National Security: Featured Research

  • Do Joint Fighter Programs Save Money?

    Dec 24, 2013

    Joint aircraft programs have not historically saved overall life cycle cost. On average, such programs experienced substantially higher cost growth in acquisition (research, development, test, evaluation, and procurement) than single-service programs.

  • Enabling Early Sustainment Decisions: Application to F-35 Depot-Level Maintenance

    Dec 20, 2013

    The U.S. Air Force has long struggled to incorporate new weapon system logistics requirements and support system design considerations into its broader sustainment enterprise early in the acquisition process. RAND developed a framework that helps planners visualize sustainment data and compare new programs with legacy Air Force systems.

  • A Sixty-Year Timeline of the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site

    Dec 16, 2013

    Since it was built in the 1950s, the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site's mission, management structure, and operational partners have changed several times to accommodate the contemporary challenges and research tools. This timeline documents some of those historical changes.

  • Contractors Who Worked in Conflict Zones Suffer High Rates of PTSD and Depression and Get Little Help

    Dec 10, 2013

    Private contractors who worked in Iraq, Afghanistan or other conflict environments over the past two years report suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression more often than military personnel who served in recent conflicts. Relatively few get help either before or after deployment.

  • The Posture Triangle: A New Framework for U.S. Air Force Global Presence

    Dec 5, 2013

    U.S. Air Force (USAF) global posture — its overseas forces, facilities, and arrangements with partner nations — faces a variety of fiscal, political, and military challenges. This report seeks to identify why the USAF needs a global posture, where it needs basing and access, the types of security partnerships that minimize peacetime access risk, and the amount of forward presence that the USAF requires.

  • No Easy Way Out for China After 'Air Defense Zone' Ratchets Up Tensions

    Dec 4, 2013

    The ongoing row between China and Japan over a chain of islands in the East China Sea escalated sharply last week when Beijing declared an “air defense zone” over the disputed territory. If China's intention was to force Japan to the negotiating table, Beijing's plan appears to have backfired.

  • Thoughts on China's New Air Defense Zone Policy

    Dec 4, 2013

    In response to an inquiry from The Nelson Report, RAND's Scott Harold offered some thoughts on China's new air defense zone policy and how Japan and South Korea could be brought closer together by their respective responses.

  • Toward Integrated DoD Biosurveillance: Assessment and Opportunities

    Dec 4, 2013

    More near-real-time analysis and better internal and external integration could enhance the performance and value of the Department of Defense's biosurveillance programs. This study, conducted at the request of the Office of Management and Budget, finds that improvements are needed in key enablers, including funding.

  • Strengthening the Shipbuilding Industry

    Dec 1, 2013

    The U.S. Navy and the shipbuilding industrial base on which it depends on are approaching a critical juncture. Unless the Navy and U.S. shipbuilders adopt an integrated set of broad management strategies the United States runs the risk of shortchanging its capabilities to design and produce naval warships for several generations.

  • Managing Diverse Work Groups in the U.S. Coast Guard

    Nov 27, 2013

    Coast Guard leaders will benefit from specific training and guidance to bring out the best on a daily basis from work groups consisting of men and women of different ethnic, racial, and functional backgrounds.

  • Seth Jones and Keith Crane: Afghanistan After the Drawdown

    Nov 27, 2013

    The United States should maintain roughly 8,000–12,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to manage the complex political, security, and economic challenges that will accompany the reduction in forces, say Seth Jones and Keith Crane.

  • Toppling Qaddafi: Libya and the Limits of Liberal Intervention

    Nov 25, 2013

    Toppling Qaddafi is a carefully researched, highly readable look at the role of the United States and NATO in Libya's war of liberation and its lessons for future military interventions. This book recounts the story of how the United States and its European allies went to war against Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, why they won the war, and what the implications for NATO, Europe, and Libya will be.

  • What Security Cooperation Mechanisms Do Combatant Commands Utilize to Build Partner Capacity?

    Nov 22, 2013

    Security cooperation with allies and partner countries is an important instrument of the U.S. government for advancing national security objectives. This report characterizes security cooperation mechanisms for capacity-building, produces a detailed database of the mechanism elements, develops and applies a preliminary means of evaluating select mechanisms, and recommends ways to improve mechanism effectiveness and efficiency.

  • Assessment of the Air Force Materiel Command Reorganization

    Nov 21, 2013

    One challenge of the FY12 Air Force Material Command (AFMC) reorganization was to eliminate civilian manpower positions with minimal, if any, impact on its assigned missions. This report for Congress assesses five elements of this reorganization.

  • U.S. Air Force Academy Presents Natalie Crawford with Thomas D. White National Defense Award

    Nov 19, 2013

    RAND Senior Fellow Natalie Crawford received the U.S. Air Force Academy's 2012 Thomas D. White National Defense Award for her significant contributions to national security. Previous award winners include the Air Force's first chief of staff, General Carl Spaatz, and actor Bob Hope.

  • They Also Serve: Understanding the Needs of Military Caregivers

    Nov 18, 2013

    Military families play a critical role in supporting U.S. servicemembers during deployment and afterwards. Equally vital but often less visible is the role played by those who care for the servicemembers who return with disabling injuries or illnesses and require long-term support beyond what the formal health care system provides.

  • Responding in Typhoon Haiyan's Wake

    Nov 12, 2013

    Prior responses to other recent disasters offer important lessons. Improved preparedness and efficient coordination mechanisms can help ensure that, when time is of the essence, the United States provides the most effective response.

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill: A Good Investment in Our Veterans Can Be Better

    Nov 8, 2013

    To better tailor the benefits to the actual needs of veterans, it is important to determine how much the implementation has really improved, and if there are lessons that can be drawn to improve future initiatives. Of critical concern is whether veterans have the information they need to take the best advantage of their GI Bill benefits.

  • The Missing Option for Afghanistan: A Response to Steve Biddle

    Nov 5, 2013

    We don't have to settle for a choice between losing and losing expensively, writes Paul Miller. We can choose to sustain our commitment to the Afghans and secure our vital interests in South Asia. There is thus a heavy burden on the president to make a politically risky move against popular opinion.

  • Smooth Transitions? Lessons Learned from Transferring U.S. Military Responsibilities to Civilian Authorities in Iraq

    Nov 5, 2013

    An examination of the transition of authority from military hands to civilians in the U.S. and Iraqi governments found lessons that could smooth the departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and guide similar transitions in the future.