Military Force Planning

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Ensuring that a modern military has the appropriate personnel and capabilities is the key goal of military force planning. RAND research on such topics as military wages, support for military families, troop diversity, and reenlistment rates ensures that U.S. and allied militaries are well aware of issues related to career field management and personnel retention and recruitment.

Explore Military Force Planning

  • News Release

    Increasing Numbers of U.S. Army Recruits Enlist Some Years After High School

    More than half of all U.S. Army recruits are choosing to join later in life instead of immediately after high school graduation, but these older recruits tend to reenlist and be promoted at greater rates than their younger peers.

    Apr 23, 2014

  • Report

    Increasing Numbers of U.S. Army Recruits Enlist Some Years After High School

    More than half of all U.S. Army recruits are choosing to join later in life instead of immediately after high school graduation. Older recruits tend to reenlist and receive promotions at greater rates than their younger peers. Among those surveyed, recruits who enlisted later were more concerned about the domestic job market and less concerned about external factors, such as opposition from family and friends.

    Apr 23, 2014

  • Report

    RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2013

    Describes RAND Arroyo Center's research activities in FY13 and summarizes noteworthy studies performed throughout the year.

    Apr 23, 2014

  • Blog

    The U.S. Army Must Remain Prepared for Battle

    Converting the Army into a force suited only for homeland defense or humanitarian missions abroad, without the ability to fight sophisticated foes as part of a joint force, would result in an unprepared Army.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • Blog

    Don't Chop the Air Force — Look to the Reserves

    The Air Force's latest budget plan proposes to cut 25,000 airmen. The recommendations made by the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force (NCSAF) offer an alternative — and less risky — way forward.

    Apr 11, 2014

  • Blog

    Russia Is Outmanned and Outgunned

    Yes, the United States has many fewer forces in Europe than it did in 1989. But Russia has none, its allies have all switched sides, and its military is but a shadow of what it was 25 years ago.

    Apr 10, 2014

  • Report

    Assessing Stop-Loss Policy Options Through Personnel Flow Modeling

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense identified several policy options for reducing or eliminating the use of stop-loss in the Army. This briefing documents the results of a quantitative study of these proposed alternative policies.

    Apr 7, 2014

  • Report

    Analysis to Inform Defense Planning Despite Austerity

    Defense analysis can better serve policymakers by exploiting improvements in the state of the art and by rediscovering and supplementing classic principles. These relate to multiple objectives and hedging against uncertainty.

    Mar 20, 2014

  • Blog

    Stuck Between a Rock and the 'Zero Option'

    A total drawdown of American forces — the “zero option” — is a real possibility. Recently, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the United States would begin planning for this contingency because of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's failure to sign a bilateral security agreement.

    Mar 13, 2014

  • Report

    Elements of Success: How Type of Secondary Education Credential Helps Predict Enlistee Attrition

    This report examines how attrition rates for enlistees with distance learning or homeschool credentials compare with those of high school diploma holders in light of Armed Forces Qualification Test scores.

    Feb 20, 2014

  • Report

    The Future of the U.S. Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force

    Assesses alternatives for a next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) across a broad set of potential characteristics and situations and weighs them against the costs of those alternatives.

    Feb 4, 2014

  • Report

    Pardee RAND Researchers Develop Framework for Change Through Accountability

    To prioritize the goals, actions, and initiatives in the Department of Defense Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, 2012–2017, Pardee RAND student Abigail Haddad (cohort '09), alum Lindsay Daugherty (cohort '05), and professor Nelson Lim developed a "Framework for Change Through Accountability."

    Jan 31, 2014

  • Blog

    Gen. Amos Discusses the Future of the USMC at RAND

    The hard-won lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq over the last decade will serve the U.S. Marine Corps well as it faces new challenges around the world, Marine Corps Commandant James F. Amos told a gathering at RAND's Washington headquarters.

    Jan 29, 2014

  • Report

    A Methodology for Determining Air Force Education Requirements Board (AFERB) Advanced Academic Degree (AAD) Requirements

    Failing to predict the number of Air Force billet vacancies that will require an advanced academic degree can be difficult, and can lead to shortfalls or an oversupplies of officers with specific degrees and academic specialties.

    Jan 3, 2014

  • Report

    Understanding the Cost and Quality of Military-Related Education Benefit Programs

    Issues such as rising tuition costs, an increasing numbers of for-profit institutions that target veterans, and a potentially confusing array of benefit options could mitigate the impact of financial aid benefits designed to help veterans attend college.

    Dec 24, 2013

  • Blog

    Afghanistan After the Drawdown

    It is relatively easy to criticize what's going wrong in Afghanistan. It is much harder to propose a realistic way forward. Seth Jones and Keith Crane in a new report, “Afghanistan After the Drawdown,” suggest a calibrated political and military approach that protects U.S. interests at a realistic level of manpower and investment.

    Dec 6, 2013

  • Blog

    Just Ignore Karzai and Press On

    As important as a bilateral security agreement is to formalize America's long-term presence in Afghanistan. The current draft doesn't spell out the details of a U.S. military presence after 2014, including the size, composition, and strategy of U.S. forces. Those details are what matter most.

    Nov 26, 2013

  • Blog

    Five Profound Choices Special Ops Face Next Year

    If 2013 was the year of decisions, 2014 will be the year special operations forces implement their roadmap for the future. But where exactly does that road lead? The trajectory will be determined by several budgetary and policy choices that the U.S. military, policymakers and Congress will make in 2014.

    Nov 1, 2013

  • Blog

    Paths to Victory in the Australian Defence and Security Context

    The historical importance of commitment and motivation and the need to overmatch insurgents suggest that Australia should weigh any commitment of support against existing conditions, those that can be changed and those that can't, writes Christopher Paul.

    Oct 2, 2013

  • Research Brief

    Enhancing Civilian Agency Participation in Stability Operations

    U.S. plans for stability operations emphasize a "whole of government" approach in which civilian and military agency efforts reflect a common U.S. strategy, but such an approach has been difficult to implement in practice. How can the Army assist in making key civilian agencies more capable partners in the planning and execution of stability, security, transition, and reconstruction (SSTR) operations?

    Sep 18, 2013