunnels and more with Jonathan Schroden, Ph.D., David Knoll, Ph.D., Pamela Faber and Zack GoldMarch 17, 2017
New Security Beat quotes CNA analyst Julia McQuaid in "Julia McQuaid on the Complex Link Between Water and Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa