The portion of the national budget that is allocated to defense covers salaries, training, and health care; maintains and purchases arms, equipment, and facilities; funds military operations; and funds the development of new technologies. RAND analyzes defense expenditures and advises military and civilian decisionmakers on options to maximize the effectiveness, continuity, and innovation of the nation's military force.
In the wake of Haiyan there is no substitute for the capabilities of the U.S. military. At the level of national interest, however, does the case for tasking the U.S. military to international natural disasters hold up — particularly in a time when the Pentagon has seen its budget slashed?
To ensure the Department of Homeland Security makes progress in the current constrained budget environment, its new secretary must put in place a strategic perspective to guide priorities for how to address the country's most pressing problems in disaster management, immigration reform, cybersecurity, violent extremism, and nuclear terrorism.
In a time of austerity, strategic planning is about prioritisation. How should India prioritise its future military modernisation to meet its envisioned security requirements? Each of the three services can claim urgent need.
While the House of Commons vote against Britain's participation in a military strike against Syria was largely attributable to short-term miscalculations on Cameron's part, it also reflects important long-term trends that could complicate U.S.-British ties and weaken the traditionally strong bonds between the two countries.
RAND's president and CEO discusses how rigorous and objective analysis can inform government organizations responsible for U.S. national security as they address today's budget realities.
If greater co-ordination were possible across European nations — allied to a more professional cadre of soldiers — far fewer troops would be required, writes Matt Bassford. A reduction in land forces could deliver savings of approximately €6.5 billion in wage costs alone.
Even in the face of a budgetary spending cap and the ever-looming possibility of new cuts, NASA continues investing in a robust and diverse human spaceflight program. But with fiscal uncertainty expected to continue, it should consider reordering its spending priorities.
Will any good come out of the Pentagon's sequester-mandated spending cuts? If nothing else, it will drive folks to think the unthinkable, says Charles Nemfakos.
China's decision to expand defense spending also carries clues about the Party's need to keep the military happy, the new leadership's confidence and new President Xi Jinping's ability to put his own stamp on policy from the start, writes Scott Harold.
The prudent approach is to decide on a strategic direction that provides a framework for prioritizing which forces and equipment the United States should preserve and determining which can be trimmed or eliminated with limited risk to security, write Stuart Johnson and Irv Blickstein.
Budget reductions must be applied in ways that pose the least risk to national security. We need to shrink force structure carefully, reduce or delay procurement of some weapons systems, streamline management and cut personnel costs, writes Harold Brown.
The urgency with which the fiscal cliff question must be addressed should not excuse faulty calculations when it comes to the U.S. military's operational and personnel needs, write Tim Bonds and Lauren Skrabala.
China is rife with paradoxes...of class, foreign aid, military spending, and corruption. Whether and how they are resolved will seriously affect the evolution of policies within China, as well as its future relations with the United States, writes Charles Wolf, Jr.
A new audit of Iraq reconstruction spending underlines the fact that effective help for a nation in conflict, or a conflict winding down, isn't merely a question of resources. It also requires a deployable infrastructure to manage the spending, writes Charles Ries.
Technological development challenges suggest that it is highly unlikely that advanced approaches for producing hydrotreated renewable oils suitable for military applications will constitute an important fraction of the commercial fuel market until well beyond the next decade, writes Keith Crane.
At a time when the European Union faces mounting economic and political challenges, maintaining a strong, vibrant Atlantic alliance is more important than ever, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Peter A. Wilson.
The cost of providing ready aircrews, maintainers, and aircraft is one measure. But the cost of generating flying hours and satisfying ongoing operational demands must also be considered, writes Albert A. Robbert.
As America embarks on a tough strategic journey in the aftermath of Iraq, and contends with an ailing economy, it is wise to be mindful of the difference between hope and fact, writes Paula G. Thornhill.
In the wake of President Obama's recent European trip, hopes for a rejuvenation of transatlantic security cooperation continue to rise. This means resolving some old problems and avoiding new pitfalls, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.
Published commentary by RAND staff: No Need to Expand U.S. Army, in United Press International.