National Security: Featured Research

  • 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.

  • The End of the Iraq War Offers Lessons for Withdrawal from Afghanistan

    Nov 5, 2013

    Policymakers and military commanders should use the lessons derived from the final years of U.S. involvement in Iraq to inform critical decisions and timelines required to successfully end large-scale military operations, including the one in Afghanistan. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” template to follow.

  • Dispersing War Reserve Materiel

    Nov 3, 2013

    Prepositioning of war reserve materiel is essential to rapid deployment of U.S. forces, but the existing centralized storage posture is not well suited to unpredictable deployments. Would dispersed storage be a better option?

  • Employing Land-Based Anti-Ship Missiles in the Western Pacific

    Nov 1, 2013

    This report illustrates the potential strategic advantages for the United States of a land-based anti-ship missile capability that could be deployed to the Western Pacific in the event of a conflict with China.

  • Implications of an Air Force Budget Downturn on the Aircraft Industrial Base

    Nov 1, 2013

    The U.S. Air Force is facing a number of challenges as a result of the current defense budget downturn. RAND examined the challenge of modernizing the Air Force's aircraft fleet while trying to sustain the industrial base with limited funding.

  • U.S. Navy Employment Options for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs)

    Nov 1, 2013

    In what ways, and to what degree are unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) suitable for supporting U.S. Navy missions and functions? This report briefly characterizes the current and emerging USV marketplaces to provide a baseline for near-term capabilities, describes USV concepts of employment to support diverse U.S. Navy missions and functions, and evaluates these concepts of employment to identify specific missions and functions for which they are highly suitable.

  • A Risk Assessment Methodology and Excel Tool for Acquisition Programs

    Oct 31, 2013

    Implementing risk management principles for large defense acquisition programs is a priority for the U.S. defense acquisition community. RAND developed a methodology and accompanying Excel risk tool (the "Assessor Tool") to assist decisionmakers responsible for identifying major weapons programs' risks. The results offer an approach to the evaluation of system integration risk for assessors such as Office of the Secretary of Defense staff.

  • An Excel Tool to Assess Acquisition Program Risk

    Oct 31, 2013

    Implementing risk management principles for large defense acquisition programs is a priority for the U.S. defense acquisition community. To assist decisionmakers responsible for identifying major weapons programs' risks, RAND developed a methodology, an Excel risk tool (the "Assessor Tool"), and this users' manual. The tool offers an approach to the evaluation of system integration risk for defense staff assessors.

  • The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake

    Oct 29, 2013

    Luck, serendipity, and longtime relationships fostered success in Haiti relief efforts, though actual performance is impossible to measure because metrics and plans were not in place before the earthquake hit. U.S. Department of Defense policy on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief needs to be updated.

  • Motion Imagery Processing and Exploitation (MIPE)

    Oct 29, 2013

    Motion Imagery Processing and Exploitation (MIPE) systems aid analysts in the detection, identification, and tracking of objects of interest and activities of interest in live and archival video. This report defines and investigates the potential of MIPE systems, which can enable military intelligence analysts to respond to the current information deluge and exploit a wide range of motion imagery collections.

  • Improving Air Force Enterprise Resource Planning-Enabled Business Transformation

    Oct 25, 2013

    RAND Project AIR FORCE identified key conditions to aid the success of business transformation enabled by enterprise resource planning systems, challenges the Air Force must address to achieve them, and options for overcoming these challenges.

  • Challenges and Opportunities Ahead for New Homeland Security Secretary

    Oct 24, 2013

    To ensure the Department of Homeland Security makes progress in the current constrained budget environment, its new secretary must put in place a strategic perspective to guide priorities for how to address the country's most pressing problems in disaster management, immigration reform, cybersecurity, violent extremism, and nuclear terrorism.

  • How War on Terrorism Has Evolved

    Oct 23, 2013

    Special operations to capture terrorists are more dangerous than drone strikes, and nimble terrorist adversaries will develop countermeasures to make them even more difficult. But they are politically more acceptable and offer opportunities for intelligence and the visible delivery of justice.

  • The Future of Counterterrorism: Fewer Drones, More Partnerships

    Oct 18, 2013

    Drones are just one of three principal U.S. counterterrorism tools. Special Operations forces are now relying on a more balanced mix of tactics: Launching raids and developing partner forces offer more versatility than drone strikes and will probably become the wave of the future as America's big wars wind down.

  • War Robots Will Lessen Killing — Not Increase It

    Oct 18, 2013

    Could armed autonomous robots embark on a campaign of indiscriminate killing? John Matsumura says there is a convincing base of evidence that robots are more likely to prevent slaughter than engage in it.

  • Robinson's One Hundred Victories Earns Laudatory Reviews

    Oct 17, 2013

    Linda Robinson's One Hundred Victories: Special Ops and the Future of American Warfare shows how special operations forces are evolving to become the go-to force for military operations worldwide. The author, a senior international policy analyst at RAND, draws from her own on-the-ground reporting and interviews with key players inside the national defense community.