Why strategies tend to disappoint, how Putin ensnares his prey, and more.

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MAR 23, 2017

Afghan security forces take position during a gun battle between Taliban and Afghan security forces in Laghman province, Afghanistan, March 1, 2017

Photo by Parwiz Parwiz/Reuters

How Will Trump Manage Afghanistan?

The Taliban's capture of Sangin, a key city in Helmand province, underscores Afghanistan's persistent status as a frontline state in the fight against terrorism. The war-torn country presents several tough questions for the Trump administration, says RAND's Seth Jones. For example, how important is Afghanistan to U.S. security interests? And should American forces there stay put? Read more »

Russian military helicopters fly during rehearsals for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, May 3, 2014

Russian military helicopters fly during rehearsals for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, May 3, 2014. Photo by Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

Countering Russian Hybrid Warfare

Subversive actions by Russia, such as information and cyber operations, threaten U.S. interests in Europe. According to recent testimony by RAND's Christopher Chivvis before the House Armed Services Committee, addressing the threat will take time and effort. And any response must be developed alongside efforts to bolster conventional deterrence. Read more »

Members of the NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau stand watch at the Union Square Holiday Market in Manhattan, December 20, 2016

Members of the NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau stand watch at the Union Square Holiday Market in Manhattan, December 20, 2016. Photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

America Needs a 'Counterterror' Strategy

Terrorism is primarily aimed at the people watching, says RAND's Brian Michael Jenkins. Terror itself causes people to exaggerate the strength of terrorists and the threats they pose. Therefore, the United States needs a strategy to counter fear—not just the attacks that cause it. Read more »

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference in Moscow, March 10, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference in Moscow, March 10, 2017. Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko/Reuters

How Putin Ensnares His Political Prey

An intelligence professional and seasoned leader, Russian President Vladimir Putin knows how to spot, assess, and manipulate potential prey. With Russia-friendly gains possible in upcoming European elections, Putin may be eyeing new targets. How might he try to win them over? RAND experts explain. Read more »

An oil and gas worker operates a drilling rig

Photo by RGtimeline/Fotolia

Wages, Jobs, and STEM in Appalachia

The energy and advanced manufacturing sectors are fueling transformations in the tristate region of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. What types of jobs are in high demand? Is the local talent pool learning the skills to fill them? A new RAND report examines the area's economic well-being. Read more »

Risk board game

Photo by ocicekci/Getty Images

Why Strategies Tend to Disappoint

National security strategies almost always fall short, says RAND's Raphael Cohen. They fail to be succinct, sharp, and substantive. Why? Because leaders are often unwilling to make tough decisions and face the risk of being wrong. Read more »

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