Military affairs comprise a range of topics from military personnel and veterans to equipment and facilities—as well as the methods, doctrines, organizational concepts, and technologies that support the military's strategic or tactical goals. RAND provides objective policy recommendations in all of these areas and more.
When contemplating the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, we should all be grateful that notions of martyrdom and apocalyptic beliefs don't have a significant pull on Iranian decision-making, writes Alireza Nader.
While our research has taught us many things about suicide prevention we think additional research is critically needed in two areas, writes Rajeev Ramchand. The first is gun control. The second area is the quality of behavioral health care available to those who need it.
What is required in Syria now is a program like the one the United States established in the mid-1990s to train and equip the armed forces of the Bosnian Federation, writes Angel Rabasa.
The combined lessons of the attack and disarmament of Iraq's chemical weapons in the First Gulf War suggest that chemical weapons are hard to find and destroy, writes James Quinlivan. Lots can survive even a sustained attack.
An aircraft's capacity and speed largely determine the rate at which water or retardant can be applied to a fire. Very large air tankers (VLATs) certainly have the capacity to apply large amounts of fluids to a fire, but because of the distances travelled they may not be able to get a second load very quickly.
The lesson here is not that countries should act for the sake of maintaining credibility but that they should act when they believe it serves their interests and might make a difference, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.
The effectiveness of our attacks, particularly by drones, has already decimated the al Qaeda hierarchy, writes Harold Brown. That achievement, together with the negative effect on Muslim publics of drone attacks, suggests that the rate of their usage could be moderated.
By adopting a laissez-faire policy toward security in Libya after the war, the United States and its allies who helped the Libyan rebels topple Gadhafi share in the responsibility for the country’s current predicament, writes Christopher Chivvis.
The United States should propose and pursue an East Asian maritime partnership, inviting to join all states that share its interest in assured access and passage, writes David Gompert.
The U.S.-South Korean Extended Deterrence Policy Committee was setup to deter North Korean threats. The upcoming summit should ratify the progress of this effort, reassuring both the Korean and U.S. people that these threats are being managed.
Obviously it will not always be possible to avoid the use of force and the risk of escalation. But the US and its allies cannot take the possibility of military responses against nuclear regional adversaries off the table without limiting its own strategic options, eroding its influence, and threatening its security.
Dealing with chemical weapons in Syria is a complicated and dangerous task, but nowhere near the challenge of securing a nuclear arsenal in a country consumed by crisis, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Unfortunately, since 9/11, the ups and downs in U.S.-Russian counterterrorism cooperation have mirrored the unsteady relationship between the two countries, writes Andrew S. Weiss.
In recent years, especially following the economic downturn, states, counties, and cities have looked for ways to reduce costs and maintain basic policing services, leading many to question what the investment in counterterrorism and homeland security has achieved for their jurisdiction.
The risk of overreaching in the name of homeland security is great. But the best and most likely outcome of this latest attack would be a measured security response built around Americans engaging anew in their own security, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
What's the difference if they ascribe this atrocity to a neo-Nazi, radical Islamist, or separatist anti-government ideology? Whatever their motive, they're cowardly murderers who need to be brought to justice, writes Andrew Liepman.
With an army divided, any type of foreign intervention would be complex and fraught with extraordinary risk—success would be a long shot. But the loss of a nuclear weapon or fissile material would change the world.
How does Washington signal tenacity to a pugnacious Pyongyang and demonstrate resolve to a jittery Seoul, all without inadvertently triggering an escalatory spiral?
A new model for our nation's special forces could follow the approach used in Colombia and the Philippines, where special forces planned ongoing campaigns that use numerous advisory, civil affairs, and informational activities to address those governments' weaknesses in providing security and ending conflicts.
The establishment of a U.S. base in Niger is intended to facilitate intelligence collection and will provide a more complete picture of militant movements in Niger, Mali, and other countries in the Sahel, writes Seth Jones. The United States will share this intelligence with Malian and French forces.