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.

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: September-October 2016

    This issue highlights transgender personnel in the U.S. military; promising evidence on personalized learning in U.S. classrooms; a Q&A on gaming and public policy; excerpts from John Lewis' Pardee RAND commencement address, and more.

    Aug 25, 2016

  • Report

    Overview of People's Liberation Army Air Force "Elite Pilots"

    This report draws on a wide variety of Chinese primary sources to provide an overview of how the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) selects and trains what it calls its elite fighter pilots.

    Aug 24, 2016

  • Report

    Air Force Management of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund: Opportunities for Improvement

    Using insights from interviews, legislation, and policy, this report develops a decision framework that will help the U.S. Air Force's Director of Acquisition Career Management improve management of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund.

    Aug 23, 2016

  • Syria Democratic Forces fighters inspect a center used by Islamic State religious police in Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 16, 2016

    Commentary

    Demystifying the Islamic State

    To counter the threat posed by the Islamic State group, it is crucial to understand what the terrorist organization is and what it is not. Attributing all jihadist violence to a ruthless gang headquartered in Raqqa exaggerates the power of the group and plays into their propaganda and recruiting efforts.

    Aug 23, 2016

  • Tool

    Navy Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution: A Reference Guide for Senior Leaders, Managers, and Action Officers

    This tool documents key but enduring aspects of how the Navy implements the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution process so that action officers and Navy leaders can successfully navigate and effectively contribute to the process.

    Aug 22, 2016

  • Veteran filling out job application

    Report

    More Research Would Inform Innovative Approaches to Veteran Employment

    While the aim of veteran employment programs is to help veterans transition to civilian jobs, their impact is unclear. RAND hosted two workshops to recommend improvements to veteran employment opportunities and identify research gaps.

    Aug 22, 2016

  • Sami Dayan (center), an al Qaeda militant, is escorted by police in a courtroom holding cell in Sanaa, Yemen, April 22, 2014

    Commentary

    A Persistent and Resilient Adversary: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

    The history of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula catalogues every dimension of frustration in combatting terrorism. But is it possible that the United States and its Gulf allies are finally getting the measure of AQAP?

    Aug 22, 2016

  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the FY2016 budget at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, February 2, 2015

    Commentary

    President Obama's Controversial Legacy as Counterterrorism-in-Chief

    There were no attacks like 9/11 during Obama's eight years in office. But there were plenty of terrorist adversaries. While he will be judged in part for his domestic achievements, Obama's counterterrorism choices are a major part of his legacy.

    Aug 22, 2016

  • Report

    Worldwide C-17 Availability to Support 82nd Airborne Operations from Fort Bragg/Pope Field

    This report explores C-17 availability and determines how quickly these aircraft and their aircrews can reach and depart from Fort Bragg/Pope Field, where the 82nd Airborne Division operates, from the many locations they are deployed to worldwide.

    Aug 18, 2016

  • U.S. Army Capt. Jennifer Peace poses near her home in Spanaway, Washington, August 28, 2015

    Essay

    Transgender Troops: Fit to Serve

    The Pentagon's decision to open the ranks to transgender service members was informed by months of RAND research into the costs and numbers involved.

    Aug 18, 2016

  • Report

    Can We Explain Gender Differences in Officer Career Progression?

    The report provides a quantitative analysis of the differences in the career progression of officers based on gender, as well as the factors that explain these differences.

    Aug 17, 2016

  • A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center on September 15, 2001

    Commentary

    ISIS vs. Al Qaida: Battle of the Terrorist Brands

    Rather than thinking of defeating terrorists solely in traditional military terms, it might make sense to think of bankrupting them. It might help to consider the factors that cause luxury brands to lose their luster or big box retailers to fail.

    Aug 16, 2016

  • French President Francois Hollande and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian review troops at the fort of Vincennes, France, July 25, 2016

    Commentary

    Emergencies: France, Mali, and Turkey Are Playing with Fire

    The leaders of France, Mali, and Turkey have declared formal states of emergency. France's Hollande and Mali's Keïta, while responding to real threats, are risking democracy. Erdogan appears to be targeting democracy and using Turkey's recent failed coup as a pretext.

    Aug 15, 2016

  • Journal Article

    China's Search for a "Strategic Air Force"

    China's People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has undergone a transformation over the past two decades. As it continues to modernize, it is focused on becoming a strategic air force.

    Aug 11, 2016

  • U.S. Marines with their Georgian counterparts preparing for NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, March 24, 2015

    Commentary

    How Defense Choices Affect Military Readiness

    Because the United States cannot afford to prioritize and defend against every possible threat or contingency, it must accept risk with each decision it makes. And the more adaptive the adversary, the more likely it will confound readiness investments made previously to confront it.

    Aug 10, 2016

  • Report

    An Independent Assessment of Air Force Compliance with Headquarters Reduction Goals

    RAND researchers assess the Air Force's response to Secretary of Defense direction to reduce headquarters spending, compare the Air Force's approach with practices from literature and industry, and identify opportunities for further reductions.

    Aug 8, 2016

  • Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front fighters enter the back of a pick-up truck in Arsal, Lebanon, December 1, 2015

    Commentary

    What's in a Name? The Rebranding of the Nusra Front

    Jabhat al-Nusra, which recently announced that it was severing its affiliation with al Qaeda, is now Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. This means less than meets the eye, but it does say something about the local atmosphere in Syria.

    Aug 8, 2016

  • A diplomatic delegation waits for China's President Xi Jinping to arrive at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, March 30, 2016, to attend the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington

    Q&A

    Q&A: An Unthinkable War Between the U.S. and China

    David Gompert, lead author of a RAND report that explores an unthinkable U.S.-China war answers questions about what the study does — and does not — say about the potential for such a war and its possible outcome.

    Aug 4, 2016

  • The American flag reflects in the glasses of an Army officer in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, April 22, 2012

    Report

    U.S. Military Pay Tables and Retention

    To help retain America's most experienced service members, Congress extended the military's basic pay tables to 40 years in 2007. Would retention be equally achieved by reverting to a 30-year pay table?

    Aug 3, 2016

  • U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

    Blog

    A Summer Reading List for Congress

    To help Hill staffers make the most of the Congressional recess, RAND has developed a list of must-read research and commentaries that will help ensure policymakers will return ready to hit the ground running.

    Aug 2, 2016