Informing Incoming Government Leaders

Transforming national security confrontations from crises to opportunities requires deep expertise and well-informed judgment.

The incoming administration will face multiple national security challenges of these types: How should the United States address Chinese or Russian assertiveness? What are the most effective ways to eliminate threats from ISIL and other terrorists? What should be done about North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal? Tackling issues like these and confronting international actors like Russia and North Korea, as well as evolving threats including cybersecurity, demand policies based on facts, rigorous analysis, and sound judgment.

RAND experts have researched these and similar national security concerns and lay out some of the key issues in this package of policy primers. They stand ready to share their research and evaluate new issues to support policymakers contending with high-stakes threats.

  • A Nuclear North Korea

    North Korea appears to be rapidly building a significant nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver those weapons. Current estimates suggest North Korean nuclear-tipped missiles could be operational between 2020 and 2025.

  • A New Era in Relations with Russia

    In the last decade, Russia has revamped its military, invaded two neighboring countries, intervened on behalf of President Bashar al Assad in Syria, and threatened NATO with nuclear saber rattling, aerial incursions, and military exercises.

  • Rolling Back the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL)

    The Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL)—also commonly referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the Islamic State (IS), and Daesh—is the most active group among Salafi-jihadists, waging a terrorist and insurgent campaign across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

  • America and China: Rivalry and Partnership

    While Chinese leaders will not shy away from confrontation, they also believe that to maintain stability and prosperity, they have no choice but to get along with the United States.

  • Challenges and Opportunities in Cyberspace

    Cyberspace provides opportunities for innovation, commerce, and societal advancement but also raises significant issues for policymakers in securing cyber vulnerabilities, ensuring privacy and protection of personal data, and considering the use of cyber weapons as a national security asset.