National Security Research Division

Blog Posts and Media Coverage

  • RAND Experts Q&A on the Fighting in Kunduz

    Oct 2, 2015

    The Taliban battled its way into the center of Kunduz this week, with media reports saying it seized control of the northern Afghanistan city at least for a time. A trio of RAND experts participated in a Q&A on the situation and its significance.

  • What Is Putin Really Up to in Syria?

    Oct 2, 2015

    Russia wants to be sure that it's not ignored if and when the West succeeds in implementing a broader, more effective solution to the Syria-Iraq-ISIL problem. This is a task far beyond Russia's capabilities, but one that America, the West, and regional powers may be able to accomplish.

  • Multiple Factors Drive Program Success

    Sep 30, 2015

    Congress continues to express concerns about weapon system cost growth and is considering multiple acquisition reform proposals for the National Defense Authorization Act. One proposal would hold program managers accountable via a “performance agreement” for key parameters that must be met.

  • The U.S. Military: Between a Rock and a Repulsive Place

    Sep 29, 2015

    There is a reasonable argument that the best route to address pedophilia and other human rights violations by Afghan forces is to remain engaged, and to make U.S. support conditioned upon remediation and accountability, as the Leahy law requires.

  • Any Review of Syria and Iraq Strategy Needs Realistic Reappraisal

    Sep 28, 2015

    Since the American-led coalition bombing campaign began a year ago, ISIS has suffered some military setbacks and lost territory, but it also has been able to capture several more key cities in Iraq and Syria, and, despite the bombing, continues to attract a large number of foreign fighters.

  • Define Acceptable Cyberspace Behavior

    Sep 27, 2015

    While a U.S.-China cyberspace agreement is a welcome step, it also underscores the greater issues facing the United States and the international community in this largely ungoverned space. A precondition for securing U.S. networks should be the development of an overarching cyber doctrine that defines acceptable behavior and allows the U.S. to defend its networks against threats.

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