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Security in the Nation's Capital and the Closure of Pennsylvania Avenue: An Assessment

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Acts of terrorism are not a new threat to Washington, D.C. Over the last two centuries, there have been several organized terrorist attacks, as well as numerous assaults by unstable individuals acting alone, that have targeted the White House and U.S. Capitol building and the President or U.S. Congressmen within the city limits of the District of Columbia. It was not, however, until the 1980s that such incidents evoked heightened security around the White House, initiating a process of fortification that culminated with President Clintons decision in April 1995 to close the section of Pennsylvania Avenue running in front of the Mansion. The research reported here considers how Pennsylvania Avenue can be re-opened while still ensuring to the greatest extent possible the safety and security of the President of the United States. The study was conducted as part of a project entitled, Assessment of Physical Security Measures, within RANDs Criminal Justice Research Program. This work is being carried out as part of a larger undertaking by the Federal City Council a nonprofit, nonpartisan, Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to the improvement of the Nations Capital aimed at reassessing and reconsidering the physical security measures that have been imposed on the District of Columbia in recent years. This document is a revised version of a previous draft that was reviewed by the client. It is currently being reviewed internally as part of RANDs quality assurance process and will shortly be published in final form as a Monograph Report MR.

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  • Defense Systems
  • Unconventional Warfare

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