Military Budgets and Defense Spending

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.

  • A man and his physical therapist in a session

    Commentary

    As Congress Drafts the NDAA, What Are Options for TRICARE Reform?

    A stronger TRICARE program that provides greater value-based care in a more efficient manner could result from adopting innovations made in the private sector, while also recognizing the unique role of military treatment facilities.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group in formation with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships for a photo exercise, November 23, 2015

    Commentary

    Transforming 'Distributed Lethality' Strategy into Action

    Distributed lethality offers a more offensive approach to using naval surface forces as potential adversaries acquire naval capabilities designed to control the sea. Translating the concept into action has implications for Navy operations, logistics, finances, and overall strategy.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Marine Corps sergeant relays commands during a tactical exercise to recover aircraft and personnel at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, January 25, 2016

    Report

    U.S. Military Service Members May Volunteer to Extend Tours if Offered Incentives

    Nearly 60 percent of U.S. military service members surveyed were unwilling to voluntarily extend their tours, believing that doing so may adversely impact quality of life, morale, or job performance. Others reported interest in longer tours if financial incentives were offered.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Report

    Reserve Component General and Flag Officers: A Review of Requirements and Authorized Strength

    Increased use of the reserve component has renewed interest in the question of the appropriate number of reserve component general and flag officers. RAND researchers conducted a review of requirements for reserve component general and flag officers.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • News Release

    U.S. Military Service Members May Volunteer to Extend Tours if Incentives Offered

    Nearly 60 percent of U.S. military service members surveyed were unwilling to voluntarily extend their tours because they believed doing so may adversely impact quality of life, morale, and possibly job performance. Others reported interest in longer tours under some circumstances, including if financial incentives were offered.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Antonio Diaz inspects munitions before they are mounted onto an F-16C Fighting Falcon during flightline operations Jan. 9, 2015, at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J.

    Report

    Robust Decision Making Could Help Defense Resource Planning

    Defense planning needs a new approach to identify strategies that perform well over a wide range of threat and funding futures. RDM is designed to inform decisions under conditions of deep uncertainty and complexity, and as shown in an application to the munitions mix challenge, could prove quite useful.

    Feb 1, 2016

  • Image of the Army Local Effects Dashboard

    Tool

    Interactive Database of the Army's Local Economic Effects

    This interactive, web-based tool accompanies The Army's Local Economic Effects, and maps the economic effects of national-level U.S. Army spending for each state broken down by fiscal year (2012-2014) and congressional district.

    Jan 4, 2016

  • Twelve KC-135 Stratotankers from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron taxi onto the runway during exercise Forceful Tiger on Kadena Air Base, Japan, April 1, 2015

    Report

    Metrics to Compare Aircraft Operating and Support Costs in the Department of Defense

    This report examines several issues associated with the cost-per-flying-hour (CPFH) metric used in the Department of Defense (DoD), including its use to compare operating and support costs of different aircraft.

    Dec 22, 2015

  • Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Forces, surveys work done on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) during a visit

    Report

    Assessment of Surface Ship Maintenance Requirements

    This report by the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI) examines the impact of the U.S. government's fiscal challenges on the U.S. Navy's surface ship maintenance and operations requirements.

    Dec 21, 2015

  • Dissertation

    Improving the Cost Efficiency and Readiness of MC-130 Aircrew Training: A Case Study

    Examines the respective effects on costs and readiness of existing and potential MC-130 aircrew continuation training policies.

    Dec 18, 2015

  • U.S. President Obama departs after his remarks and a tour of the Philippine Navy's BRP Gregorio Del Pilar at Manila Harbor, Philippines, November 17, 2015

    Commentary

    Obama Doubles Down on Maritime Capacity Building in Southeast Asia

    By contributing to coast guard capacity building by donating ships and funding, the United States has found an important and politically viable avenue to bolster maritme security to partners and allies in Southeast Asia.

    Dec 15, 2015

  • Report

    The Army's Local Economic Effects: Appendix B, Volume I: Alabama Through Minnesota

    This appendix to The Army's Local Economic Effects provides descriptions of the overall economic effects for each state, details by fiscal year from 2012-2014, and a parsing of the data by congressional district for Alabama through Minnesota.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • The groundbreaking ceremony at the Van Horne housing community

    Report

    The Army's Local Economic Effects

    This report presents findings on the economic activity supported by national-level Army spending in each of the 435 congressional districts for fiscal years 2012-2014.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • Report

    The Army's Local Economic Effects: Appendix B, Volume II: Mississippi Through Wyoming

    This appendix to The Army's Local Economic Effects provides descriptions of the overall economic effects for each state, details by fiscal year from 2012-2014, and a parsing of the data by congressional district for Mississippi through Wyoming.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • A 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief marshals a B-2A Spirit bomber during an orientation flight at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 27, 2015

    Commentary

    Inside the Fish Bowl: High Stakes Acquisition Protests

    The Boeing-Lockheed Martin team filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office asserting that the U.S. Air Force's selection of Northrop Grumman to build the Long Range Strike-Bomber was fundamentally flawed. Work on the program, valued at approximately $80 billion, is now paused.

    Dec 3, 2015

  • Henry Rowen giving a briefing at RAND on the future of China, June 14, 2007

    Announcement

    Henry S. Rowen, Second President of RAND, Dies at 90

    Henry “Harry” S. Rowen, who as the second president of the RAND Corporation oversaw the creation of its graduate school and extended RAND's reach into domestic policy in the 1970s, has died.

    Nov 16, 2015

  • congress_building

    Brochure

    Saving the Government Money: Examples from RAND's FFRDCs

    RAND's three federally funded research and development centers apply research capital they have developed over the years to help decisionmakers solve problems and often save money as well. This publication lists and briefly summarizes some RAND projects undertaken over the past ten years that have helped save the government money or that have identified ways to do so.

    Nov 13, 2015

  • Soledad O'Brien, Chuck Hagel, Michael Rich, and Michael Lynton at One Night with RAND, November 11, 2015

    Blog

    What Is America's Role in the World?

    One Night with RAND brought together leaders in business, philanthropy, government, academia, and media for a discussion about the international strategic choices that will shape the U.S. role in the world for years to come.

    Nov 12, 2015

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to servicemen during a training exercise at the Donguz testing range in Orenburg region, Russia, September 19, 2015

    Commentary

    Is Winter Coming? Or, Our Russia Strategy

    In Washington, and across the globe, many ask if Russian actions represent a new challenge to international order, and, if so, what is the best course of action to respond to it.

    Nov 12, 2015

  • U.S. Marines receive a safety brief before they conduct live-fire drills during Trident Juncture 2015 in Almeria, Spain, October 27, 2015

    Commentary

    Building Interoperability for European Defense

    To make the most out of declining defense budgets, the U.S. needs to engage European forces to build interoperability that would enable joint operations to deter and defeat potential adversaries, even with little advance notice. But building interoperable units has often proved difficult even among the friendliest of nations.

    Nov 9, 2015