Peter A. Wilson

Photo of Peter Wilson
Senior Defense Research Analyst
Washington Office


M.A. in political science, University of Chicago; B.A. in political science, Princeton University

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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Previous Positions

Senior Consultant, the Washington Institute for the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory; member, Department of State's Policy Planning Staff; senior research staff on the CIA's Strategic Evaluation Group

Recent Projects

  • Executive director of a congressionally mandated senior panel that evaluated national security space launch requirements
  • Evaluating future joint seabasing capabilities
  • Developing future strategic and operational planning scenarios
  • Evaluating alternative Army investment strategies to improve capacity to provide intratheater lift in a combat environment

Selected Publications

Robert W. Button et al., Warfighting and Logistic Support of Joint Forces from the Joint Sea Base, RAND Corporation (MG-649), 2007

David E. Johnson et al., Joint Paths to the Future Force: A Report on Unified Quest 2004, RAND Corporation (MG-391), 2006

John Gordon IV et al., Leveraging America's Aircraft Carrier Capabilities: Exploring New Combat and Noncombat Roles and Missions for the U.S. Carrier Fleet, RAND Corporation (MG-448), 2006

Forrest McCartney et al., National Security Space Launch Report, RAND Corporation (MG-503), 2006

John Gordon IV et al., Assessment of Navy Heavy-Lift Aircraft Options, RAND Corporation (DB-472), 2005

Recent Media Appearances

Commentary: Christian Science Monitor; The Economist; United Press International


  • French President Francois Hollande, U.S. President Barack Obama, and British Prime Minister David Cameron discuss the situation in Ukraine at the G20 in Brisbane, November 16, 2014

    France Is Replacing the UK as America's Top Ally in Europe

    The United States' relationship with France should be recognized and strengthened. France retains the military capability and the political moxie to contribute significantly and aggressively to collective responses to security threats to the Atlantic Alliance.

    Mar 30, 2015 Newsweek

  • French soldiers take up positions outside Markala, Mali, January 19, 2013

    NATO Needs a Southern Strategy

    If NATO wants to avoid strategic irrelevance, it needs to give increasing attention to the threats from the Middle East and North Africa region. A southern strategy should draw on recent experience, such as NATO's intervention in Libya and the successful operation in Mali.

    Feb 26, 2014 Epoch Times

  • The International Space Station

    Kill the Space Launch System to Save Human Spaceflight

    Even in the face of a budgetary spending cap and the ever-looming possibility of new cuts, NASA continues investing in a robust and diverse human spaceflight program. But with fiscal uncertainty expected to continue, it should consider reordering its spending priorities.

    Apr 5, 2013 Aviation Week & Space Technology

  • radioactive icon

    The Syrian Game Changer

    The Obama administration should capitalize on recent international coordination, taking the lead in organizing an international coalition devoted to containing Syria's chemical-weapons arsenal, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Peter Wilson.

    Feb 1, 2013 Project Syndicate

  • NATO's Shrinking Resources

    At a time when the European Union faces mounting economic and political challenges, maintaining a strong, vibrant Atlantic alliance is more important than ever, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Peter A. Wilson.

    May 16, 2012 on May 16, 2012 and in International Herald Tribune

  • Budget Cuts Are Cracking the West's Defenses

    Washington would be wise to work closely with Britain and France to ensure that their budget cuts do not threaten how the allies will, together, address common threats and security challenges, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Peter A. Wilson.

    Aug 17, 2010 Christian Science Monitor

  • Averting War with Iran

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Averting War with Iran, in United Press International.

    May 2, 2006 United Press International

  • True Intelligence Reform Is Cultural, Not Just Organizational Chart Shift

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Jan 13, 2005 Christian Science Monitor