National Security: Featured Research

  • 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.

  • A Smarter Way to Stop Syria WMD Attacks

    Sep 19, 2013

    President Obama made a strong case that the U.S. should take the lead in punishing the Syrian regime for its use of chemical weapons and actively enforce the near-global ban on these weapons. Now, the possibility of a diplomatic solution to this problem offers an opportunity to improve the request for the authorization of force currently before Congress.

  • Analyses of the Department of Defense Acquisition Workforce: Update to Methods and Results through FY 2011

    Sep 19, 2013

    The organic defense acquisition workforce oversees defense acquisition programs from start to finish. RAND has been providing ongoing analysis of the workforce. This research offers revisions to methods summarized in an earlier report.

  • Preparing for "Hybrid" Opponents: Israeli Experiences in Lebanon and Gaza

    Sep 18, 2013

    The experiences of the Israel Defense Forces against hybrid opponents — Hezbollah and Hamas — in the recent conflicts in Lebanon and Gaza will help the U.S. Army understand the capabilities that it and the joint force will require in the future.

  • Enhancing Civilian Agency Participation in Stability Operations

    Sep 18, 2013

    U.S. plans for stability operations emphasize a "whole of government" approach in which civilian and military agency efforts reflect a common U.S. strategy, but such an approach has been difficult to implement in practice. How can the Army assist in making key civilian agencies more capable partners in the planning and execution of stability, security, transition, and reconstruction (SSTR) operations?

  • Reintegration After Deployment: Supporting Citizen Warriors and Their Families

    Sep 17, 2013

    A RAND study of the challenges that reserve component service members and their families face after deployment and the factors that contribute to successful reintegration led to a series of recommendations for the U.S. Department of Defense.