Military Strategy

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RAND research on military strategy has ranged from issues related to the tactics that lead to success in armed engagements, to work that describes how the size and deployment of one nation's military affects its political relationships with others.

  • Iraqi Police and U.S. colonel attended the Iraqi Police River Patrol Graduation ceremonies on the banks of the Tigris River

    Report

    The End of the Iraq War Offers Lessons for Withdrawal from Afghanistan

    Nov 5, 2013

    Policymakers and military commanders should use the lessons derived from the final years of U.S. involvement in Iraq to inform critical decisions and timelines required to successfully end large-scale military operations, including the one in Afghanistan. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” template to follow.

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  • Report

    Evaluating the Impact of the Department of Defense Regional Centers for Security Studies

    The five U.S. Department of Defense Regional Centers for Security Studies have been helping partner nations build strategic capacity for almost 20 years. This study analyzes the centers' impact and the ways in which they assess their programs.

    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

  • European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wait for the start of talks in Vienna April 9, 2014

    Blog

    Too Important to Fail

    Preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state would contribute to global security, and especially to the security and stability of the Middle East, but these are not the only considerations at hand.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • People rally against the annexation of Crimea by Russia, in Odessa, Ukraine. The banner with a portrait of Putin reads:

    Blog

    Will Putin Fall Victim to One of History's Classic Blunders?

    Russia's annexation of Crimea is proving costly. If Putin thought seizing Crimea would make the rest of Eastern Europe deferential to Moscow, the opposite is occurring, as anti-Russian/pro-NATO sentiment surges throughout the region.

    Apr 15, 2014

  • Blog

    Pentagon's Reliance on Europe Is 'Wishful Thinking'

    There needs to be more frank and precise thinking about the kind of support allies are able and willing to provide. Counting on Europeans even just to pull as much weight as they have in the past is an increasingly doubtful proposition.

    Apr 9, 2014

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits an outpost at Mount Osung

    Blog

    North Korea's Latest Military Operations

    Whatever form of chest thumping comes next from Kim, it is clear that his goal is to put forward the appearance of strength and power, when in reality he faces instability at home and scorn from the international community.

    Apr 8, 2014

  • General David Petraeus, Stephen Hadley, and David Ignatius

    Blog

    RAND Conference: Iran in the Days After a Nuclear Deal

    Expressing optimism that a deal to end Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons could succeed, experts said during a panel discussion at RAND that such an agreement could open the door to a new era for Iran, free of international sanctions but still cautious of relations with the U.S.

    Apr 3, 2014

  • Retiring U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at his farewell ceremony on June 30, 2011

    Blog

    Gates Unhinged

    In former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' new memoir, criticisms of the bureaucracy raise questions about the manageability of the American military establishment—indeed, of the American government. An individual human being can effectively manage only so many relationships at once.

    Mar 14, 2014

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, displaying on Monday what Israel said were seized Iranian-supplied missiles bound for militants in Gaza. He called on the West not to be fooled by Tehran's diplomatic outreach over its nuclear program.

    Blog

    Iran Deal: Will Israel Play Spoiler?

    Israel will not embrace an agreement that is likely to leave in place some limited Iranian nuclear enrichment and infrastructure, but it nonetheless will not likely derail a deal with actions like a military strike.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • Hercules aircraft parked on the tarmac at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan on Okinawa

    Blog

    Should the U.S. Move the Marines to Guam?

    The option to permanently base Marines on Guam should hinge on the benefits of the location and the costs. Guam scores poorly on both counts and better options exist. However, previous guidance provided to the Marine Corps constrains consideration of such options.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • French soldiers take up positions outside Markala, Mali, January 19, 2013

    Blog

    NATO Needs a Southern Strategy

    If NATO wants to avoid strategic irrelevance, it needs to give increasing attention to the threats from the Middle East and North Africa region. A southern strategy should draw on recent experience, such as NATO's intervention in Libya and the successful operation in Mali.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • News Release

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • Pakistani soldiers place barbwire to secure a street during a curfew in Rawalpindi

    Report

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 25, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Partner Capacity in Counterinsurgency Campaigns

    Success stories in small-footprint U.S. interventions have occurred in countries with inclusive politics and reasonable state capacity. Unfortunately, most insurgencies seek to overthrow regimes that are weak in inclusion and capacity.

    Feb 11, 2014

  • Blog

    Parsing Steve Walt's 'Top 10 Mistakes' About Afghanistan

    Paul Miller takes issue with four of Steve Walt's 10 points in his latest essay that lists President Obama's withdrawal deadline as one of the top 10 biggest mistakes in the war in Afghanistan.

    Feb 10, 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

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner applaud as President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014

    Blog

    State of the Union 2014: President Obama Calls for a Year of Action

    Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.

    Jan 29, 2014

  • Marine Corps Commandant James F. Amos talks to RAND's Seth Jones during a visit to RAND's Washington office Tuesday.

    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

  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, President Hassan Rouhani, and Mohammad Nahavandian at the World Economic Forum

    Blog

    Why New Sanctions on Iran Won't Work

    Sanctions are not a button that can be pushed to strengthen the U.S. position automatically; they must be used in tandem with diplomacy, and a deeper understanding of Iranian, Chinese and Russian motivations.

    Jan 23, 2014

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif after the P5+1 and Iran concluded negotiations about Iran's nuclear capabilities on November 24, 2013

    Event

    Making Sense of Nuclear Negotiations with Iran: A Good Deal or a Bad Deal?

    A January 22, 2014 RAND Congressional Briefing will feature a panel of experts discussing the nuclear negotiations with Iran.

    Jan 22, 2014