National Security

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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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    Report

    U.S. Needs to Either Boost Defense Funding or Limit Military Commitments

    Oct 19, 2015

    Limitations on defense spending in the context of emerging threats are creating a U.S. “security deficit.” How might policymakers adjust to bring resources into better alignment with strategic demands?

  • Pfc. Christina Fuentes Montenegro prepares to hike to her platoon's defensive position during patrol week of Infantry Training Battalion near Camp Geiger, N.C. in Oct. 2013, photo by Sgt. Tyler Main/U.S. Marine Corps

    Report

    Integrating Women into the Marine Corps Infantry

    Dec 3, 2015

    The gender integration experiences of foreign militaries — as well as U.S. civilian police and fire departments — can provide valuable lessons for the U.S. Marine Corps as it considers making more opportunities available to women.

Explore National Security

  • A North Korean long-range rocket is launched at the Sohae launch site in North Korea, February 7, 2016

    Commentary

    North Korea Rocket Launch: Why Did Kim Fire a Missile Now?

    Kim Jong-un is probably seeking clear successes before his important Seventh Party Congress in May, when he wants to appear to be the all-powerful leader of North Korea.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • A man and his physical therapist in a session

    Commentary

    As Congress Drafts the NDAA, What Are Options for TRICARE Reform?

    A stronger TRICARE program that provides greater value-based care in a more efficient manner could result from adopting innovations made in the private sector, while also recognizing the unique role of military treatment facilities.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group in formation with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships for a photo exercise, November 23, 2015

    Commentary

    Transforming 'Distributed Lethality' Strategy into Action

    Distributed lethality offers a more offensive approach to using naval surface forces as potential adversaries acquire naval capabilities designed to control the sea. Translating the concept into action has implications for Navy operations, logistics, finances, and overall strategy.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Legged Squad Support System can relieve troops of their 100-pound equipment load, take voice commands, and maneuver around obstacles, in addition to numerous other tasks in the field

    Commentary

    Should We Fear an AI Arms Race?

    Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and others signed a letter calling for a ban on the application of artificial intelligence to advanced weapons systems. AI weapons are not without risks, but the benefits are substantial and the risks can be mitigated with more moderate regulation than a ban.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Marine Corps sergeant relays commands during a tactical exercise to recover aircraft and personnel at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, January 25, 2016

    Report

    U.S. Military Service Members May Volunteer to Extend Tours if Offered Incentives

    Nearly 60 percent of U.S. military service members surveyed were unwilling to voluntarily extend their tours, believing that doing so may adversely impact quality of life, morale, or job performance. Others reported interest in longer tours if financial incentives were offered.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Report

    Reserve Component General and Flag Officers: A Review of Requirements and Authorized Strength

    Increased use of the reserve component has renewed interest in the question of the appropriate number of reserve component general and flag officers. RAND researchers conducted a review of requirements for reserve component general and flag officers.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Research Brief

    Advancing Complementary and Alternative Medicine Professions: Practitioners Face Many Policy Hurdles to Finding Their Place in Mainstream Medicine

    The policy challenges associated with coverage, licensure, scope of practice, institutional privileges, and research may prevent complementary and alternative medicine professionals from practicing to the full extent of their capabilities.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • News Release

    VA Health Care System Faces Significant Challenges, but Meets the Needs of Most Eligible Veterans

    The Veterans Access Choice and Accountability Act was a response to reports that veterans faced long delays for care at some VA health facilities. New congressionally mandated studies examine the future demands facing the VA Health Care System, its current resources, and how care is provided to veterans outside the federal system.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • News Release

    U.S. Military Service Members May Volunteer to Extend Tours if Incentives Offered

    Nearly 60 percent of U.S. military service members surveyed were unwilling to voluntarily extend their tours because they believed doing so may adversely impact quality of life, morale, and possibly job performance. Others reported interest in longer tours under some circumstances, including if financial incentives were offered.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver are congratulated at Ranger school graduation at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, August 21, 2015

    Announcement

    RAND Studies Help Inform Pentagon Decision to Open Combat Roles to Women

    RAND researchers addressed topics such as whether members of U.S. special forces are ready to integrate women into their ranks and what lessons may be learned from other militaries that already have integrated women into combat positions.

