Military Affairs

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.

  • Report

    Air Force Strategic Planning: Past, Present, and Future

    This report examines the history of strategic planning efforts in the U.S. Air Force. Ultimately, this report argues that the Air Force still needs strategic planning, but perhaps not in its current form.

    Feb 28, 2017

  • U.S. Marines were among 4,000 soldiers from 11 NATO countries who participated in Exercise Iron Sword 16 in Lithuania

    Commentary

    Our NATO Partners Should Engage Trump in Brussels

    At May's NATO summit in Brussels, President Trump will be looking for a symbolic victory rather than a confrontation with 27 other national leaders. Therefore, Europe needs to create a positive outcome for him in advance.

    Feb 27, 2017

  • Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, August 18, 2013

    Commentary

    The New 'Normal' in the East China Sea

    China and Japan are engaged in a long-term test of wills over disputed waters and territory in the East China Sea. The Japanese government has acknowledged the challenge it faces and has begun to invest in infrastructure and personnel projects to address it.

    Feb 27, 2017

  • Estonian soldiers in a military parade celebrate Estonia's Independence Day near the Russian border in Narva, February 24, 2015

    Report

    The Potential for Russian Hybrid Warfare in the Baltics

    Russia would likely have trouble using nonviolent tactics to destabilize the Baltics. Covert violent action is also unlikely to succeed on its own. Thus, the Baltics' main vulnerability is Russia's local superiority in conventional forces.

    Feb 23, 2017

  • Taiwanese soldiers salute from tanks during a military exercise in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan, July 4, 2015

    Report

    Transforming Taiwan's Reserve Force

    As the political-military challenge from China grows, Taiwan's reserve force may need to play a more prominent role in Taipei's approach to deterring Chinese aggression. Changing its reserve force size, structure, roles, missions, equipment, and training could help Taiwan offset PLA advantages.

    Feb 22, 2017

  • U.S. Air Force captain shakes hands with an Afghanistan National Army warehouse supervisor as they discuss storage and distribution for equipment and supplies in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 26, 2017

    Commentary

    Acquisition in Transition

    The DoD acquisition system is complex and ever-changing. It requires a trained and active workforce that has the support of Congress. Allowing some of the reforms to take place in a measured fashion would be a wise choice for the new administration and Congress.

    Feb 21, 2017

  • Report

    Developing a Capacity Assessment Framework for Marine Logistics Groups

    This report provides a capacity assessment framework to assist each of the Marine Logistics Groups, or any size unit, in determining the ability of logistics units to meet current and projected tasks.

    Feb 20, 2017

  • U.S. Army Soldiers board a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at the Joint Multinational Training Command's (JMTC) Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany

    Testimony

    How to Restore the Power Projection Capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces

    To help put the United States back on a path toward fielding forces that can defeat any adversary, the DoD needs money and insight. The latter can help inform decisionmaking. The former would let the DoD develop, acquire, and field new systems and postures.

    Feb 16, 2017

  • Taiwanese Coast Guard patrol ship, Kaohsiung (CG 129), during a rescue drill near the coast of Itu Aba in the South China Sea, November 29, 2016

    Commentary

    History and Current Developments Regarding Taiwan's Coast Guard

    As Asia-Pacific countries develop policies to regulate maritime zones of jurisdiction, the importance of coast guards as instruments of state policy has been growing. Taiwan's Coast Guard is an increasingly effective force facilitating the protection and regulation of Taiwanese maritime rights and interests in the East and South China Sea.

    Feb 15, 2017

  • Report

    2016 Assessment of the Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel Demonstration Project: Executive Summary

    This executive summary presents the key findings of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 assessment of the Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel Demonstration Project mandated in the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2011.

    Feb 15, 2017

  • First Army Deputy Commanding General for Support, Maj. Gen. Paul Benenati, greets Bruce McDonald, a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army from Michigan, at the Central Region CASA conference on Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., on Aug. 12, 2015

    Report

    2016 Assessment of the Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel Demonstration Project

    This report accomplishes the fiscal year (FY) 2016 assessment of the Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel Demonstration Project mandated in the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2011.

    Feb 14, 2017

  • U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force special forces personnel participate in a training exercise at Naval Station Pascagoula, Mississippi, October 26, 2016

    Commentary

    The Mission to Counter WMD: Avoiding Missteps While Transitioning Responsibility

    U.S. Special Operations Command will soon lead the Pentagon's anti-WMD efforts. SOCOM is well positioned to contain and reduce threats, but will need new expertise to prevent the acquisition of related material and respond to crises.

    Feb 10, 2017

  • Displaced people who fled ISIS arrive at a military checkpoint before being transported to camps in eastern Mosul, Iraq, January 25, 2017

    Commentary

    Stabilizing Mosul After the Battle Against ISIS

    U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have retaken the east bank of Mosul and are planning to take the west soon. The military operations that oust ISIS are crucial to the city's liberation but failing to get the civilian response right risks a widening civil war.

    Feb 9, 2017

  • Somali government soldiers secure the scene of an explosion in front of Dayah hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, January 25, 2017

    Commentary

    U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy Must Be About More Than ISIS

    ISIS is a worthy candidate for eradication, but failing to also target its franchises, al-Qaida splinters, and other non-aligned groups in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia could allow other threats to metastasize.

    Feb 9, 2017

  • Report

    Assessing the Need for Supercomputing Resources Within the Pacific Area of Responsibility

    This report evaluates the capabilities, challenges, and future options for the Maui High Performance Computing Center, providing important context about the center as decisionmakers work toward resolving its budget gap.

    Feb 9, 2017

  • People fleeing violence in ISIS-controlled al-Bab, Syria arrive in the town's rebel-held outskirts, February 3, 2017

    Report

    Finding a Way Forward in Syria

    After six years of fighting in Syria, the odds of removing the Assad regime are worse than ever. But the new U.S. administration could help de-escalate the conflict by focusing on a realistic outcome: a decentralized Syria with agreed regional zones backed by external powers.

    Feb 8, 2017

  • Journal Article

    Parental Deployment, Adolescent Academic and Social-Behavioral Maladjustment, and Parental Psychological Well-Being in Military Families

    Long deployments can increase the risk for negative adolescent and parental outcomes, relative to short or no deployment; military fathers and adolescent boys may be more strongly affected than military mothers and adolescent girls.

    Feb 7, 2017

  • Report

    Meditation for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review

    RAND researchers conducted a systematic review that synthesized evidence from trials of meditation interventions to provide estimates of their efficacy and safety in treating adults diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Feb 6, 2017

  • Iraqi army gather during a fight with Islamic State militants in Rashidiya, North of Mosul, Iraq, January 30, 2017.

    Commentary

    The Need for a Targeted Counter-ISIL Strategy

    Defeating ISIL is only possible if political conditions change in the Middle East, North and West Africa, and South Asia, and in ways that are exceedingly unlikely. The coalition should focus on reducing ISIL's ability to conduct attacks and on removing the underlying conditions that feed Sunni grievances.

    Feb 5, 2017

  • Report

    Toward Efficient Military Retirement Accrual Charges

    This report presents a theoretical model and empirical estimates explaining why each service's retirement accrual charge is inaccurate under the current system and how this could be fixed by service-specific accrual charges.

    Feb 1, 2017