National Security: Featured Research

  • Leveraging Observations of Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan for Global Operations

    Oct 16, 2013

    Future U.S. Army Security Force Assistance missions, such as those envisioned for the U.S. Army's Regionally Aligned Forces, can benefit from the experience gained in Afghanistan as captured in this report.

  • Zero-Sum Enrichment

    Oct 14, 2013

    Sanctions have taken a heavy toll on the Iranian economy, and the Islamic Republic may finally be motivated to take steps to rein in its nuclear program, including accepting limits on uranium enrichment, in exchange for lessening the pressure.

  • The Challenge of North Korean Biological Weapons

    Oct 11, 2013

    While there is evidence of North Korean biological weapons, little is known with certainty about them and how North Korea would use them. Bruce Bennett addresses the nature of the potential North Korean biological weapon threat and how the ROK and United States should prepare to counter potential attacks.

  • Addressing the Invisible Wounds of War

    Oct 10, 2013

    Before 2007, little was known about how the availability of behavioral health services compared with the need among returning troops—or about the consequences to the nation if these needs were not met.

  • Special Ops and the Future of American Warfare

    Oct 9, 2013

    In One Hundred Victories, acclaimed military expert Linda Robinson shows how the special operations forces are — after a decade of intensive combat operations — evolving to become the go-to force for operations worldwide.

  • Counterinsurgency Scorecard: Afghanistan in Early 2013 Relative to Insurgencies Since World War II

    Oct 7, 2013

    Previous RAND research on historical insurgencies found that a conflict's overall balance of good and bad factors and practices perfectly discriminated its outcome. A RAND study applied this scorecard approach to Afghanistan in early 2013.

  • The Terrorist Threat from Al Shabaab

    Oct 3, 2013

    "At the moment, al Shabaab does not appear to be plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland. But there are several reasons why America should still be concerned about al Shabaab," explains Seth Jones in his October 3, 2013 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "Its terrorist attack at Westgate Mall in Kenya and its follow-up attacks are a stark reminder that the Somalia-based group remains lethal."

  • Management Perspectives Pertaining to Root Cause Analyses of Nunn-McCurdy Breaches, Volume 4

    Oct 3, 2013

    Decentralized systems used to track cost growth are examined to determine whether additional guidance and control are needed to make the performance of acquisition programs more transparent. The authors investigate whether key assumptions — so-called "framing assumptions" — could be useful risk management tools.

  • Medical Fitness and Resilience: A Review of Relevant Constructs, Measures, and Links to Well-Being

    Oct 3, 2013

    This report is one of a series designed to support Air Force leaders in promoting resilience among its Airmen, civilian employees, and Air Force families. It examines the relationship between medical fitness and resilience, using key constructs found in the scientific literature, which address preventive care, the presence and management of injuries and chronic conditions, and facilitators and barriers to access of appropriate health care.

  • Physical Fitness and Resilience: A Review of Relevant Constructs, Measures, and Links to Well-Being

    Oct 3, 2013

    This report is one of a series designed to support Air Force leaders in promoting resilience among its Airmen, civilian employees, and Air Force families. It examines the relationship between physical fitness and resilience, using key constructs found in the scientific literature that address work-related physical fitness and health-related physical fitness.

  • Spiritual Fitness and Resilience: A Review of Relevant Constructs, Measures, and Links to Well-Being

    Oct 3, 2013

    This report is one of a series designed to support Air Force leaders in promoting resilience among its Airmen, civilian employees, and Air Force families. It examines the relationship between spiritual fitness and resilience, using key constructs found in the scientific literature: a spiritual worldview, personal religious or spiritual practices, support from a spiritual community, and spiritual coping.

  • Social Fitness and Resilience: A Review of Relevant Constructs, Measures, and Links to Well-Being

    Oct 3, 2013

    One of a series of reports designed to support Air Force leadership in promoting resilience among Airmen, its civilian employees, and Air Force family members, this report examines social fitness, or the combination of resources from social connections that influence how individuals respond to stressful circumstances. It assesses the current social fitness constructs and measures in scientific literature to identify methods of increasing social connectedness and support among U.S. Airmen and their families.

  • Christopher Paul Receives Fulbright Specialist Award

    Oct 2, 2013

    RAND's Christopher Paul has been selected for a Fulbright Specialist project in New Zealand at Massey University's Centre for Defence and Security Studies (CDSS). Collaborating with CDSS, he will provide an internal review of the security studies curriculum and consult on the development of a new internship program and a proposed course of study on irregular warfare.

  • Analyzing Alternatives for the Offshore Patrol Cutter

    Oct 1, 2013

    The oldest of the Coast Guard’s Medium Endurance Cutters (WMECs) first entered service in the 1960s, and the class is becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and operate. What will be required of the ships that replace it?

  • Developing and Assessing Options for the Global SOF Network

    Sep 27, 2013

    U.S. Special Operations Command's Global SOF Network vision calls for a distributed overseas posture for Special Operations Forces (SOF) as part of a new approach to respond to and deter threats. RAND researchers developed implementation options by creating and applying an analytically rigorous methodology.

  • New RAND Report Updates, Expands Research on Successful Counterinsurgency Approaches

    Sep 27, 2013

    When a country is threatened by an insurgency, what efforts give its government the best chance of prevailing? A new update to a RAND 2010 study expands the data set of 30 insurgencies to 71, and compares all 71 of them begun and completed worldwide since World War II.

  • Paths to Victory: Detailed Insurgency Case Studies

    Sep 26, 2013

    This companion volume to Paths to Victory: Lessons from Modern Insurgencies offers in-depth case studies of 41 insurgencies since World War II. Each case breaks the conflict into phases and examines the trajectory that led to the outcome.

  • The Hidden Conclusions in the U.N.'s Syria Gas Report

    Sep 25, 2013

    The lethality of the munitions used in Syria point directly to an actor with significant capacities and long experience using chemical weaponry and artillery, writes James T. Quinlivan. And that fingers the notoriously abusive Assad regime, not the outmatched, outgunned and frantically improvising rebels.

  • The Road on from Damascus: What the Syria Deal Means for the U.S. and Russia

    Sep 23, 2013

    The deal the United States and Russia struck to get rid of Syria's chemical weaponry is neither a sign of a sea change in relations nor a victory for one party over the other, writes Olga Oliker. It is, however, something of a testament to diplomacy on both sides.

  • Obama Should Take Iran's Overture Seriously

    Sep 20, 2013

    If his words are any guide, Iran's supreme leader is pivoting to diplomacy. Long an advocate of “resistance” to the United States, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei now praises his new president, Hassan Rouhani, for his administration's “heroic” and “artful” approach toward foreign policy.