    Feb 5, 2016

  • Libya Dawn fighters watch Islamic State militant positions near Sirte March 19, 2015

    Commentary

    The Three Challenges of Countering ISIS in Libya

    ISIS's expansion in Libya is a threat to the security of Libyans, to the region, and to Europe. U.S. and European cooperation to counter ISIS is essential and Libya is unlikely to ever be peaceful without outside military support.

    Feb 5, 2016

  • Estonia's Defence League volunteer soldiers attend training drill near Rabasaare, Estonia, September 12, 2015

    Report

    Unconventional Options for the Defense of the Baltic States

    Unconventional options from the Swiss defense strategy during the Cold War could benefit Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. These include training and equipping local defense units and preparing transportation infrastructure for demolition to prevent an invasion.

    Feb 5, 2016

  • Members of the Group of 20 during the G20 leaders summit in Antalya, Turkey, November 15, 2015

    Commentary

    Foreign Policy Challenges on the Campaign Trail

    Foreign and security policy will play a significant role in the run-up to the November U.S. presidential election. The campaign offers voters a wide spectrum of responses to the challenges of militant Islamism, ties with China and Russia, dealings with rogue states like North Korea, and free trade.

    Feb 4, 2016

  • A young man in a wheelchair

    Report

    Balancing Demand and Supply for Veterans' Health Care

    What are veterans' demographics and health care needs and how might these evolve? What resources and capacity to deliver health care does the Department of Veterans Affairs have and how might this impact veterans' access? What should policymakers consider when examining changes to VA's use of purchased care?

    Feb 4, 2016

  • U.S. Special Forces soldiers prepare to leave Haji Aslam village in Khakarez district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, March 24, 2014

    Report

    A Counterinsurgency Win in Afghanistan?

    The 2015 counterinsurgency (COIN) effort in Afghanistan ranks among the low end of historical COIN winners. The Afghan government and security forces are capable of maintaining the current stalemate with the Taliban. This is the first step on the most promising path to peace: a negotiated settlement.

    Feb 4, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Early Changes in VA Medical Home Components and Utilization

    We evaluated changes in reported implementation of PCMH components in all VA primary care clinics, and patients' utilization of acute and non-acute care and total costs after 2 years.

    Feb 3, 2016

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter meets with Chinese Gen. Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, at the Pentagon, June 11, 2015

    Commentary

    OPM Hack Poses Overlooked Counterintelligence Risk for Economic Espionage

    Since discovering the theft of personal data from an OPM database last spring, government officials have been preoccupied with assessing the risks to national security. But they must also address its potential to enable an adversary to steal valuable economic and commercial information.

    Feb 1, 2016

  • U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Antonio Diaz inspects munitions before they are mounted onto an F-16C Fighting Falcon during flightline operations Jan. 9, 2015, at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J.

    Report

    Robust Decision Making Could Help Defense Resource Planning

    Defense planning needs a new approach to identify strategies that perform well over a wide range of threat and funding futures. RDM is designed to inform decisions under conditions of deep uncertainty and complexity, and as shown in an application to the munitions mix challenge, could prove quite useful.

    Feb 1, 2016

  • Report

    Uncertainty-Sensitive Heterogeneous Information Fusion: Assessing Threat with Soft, Uncertain, and Conflicting Evidence

    Presents research on methods for heterogeneous information fusion -- combining data that are qualitative, subjective, fuzzy, ambiguous, contradictory, and even deceptive, in order to form a realistic assessment of threat in a counterterrorism context.

    Feb 1, 2016

  • Map of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania

    Report

    Wargaming the Defense of the Baltics

    A series of wargames examined the threat Russia may present to the three Baltic republics. As currently postured, NATO could not defend the territory. What might be done to prevent Russia from attempting to reclaim it?

    Jan 29, 2016