Civil-Military Relations

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RAND research on civil-military relations includes studies of how a military employs civilian contractors, how military bases interact with their neighbors, and how a nation's military affects its politics — and vice versa.

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    Report

    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.

Explore Civil-Military Relations

  • Report

    Initial Thoughts on the Impact of the Iraq War on U.S. National Security Structures

    This paper surveys the overall impact of the Iraq War on U.S. national security structures by examining the major changes the war wrought in the intellectual and institutional underpinnings of U.S. security and defense policy.

    Jun 5, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Lessons for a Negotiated Settlement in Afghanistan — If History Serves as a Guide

    Historical insurgencies that ended in settlement after a stalemate have generally followed a seven-step path. A master narrative distilled from these cases could help guide and assess the progress toward a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • Supporters of Egypt's army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

    Blog

    The Egyptian Regime's Achilles' Heel

    As the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood reclaiming power recedes, it will become difficult for the new authorities in Egypt to hold together a coalition that is built solely on its members' shared antipathy for the Islamist group.

    Feb 21, 2014

  • Anti-government protesters stand behind burning barricades in Kiev's Independence Square February 19, 2014

    Blog

    How the West Can Help End the Violence in Ukraine

    The Ukrainian crisis has taken a dangerous and deadly turn for the worse with violent clashes between protesters and Interior Ministry troops. The West should move quickly on an aid package conditioned on economic and political reform.

    Feb 19, 2014

  • Report

    From Stalemate to Settlement: Lessons for Afghanistan from Historical Insurgencies That Have Been Resolved Through Negotiations

    Historical insurgencies that ended in settlement after a stalemate have generally followed a seven-step path. A master narrative distilled from these cases could help guide and assess the progress toward a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

    Feb 10, 2014

  • Syrian residents flee their homes following clashes between opposition fighters and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad

    Blog

    Syria's Bloody Stalemate

    With little chance of a negotiated end to the fighting, the war in Syria is likely to drag on. And even if somehow the bloodshed were to end relatively soon, the war will leave a legacy of odium and thousands of fighters that will threaten the region and beyond far into the future.

    Jan 17, 2014

  • preflight checks inside an F-35A Lightning II

    Blog

    Innovation and America's 21st Century Air Force

    Lost in the US defense budget debates are deeper issues about the relationship between the military and American society. In many ways, these issues are especially stark for the Air Force. Can the US Air Force improve this connection?

    Nov 26, 2013

  • News Release

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

    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.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • U.S. military and Iraqi Army officers

    Research Brief

    Smooth Transitions? Lessons Learned from Transferring U.S. Military Responsibilities to Civilian Authorities in Iraq

    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.

    Nov 4, 2013

  • Afghan artillerymen in a live-fire exercise are certified and ready to lead

    Blog

    Weighing Afghanistan in 2013 Against the Counterinsurgency Scorecard

    Early 2013 Afghanistan ranks among the historical counterinsurgency winners, but its score is equal to those of the lowest-scoring historical wins. This tenuous position points to several areas in need of improvement.

    Oct 21, 2013

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    Counterinsurgency Scorecard: Afghanistan in Early 2013 Relative to Insurgencies Since World War II

    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.

    Oct 7, 2013

  • counterinsurgency mission in Afghanistan

    Blog

    Paths to Victory in the Australian Defence and Security Context

    The historical importance of commitment and motivation and the need to overmatch insurgents suggest that Australia should weigh any commitment of support against existing conditions, those that can be changed and those that can't, writes Christopher Paul.

    Oct 2, 2013

  • U.S. soldiers on a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army

    Blog

    New RAND Report Updates, Expands Research on Successful Counterinsurgency Approaches

    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.

    Sep 27, 2013

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    Report

    Paths to Victory: Detailed Insurgency Case Studies

    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.

    Sep 26, 2013

  • U.S. soldiers on COIN operation in Iraq

    Report

    Lessons from Modern Insurgencies

    A comparison of all 71 insurgencies begun and completed worldwide since World War II finds the counterinsurgency (COIN) practices or combinations of practices that offer the most promise for a government win against an insurgency.

    Sep 26, 2013

  • An Indonesian army ambulance, repainted with U.N. peacekeeping colors, is loaded aboard S.S. Wilson.

    Research Brief

    Enhancing Civilian Agency Participation in Stability Operations

    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?

    Sep 18, 2013

  • Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood during a protest in Cairo August 23, 2013

    Blog

    What's Next for the Muslim Brotherhood?

    Some believe the Muslim Brotherhood should stay in the political game, adopting the role of loyal opposition. The Brotherhood would remain a minority party, but it could continue to hold offices, provide social assistance that the government does not, and demonstrate its continuing strength at the polls.

    Aug 26, 2013

  • A man shouts during a protest of military rule in Egypt.

    Blog

    Dalia Dassa Kaye: Don't Cut Economic Aid to Egypt

    It's pretty clear that the U.S. administration is frustrated with the way Egypt is going, says Dalia Dassa Kaye. There are few good choices. What is unfortunate is the development of cutting economic assistance to Egypt. That is sending exactly the wrong message to the Egyptian people and the broader region.

    Aug 22, 2013

  • A soldier stands outside the burnt Rabaa Adawiya mosque, the morning after the clearing of a protest camp around the mosque, in Cairo August 15, 2013.

    Blog

    Things Could Get Worse in Egypt

    As terrible as yesterday was in Egypt, things could get worse, says Jeffrey Martini, a RAND Middle East analyst. While the military-ruled government appears to be trying to break the neck of the Muslim Brotherhood, one shoe that hasn't dropped is the arrest of senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

    Aug 15, 2013