Military Doctrine

Military doctrine is the fundamental set of principles that guides military forces as they pursue national security objectives. RAND examines these principles, which can range from the policies and procedures put in place by a particular military branch to the tactics and techniques taught to new members during training.

  • Report

    The moral component of cross-domain conflict

    The study considers the body of work on morality and armed conflict in the future operating environment and provides insights on the ways in which new ways of fighting may challenge traditional moral principles.

    Oct 20, 2016

  • News Release

    Ukraine's Security Sector Needs Substantial Reform

    An assessment of Ukraine's security sector determines what different institutions need to do and where gaps exist. Roles and responsibilities need to be clarified, and coordination is needed among individual ministries and agencies.

    Oct 5, 2016

  • Ukrainian servicemen take part in a rehearsal for the Independence Day military parade in central Kiev, Ukraine, August 22, 2016


    Security Sector Reform in Ukraine

    The 2014 Maidan revolution created an opportunity for change in a system that had resisted it for 25 years. The Ukrainian security establishment has progressed since then, but its efforts have been insufficient to address the threats now facing the nation.

    Oct 5, 2016

  • News Release

    Russia, China and Iran Use Measures Short of War to Further Strategic Ends Against the U.S.

    The United States will have to address the problems of foreign intervention and threats short of war if it is to prevent further erosion of its global influence by its competitors.

    May 31, 2016

  • Chess pieces in front of an American flag


    Russia, China, and Iran Use Measures Short of War to Further Strategic Ends Against the U.S.

    The United States will have to address the problems of foreign intervention and threats short of war if it is to prevent further erosion of its global influence by its competitors. Policymakers and the military services should consider ways to better identify, forestall, and counteract the use of measures short of war against U.S. and allied interests.

    May 31, 2016

  • Report

    The Crisis Within: America's Military and the Struggle Between the Overseas and Guardian Paradigms

    The nation's understanding of both the common defense and organized violence has changed dramatically since 2001. This report is an attempt to start a conversation about how to better understand America's 21st-century military.

    Apr 27, 2016

  • 2nd Lt. Mary Kauffman, Ohio Army National Guard, crawls through mud during the Warrior Dash Aug. 11, 2013, in North Lawrence, Ohio


    Demystifying the Citizen Soldier

    This report analyzes the National Guard's centrality to American national security, the idea that it prevents the United States from fighting controversial foreign wars, and its claim to embody the concept of the citizen soldier.

    Dec 3, 2015

  • Report

    The Continued Evolution of U.S. Law of Armed Conflict Implementation: Implications for the U.S. Military

    RAND researchers examine potential strategic, technological, and normative trends that may affect the future evolution of U.S. policies that implement the Law of Armed Conflict, and assess the resulting implications for the U.S. military.

    Nov 9, 2015

  • U.S. Army General receives a mountaintop briefing from American and Afghan Special Forces on Camp Moorehead, Afghanistan


    The U.S. Military: Between a Rock and a Repulsive Place

    There is a reasonable argument that the best route to address pedophilia and other human rights violations by Afghan forces is to remain engaged, and to make U.S. support conditioned upon remediation and accountability, as the Leahy law requires.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • Report

    A Conceptual Framework for More Effectively Integrating Combat Support Capabilities and Constraints into Contingency Planning and Execution

    This publication describes a conceptual framework for better integrating combat support capabilities and constraints into contingency planning and execution.

    Sep 2, 2015

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs the Security Council in Moscow's Kremlin, December 26, 2014


    Russia's New Military Doctrine: Same as the Old Doctrine, Mostly

    Russia maintains it will use military force only defensively, when other options have failed. But this is the doctrine of a state that sees a lot to defend against, even as its interests expand globally. The danger is Moscow's view of threats everywhere may prove self-fulfilling.

    Jan 15, 2015

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko visit the Russian Defense Ministry's control room, Moscow, December 23, 2014


    Yes, Russia's Military Is Getting More Aggressive

    As Russia's relations with the U.S. and Europe have deteriorated following Moscow's aggression in Ukraine, fly-bys of European neighbors by Russian aircraft have taken on new urgency. How should the West think about these provocative flights in light of understanding Russia's nuclear threat?

    Dec 31, 2014

  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the National Security Agency from the Justice Department in Washington January 17, 2014


    Is Obama a Modern-Day Quintus Fabius Maximus?

    Critics say President Obama dragged his feet on sending more troops to Afghanistan, on addressing the dangers in Libya, on providing support to Syria's rebels and, most recently, on initiating military action against Islamic State. But is that necessarily such a bad thing?

    Oct 22, 2014

  • Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby briefs reporters on airstrikes on ISIL targets in Syria, Sept. 25, 2014


    An Inconvenient War

    Congress has not addressed President Obama's plans to take other military steps against ISIS. Some members of Congress do not want to vote on the use of military force until after the upcoming elections. Among these are some who fear their vote could cost them votes.

    Sep 25, 2014

  • Brochure

    Challenges in U.S. National Security Policy: A Festschrift Honoring Edward L. (Ted) Warner

    Among Ted Warner's many notable accomplishments, perhaps the most important has been the opportunity to mentor a substantial number of exceptionally talented men and women on various aspects of U.S. and Russian defense and arms control policy.

    May 13, 2014

  • Report

    Shaking the Heavens and Splitting the Earth: Chinese translation (traditional characters)

    This monograph (translated into traditional Chinese characters) analyzes published Chinese and Western sources about current and future capabilities and employment concepts of the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and provides recommendations about actions that should be taken in response.

    May 6, 2014

  • A Russian serviceman stands on duty near a map of the Crimea region near the city of Kerch March 4, 2014. President Vladimir Putin ordered troops involved in a military exercise in western Russia back to base on Tuesday in an announcement that appeared intended to ease East-West tension over fears of war in Ukraine.


    Ukraine and the Death of Territorial Integrity

    Russia's increasingly brazen violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity threatens to undermine the widely accepted principle that international borders are not subject to further revision, a principle that has contributed to a global decline in interstate war in recent decades.

    Mar 4, 2014

  • A autonomous vehicle maneuvers over concrete blocks during a demonstration.


    War Robots Will Lessen Killing — Not Increase It

    Could armed autonomous robots embark on a campaign of indiscriminate killing? John Matsumura says there is a convincing base of evidence that robots are more likely to prevent slaughter than engage in it.

    Oct 18, 2013

  • binary cyber wave graphic


    Redefining Information Warfare Boundaries for an Army in a Wireless World

    The U.S. Army is studying ways to apply its cyber power and is reconsidering doctrinally defined areas related to cyberspace operations. Clarifying the overlap between network and information operations and other areas could inform Army doctrine.

    Jan 16, 2013

  • One of a flight of F-5A Freedom Fighter,armed with 500-pound bombs,refuels from a KC-135 tanker somewhere over Vietnam in February 1966.


    U.S. Global Defense Posture, 1783–2011

    Debates over the U.S. global defense posture are not new. As policymakers today evaluate the U.S. forward military presence, it is important that they understand how and why the U.S. global posture has changed in the past. This historical overview has important implications for current policy and future efforts to develop an American military strategy, in particular the scope, size, and type of military presence overseas.

    Jan 14, 2013