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.
Even in the face of a budgetary spending cap and the ever-looming possibility of new cuts, NASA continues investing in a robust and diverse human spaceflight program. But with fiscal uncertainty expected to continue, it should consider reordering its spending priorities.
Syria is looking more like a collapsed state every day. Nearly a million people have now fled Syria for safety abroad. Meanwhile, the influence of extremist groups, such as the al Nusrah Front, continues to grow as these groups slip into the areas vacated by the Syrian state, writes Christopher Chivvis.
Even if Japan and China ease the tensions in their dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyus islands, the United States should gird itself for further uncomfortable contingencies in the coming years, writes David Shlapak.
With the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) now apparently ready to try to peacefully resolve differences with Turkey, the prospects that the uprising will come to an end have improved, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.
The costly removal of Saddam Hussein won no applause, earned no gratitude, established no reliable ally, and produced no lasting strategic benefit, says Brian Michael Jenkins.
Ten years after the United States and its allies invaded Iraq, it seems appropriate to ask a bottom-line question: Did the U.S. succeed? The U.S. came very close to losing the Iraq war of 2003-2011, writes Ben Connable.
Will any good come out of the Pentagon's sequester-mandated spending cuts? If nothing else, it will drive folks to think the unthinkable, says Charles Nemfakos.
Both to repeat the successes of private military contracting and to avoid the mistakes of contractors in the recent wars, the Department of Defense must consider several points specific to security contractors, writes Molly Dunigan.
Solving the problem of space debris isn't going to be easy because, like spilled petroleum products, debris can spend years lurking in an environment that is foreign to most people's daily lives, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.
Trepidation about boots-on-the-ground engagement has unnecessarily forestalled even small-scale efforts to repair Libya's fractured security environment....Meanwhile, in Syria, the over-learned lessons of Iraq are taking an even more serious toll, writes Christopher Chivvis.
The post-Vietnam “never again” attitude led to a severe atrophy of the U.S. military's counterinsurgency skills and it is quite possible that the U.S. military will go through a similar phase of unlearning over the next several years, writes James Dobbins.
China's decision to expand defense spending also carries clues about the Party's need to keep the military happy, the new leadership's confidence and new President Xi Jinping's ability to put his own stamp on policy from the start, writes Scott Harold.
The act of caring for a veteran takes a physical, mental, and economic toll on caregivers and their families. Giving caregivers the skills and resources they need to cope and thrive should be as much a priority as giving veterans medical care.
Ten years after the United States helped overthrow the Taliban regime, it is remarkable that successive U.S. administrations have refused to target the Taliban safe haven in Baluchistan, writes Seth Jones.
A successful partnership within Europe, as well as between Europe and the US, to overcome extremism and terrorism in North and North Central Africa could provide allies with a sense of common purpose and a model of unified effort, writes Harold Brown.
Perhaps making war can persuade the attacker to stop. Yet, war also risks further disruption, great cost, as well as possible destruction and death—especially if matters escalate beyond cyberspace, writes Martin Libicki.
Unless he can convince allies like Turkey as well as skeptics like Russia that the United States is serious about altering the trajectory of the conflict, Kerry might as well skip the Syria talking points and focus on other issues.
The swift march into Mali by a band of Islamist thugs demonstrates an efficient, opportunistic filling of a security vacuum more than an increase in jihadist power or influence, writes Andy Liepman.
This is why teachers are so often the targets of attack. In the rebels’ view, schools aren’t neutral places for children to receive an education. They are seen as government-run indoctrination centers, propagating an exclusionary history and an alien language, writes Jonah Blank.
While the event in Russia was caused by a medium-sized (10,000-ton) meteor, larger objects, like the asteroid 2012 DA14 that also passed near Earth last week, have the potential to be significantly more damaging, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.