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RAND conducts a broad array of national security research for the U.S. Department of Defense and allied ministries of defense. RAND's three U.S. federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) explore topics from acquisition and technology to personnel and readiness.

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  • Smoke rises after a U.S.-led airstrike in Kobani, Syria, Ocotber 10, 2014

    Blog

    Air Campaign Against ISIS Is Just Getting Off the Ground

    More than 60 countries have joined the coalition against ISIS, with at least 12 participating in the air campaign. Eventually, this will be an impressive armada, but the campaign is still in its first stage, and most of the coalition participants joined the effort only recently.

    Oct 17, 2014

  • Report

    France's War in Mali: Lessons for an Expeditionary Army

    This report discusses the 2013 French Army operations in Mali (Operation Serval) to provide a model for designing and operating an expeditionary force, one that has a number of attributes and competencies the United States Army is seeking.

    Oct 17, 2014

  • Scouts pull overwatch at the Chowkay Valley in Kunar Province, Afghanistan in 2006

    Blog

    7 Lessons from 13 Years of War

    RAND senior international policy analyst Linda Robinson addressed the annual Army USA Conference in Washington to present new research that distills lessons learned from the U.S. experience in the last 13 years of war.

    Oct 16, 2014

  • U.S. Army boots on sand

    Blog

    What Could U.S. Boots on the Ground Do in Iraq and Syria?

    Before embracing American boots on the ground as a strategy to fight ISIS, it's essential to be clear about what they're going to do, what they may require, and what risks may be entailed.

    Oct 15, 2014

  • CH-47 Chinook helicopters land outside of the village of Abd al Hasan, Iraq, to pick up U.S. and Iraqi Army Soldiers

    Report

    Lessons from Past 13 Years of War Can Improve Future Strategy

    Lessons from the past 13 years of war provide insight into the future operating environment and identify critical requirements for land and special operations forces to collaborate successfully with various partners in future conflicts.

    Oct 14, 2014

  • U.S. Army Sgt. instructing Iraqi soldiers on individual movement techniques during a class at the Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center in 2011

    Blog

    The Foreign Policy Essay: Hearts, Minds, & ISIL

    Defeating ISIL will not come from “winning hearts and minds” and soft power, nor will it come from a handful of precision airstrikes. It will require hard, bloody ground combat. The United States may not want to admit this, but it is the grim truth nonetheless.

    Oct 13, 2014

  • U.S. Army soldiers, earmarked for the fight against Ebola, put on protective suits during training before their deployment to West Africa, October 9, 2014

    Blog

    Declaring War on Ebola

    Operation United Assistance, which includes the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to respond to the Ebola crisis, is a welcome recognition of the range of missions the military is increasingly able to tackle, particularly in disaster-management assistance.

    Oct 10, 2014

  • A masked man speaking in what is believed to be a North American accent in a video that Islamic State militants released in September 2014 is pictured in this still frame from video obtained by Reuters, October 7, 2014

    Blog

    What Are ISIS's Options Now?

    In domestic debates about what the United States should do to blunt the threat posed by ISIS, Americans often forget the adversary also has options. A determined force, ISIS will counter the bombing campaign.

    Oct 10, 2014

  • Report

    Management Perspectives Pertaining to Root Cause Analyses of Nunn-McCurdy Breaches, Volume 6: Contractor Motivations and Anticipating Breaches

    The authors analyze what motivates defense contractors to determine if better incentives exist to the ones now used, and analyze major defense acquisition programs to see if it is possible to identify programs that might incur a Nunn-McCurdy breach.

    Oct 8, 2014

  • Report

    RAND NSRD Annual Report 2013-2014

    Surveys the work of the RAND National Security Research Division from April 2013 through June 2014.

    Oct 8, 2014

  • U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a briefing from top military leaders while visiting U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, September 17, 2014

    Blog

    The New Global Juggling Act

    Areas that have long been a focal point for defense planning — Europe, the Middle East and East Asia — are all facing profound and unsettling change, and the United States may no longer have the luxury of choosing among regions.

    Oct 7, 2014

  • A man holds up a knife as he rides on the back of a motorcycle in celebration after Islamic State militants took over Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria, August 24, 2014

    Blog

    Hit the Islamic State's Pocketbook

    The Islamic State is the world's richest terrorist group, with estimated assets of $1 billion to $2 billion. Airstrikes may disrupt the flow of oil and profits, but they won't lead to the group's financial ruin anytime soon. The Islamic State will bring in an estimated $100 million to $200 million this year.

    Oct 6, 2014

  • Report

    Air Force-Wide Needs for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Academic Degrees

    RAND researchers asked Air Force senior functional authorities which STEM degrees are and will be needed to maintain vital technical skills. The results suggest areas the Air Force should review for emerging demand.

    Oct 6, 2014

  • A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells towards Zummar, controlled by the Islamic State, near Mosul, September 15, 2014

    Blog

    Does ISIL Represent a Threat to the United States?

    There are legitimate questions about how to best go about preventing ISIL from consolidating its control over Iraq and Levant. But this is very different from arguing that ISIL is not a threat and that the United States therefore should stand aside as it does so.

    Oct 3, 2014

  • Report

    The Other Quiet Professionals: Lessons for Future Cyber Forces from the Evolution of Special Forces

    A review of commonalities, similarities, and differences between the still-nascent U.S. cyber force and early U.S. special operations forces, conducted in 2010, offers salient lessons for the future direction of U.S. cyber forces.

    Oct 3, 2014

  • Young man working at computer outside

    Blog

    The Realities of Silicon Valley's Lack of Workforce Diversity

    Major Silicon Valley tech firms have released statistics indicating their workforces are largely made up of white men. Corporate America is on the receiving end of a complex chain of social and educational factors that continue to leave minorities behind in terms of college graduation.

    Oct 2, 2014

  • Tinker Air Force Base Computing Center

    Report

    Cost Considerations in Cloud Computing

    Until the Department of Defense develops official guidance for cost analysis of cloud and data centers, examining cost drivers for several data management approaches can help guide DoD analysts.

    Oct 2, 2014

  • Army Sustainment Command Soldiers and civilian employees

    Report

    How Pay Freezes, Unpaid Furloughs, and Other Compensation Changes Affect Retention in the Federal Civil Service Workforce

    Federal employee pay freezes and unpaid furloughs have raised concerns about the ability of the federal civil service to attract and retain personnel. RAND's dynamic retention model has been extended to assess how such actions could affect DoD civil service employment.

    Oct 2, 2014

  • Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Carlos Vidal conducts protective medicine education aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington during a mental health fair

    Report

    U.S. Military Making Progress on Reducing Stigma Associated with Seeking Help For Mental Illness

    Despite efforts of both the DoD and the Veterans Health Administration to enhance mental health services, many service members still do not seek needed care. Defense officials have made a concerted effort to promote treatment as a way to reduce stigma.

    Sep 30, 2014

  • Report

    Nutritional Fitness and Resilience: A Review of Relevant Constructs, Measures, and Links to Well-Being

    This report examines the relationship between nutritional fitness and resilience, using key constructs found in the scientific literature that address self-regulation, positive affect, perceived control, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and optimism.

    Sep 30, 2014