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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 four U.S. federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) explore topics from acquisition and technology to personnel and readiness.

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  • 'Buy War Bonds' poster by Orson Lowell

    Report

    The Evolution of U.S. Military Policy from the Constitution to the Present

    This report traces how U.S. military policy has evolved through statutory changes and legislative compromises. Today's "traditional" military policy dates back only to 1940. This history provides context for further evolving the U.S. Army.

    May 4, 2017

  • An Iraqi security guard walks inside Al-Salam hospital destroyed during the fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants east of Mosul, Iraq May 2, 2017.

    Commentary

    The Caliphate Is Crumbling: What Comes Next?

    ISIL's caliphate is crumbling. But unless the U.S.-led coalition can reduce the many possibilities that might give ISIL's down-and-out members a reason to fight on, the militants will continue to contribute to disorder in the region.

    May 3, 2017

  • Research Brief

    Assessing the Army's Ability to Regenerate Its Active Component End Strength

    This analysis modeled the Army's ability to increase ("regenerate") its active component end strength over five years -- starting from end strengths of 450,000 and 420,000 -- to provide the number of deployable troops available in 2010.

    May 3, 2017

  • Report

    Evaluating the Army's Ability to Regenerate: History and Future Options

    This analysis modeled the Army's ability to increase ("regenerate") its active component end strength over five years -- starting from end strengths of 450,000 and 420,000 -- to provide the number of deployable troops available in 2010.

    May 3, 2017

  • U.S. Army soldiers, deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, use a rooftop as an observation post in Mosul, Iraq, March 7, 2017

    Commentary

    NATO's Role in Post-Caliphate Stability Operations

    Steps are needed to fill the vacuum left as the caliphate collapses, lest forces on the ground turn on each other to gain control. The answer is for NATO to act under U.S. leadership. The alternative is either chaos or Iran — backed by Russia — filling the void.

    May 2, 2017

  • An electrician mechanic rewinds a stator at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility

    Report

    Current and Future Challenges to Resourcing U.S. Navy Public Shipyards

    To better understand recent trends at U.S. Navy public shipyards, RAND researchers explore how shipyard work is changing, whether more personnel are now required to perform it, and what risks shipyards may wish to address through additional hiring.

    May 2, 2017

  • Testimony

    Limiting Regret: Building the Army We Will Need — An Update: Addendum

    Document submitted April 17, 2017, as an addendum to testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces on March 1, 2017.

    May 2, 2017

  • Report

    Strategic Planning Tools for the Army Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps Program

    The Army must monitor Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) units to ensure that it attracts and commissions highly-qualified officers. Two new strategic planning tools can help the Army to evaluate and choose ROTC hosts and affiliates.

    May 2, 2017

  • The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, left, along with ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, transit the East China Sea, March 9, 2017

    Commentary

    U.S.-China Tensions Are Unlikely to Lead to War

    The U.S.-China relationship today may be trending towards greater tension, but the relative stability and overall low level of hostility make the prospect of an accidental escalation to war extremely unlikely.

    May 1, 2017

  • Report

    A Review of Alternative Methods to Inventory Contracted Services in the Department of Defense

    Concerned about U.S. Department of Defense contracts for private-sector services, Congress mandated development of an inventory of contract activities. RAND conducted a review of the system, stakeholder needs, and alternative data sources.

    Apr 27, 2017

  • U.S. military personnel fold the American flag at a funeral

    Testimony

    Community-Based Programs Are Critical to Veteran Suicide Prevention

    The VA provides high-quality mental health care. Its biggest challenge is preventing suicide among those who are not enrolled, such as veterans with other-than-honorable discharges and women. Strengthening community-based programs could prevent veteran suicide and help slow national suicide rates.

    Apr 27, 2017

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is reflected in the glasses of a cadet watching Putin on TV at a military school outside Rostov-on-Don, Russia, December 20, 2012

    Testimony

    The Need for Cognitive Security

    The United States needs a strategy to counter information operations conducted by Russia and other adversaries. The rapid evolution of technology complicates this challenge.

    Apr 27, 2017

  • Multimedia

    Preventing Veteran Suicide

    An overview of testimony by Rajeev Ramchand presented before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies on April 27, 2017.

    Apr 27, 2017

  • Estonian and U.S. soldiers conduct live-fire training during a combat exercise near Tapa, Estonia, April 6, 2017

    Commentary

    How Trump Can Deter Russia and All of America's Other Enemies

    There is no such thing as blanket deterrence. Rather, one must deter a specific adversary from taking a specific action. A holistic approach should include ramping up U.S. capabilities to anticipate emerging threats, including events that are unlikely to happen.

    Apr 26, 2017

  • Multimedia

    Direction of Foreign Policy in Trump Administration's First 100 Days

    In this Call with the Experts, RAND senior fellow, James Dobbins, as well as RAND senior international policy analyst, Linda Robinson, discuss the Trump administration's emerging foreign policy strategy as it approaches the symbolic 100-day milestone.

    Apr 26, 2017

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to people attending a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017.

    Commentary

    China's Role in Dissuading North Korea from a Chemical Weapons Attack

    North Korea's brash pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and disregard for chemical weapons norms are enormously troubling. China's engagement will be essential in convincing Kim Jong Un that the use of chemical weapons is a red line that cannot be crossed.

    Apr 24, 2017

  • Locals read promotional boards about planned economic zones along the China-North Korea border in Nanping, China, March 27, 2017

    Commentary

    Despite Promising Signs, China's North Korea Policy Unchanged

    Official statements and public discussions on China's willingness to punish or otherwise influence North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a direction favorable to U.S. interests have been optimistic lately. But China's continued support of the North should temper expectations.

    Apr 24, 2017

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Moscow, June 29, 2015

    Commentary

    How the West Can Press Putin to Keep Assad in Order

    Moscow has achieved tactical successes in Syria, but without Western and regional help, its long-term strategic interests could be at risk. Denying strong evidence that the regime of Bashar al-Assad attacked civilians with sarin gas makes it harder for Moscow to obtain the Western and regional help it needs to secure its interests there.

    Apr 24, 2017

  • The 24-hour Operations Room inside GCHQ, Cheltenham, UK, November 17, 2015

    Commentary

    Five Eyes at 70: Where to from Here?

    The Five Eyes intelligence alliance of the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand began in the Cold War to meet the threat posed by the Soviet Union. Today, the nations' intelligence communities must contend with domestic terrorism and cyber threats while remaining ahead of Russia and China.

    Apr 21, 2017