Alan J. Vick

Photo of Alan Vick
Senior Political Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. and B.A. in political science, M.A. in social science, University of California, Irvine

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Alan Vick is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He has authored RAND reports on ground threats to air bases, enhancing air power's capability against light infantry opponents, air power in urban operations, air operations against elusive targets, alternatives for deploying the Army Stryker Brigade, new concepts for joint air–ground operations, air power's role in countering insurgencies, and air–naval concepts for maritime interdiction. His report, Snakes in the Eagle's Nest: A History of Ground Attacks on Air Bases, has been used for more than a decade as a textbook by U.S. Air Force (USAF) Security Forces. His most recent report, The Posture Triangle: A New Framework for U.S. Air Force Global Presence was published in 2013.

Vick served as associate director of RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) (2002–2004); acting director of PAF's Strategy and Doctrine Program (2003–2004); associate director of the Strategy and Doctrine Program (1998–2001); PAF liaison to the Air Staff (1989–1994); and assistant to the vice president of the Arroyo Center, RAND's Army research division (1985–1986). He was an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division from 1973 to 1976.

Vick received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Irvine.

Previous Positions

Associate Director, RAND Project AIR FORCE

Recent Projects

  • Studies for the U.S. Air Force on overseas basing requirements and opportunities

Selected Publications

Stacie L. Pettyjohn, Alan J. Vick, The Posture Triangle: A New Framework for U.S. Air Force Global Presence, RAND (RR-402-AF), 2013

Stacie Pettyjohn and Alan Vick, "Okinawa Remains An Intractable Thorn for U.S. and Japan," Asia Times Online, 2012

Frank Camm, Lauren Caston, Alexander Hou, Forrest Morgan, Alan Vick, Managing Risk in USAF Force Planning, RAND Corporation (MG-827), 2009

Alan Vick, Adam Grissom, William Rosenau, Beth Grill, Karl Mueller, Air Power in the New Counterinsurgency Era: The Strategic Importance of USAF Advisory and Assistance Missions, RAND Corporation (MG-509), 2006

Alan Vick, David Orletsky, Bruce Pirnie, Seth Jones, The Stryker Brigade Combat Team: Rethinking Strategic Responsiveness and Assessing Deployment Options, RAND Corporation (MR-1606), 2002

Alan Vick et al., Aerospace Operations Against Elusive Ground Targets, RAND Corporation (MR-1398), 2001

Alan Vick, Snakes in the Eagle's Nest: A History of Ground Attacks on Air Bases, RAND Corporation (MR-553), 1995

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Air Force Magazine; Air Force Times; Defense News; New York Times


  • Okinawa Remains an Intractable Thorn for US and Japan

    The relocation of the Marines is a first step toward a more sustainable US military presence in the Asia-Pacific. Yet policymakers in Washington and Tokyo should not expect this move to eliminate an enduring source of tension in US-Japanese relations, write Stacie L. Pettyjohn and Alan J. Vick.

    May 25, 2012 Asia Times