United States Department of Defense

  • congress_building


    Saving the Government Money: Examples from RAND's FFRDCs

    RAND's three federally funded research and development centers apply research capital they have developed over the years to help decisionmakers solve problems and often save money as well. This publication lists and briefly summarizes some RAND projects undertaken over the past ten years that have helped save the government money or that have identified ways to do so.

    Nov 13, 2015

  • U.S. Marines receive a safety brief before they conduct live-fire drills during Trident Juncture 2015 in Almeria, Spain, October 27, 2015


    Building Interoperability for European Defense

    To make the most out of declining defense budgets, the U.S. needs to engage European forces to build interoperability that would enable joint operations to deter and defeat potential adversaries, even with little advance notice. But building interoperable units has often proved difficult even among the friendliest of nations.

    Nov 9, 2015

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with U.S. Marines during his visit to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad March 24, 2013


    Benghazi: Questions Unasked and Opportunities Missed

    Instead of asking whether a video precipitated the attack or whether Ambassador Stevens should have been in Benghazi on that fateful night, the right question to ask is under what conditions the United States should have a diplomatic presence in high-risk areas.

    Oct 22, 2015

  • Joint service and civilian personnel concentrate on exercise scenarios during "Cyber Guard 2015."


    Perspective on 2015 DoD Cyber Strategy

    The DoD's cyber strategy is aligned with its mission, but there will be challenges to implementation—including building and maintaining a capable workforce, assessing risk across DoD networks and systems, and planning for operations.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • us-china-scorecard


    An Interactive Look at the U.S.-China Military Scorecard

    To advance the public debate, RAND Project AIR FORCE used open, unclassified sources to compile 'The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power.' Use this interactive graphic to explore the operational areas covered in the report.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • William LaPlante, assistant secretary of Air Force acquisition, testifies on acquisition reform before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, April 22, 2015


    Apply Principles of Professional Change Management to Acquisition Reform, or Risk Failure

    If Congress enacts substantial changes to acquisition processes as part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, then it has a responsibility to ensure that the DoD has the opportunity and resources to implement proven change management principles to increase the chances for its success.

    Aug 7, 2015

  • U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors as they fly over the Nevada Test and Training Range, Nev., March 3, 2011


    Lessons from a Long History of Acquisition Reform

    Congress and the DoD have a long history of efforts to improve the way weapon systems are acquired. Now, changes to DoD acquisition policies and processes are again being proposed in the House and Senate in an attempt to get needed military capabilities to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines faster and cheaper.

    Jul 17, 2015

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter meets soldiers after delivering remarks on his Force of the Future initiative in Fort Drum, N.Y., March 30, 2015


    A 'Measured Approach' to Managing Military Officers

    Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's “Force of the Future” initiative may mean far-reaching changes in how military personnel are recruited, evaluated, assigned, promoted, retained, separated, and compensated. What is needed is a map that shows potential paths to reach the objectives.

    Jul 15, 2015

  • American soldier video chatting with his family


    Family Resilience in the Military

    The U.S. Department of Defense has 26 policies related to family resilience, but definitions of it vary across the services. To facilitate a comprehensive view of family resilience programming, a well-articulated, standard definition of family resilience is needed.

    Jul 10, 2015

  • Report

    Understanding Low Survey Response Rates Among Young U.S. Military Personnel

    A review of major online U.S. military surveys found very low response rates among young enlisted members. The authors explore possible explanations, why such rates might not reflect bias, and what to do before investing to increase participation.

    Jul 9, 2015

  • Report

    Tailoring the Acquisition Process in the U.S. Department of Defense

    The research reported here explores tailoring or streamlining in defense acquisition processes to determine whether this policy area would benefit from additional in-depth research.

    Jun 16, 2015

  • Report

    Issues with Access to Acquisition Data and Information in the Department of Defense: Policy and Practice

    This report identifies the problems and challenges associated with sharing unclassified information within the U.S. Department of Defense and investigates the role of policies and practices associated with such sharing.

    Jun 12, 2015

  • Report

    Issues with Access to Acquisition Data and Information in the Department of Defense: Executive Summary

    This report identifies the problems and challenges associated with sharing unclassified information within the U.S. Department of Defense and investigates the role of policies and practices associated with such sharing.

    Jun 12, 2015

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel holds a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Feb. 5, 2015

    News Release

    Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Elected to RAND Board of Trustees

    Chuck Hagel, the only enlisted soldier and Vietnam War veteran to serve as secretary of defense, has been elected to the RAND Board of Trustees. He served as the 24th U.S. Secretary of Defense from February 2013 to February 2015 and as a U.S. senator, representing his home state of Nebraska, from 1997 to 2009.

    May 27, 2015

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brief reporters at the Pentagon on April 16, 2015


    Fixes for Risk Assessment in Defense

    Defense Department approaches to risk management could be improved if they focused on complex strategic judgments — questions on which information is imperfect, dozens of variables interact in nonlinear ways, and human choice and agency generate unpredictable patterns.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor flying at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska


    Where Commonality Can Work in a Sixth-Gen Fighter

    The DoD plans to fund a Darpa-Air Force-Navy technology demonstration program aimed at developing critical sixth-generation fighter capabilities. It's a sign that the Pentagon is adopting a cost-effective strategy but it will need to remain vigilant to avoid the pitfalls that have caused previous joint fighter programs to fall short of hoped-for cost savings and to accept unwelcome design compromises.

    Mar 13, 2015

  • U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson speaks at Los Angeles International Airport in California, February 20, 2014


    Go Back to Basics to Reform Homeland Security

    The Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 made the broadest and most sweeping changes to the Pentagon since its establishment in 1947. With the Department of Homeland Security in a similar state just over a decade after its hurried creation, it's time for DHS to have a Goldwater-Nichols of its own.

    Jan 28, 2015

  • Women network with representatives from Lockheed Martin at the Military Spouse Career Forum and Fair, April 2014


    Advancing the Careers of Military Spouses

    Military spouses face challenges related to military life that can make it difficult for them to maintain and develop careers. The My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) scholarship is one program designed to help them, but only one in five eligible spouses reported using it.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • U.S. sailors conduct maintenance on an F/A-18C Hornet on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson Jan. 4, 2015


    Advice for Defense Innovators

    Today's leaders should follow the example of their predecessors and closely evaluate a few well-defined scenarios, such as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or a Russian invasion of a NATO member state to determine the most serious gaps in U.S. and allied capabilities.

    Jan 12, 2015

  • The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin fires two SM-2 missiles during Exercise Valiant Shield 2014


    The Role of Maritime and Air Power in the DoD's Third Offset Strategy

    Russia and China have been investing in military modernization programs to blunt the U.S. military's technological edge, fielding advanced aircraft, submarines, and both longer range and more accurate missiles. The DoD's Third Offset Strategy is a much-needed initiative to identify and invest in innovative ways to sustain and advance America's military dominance for the 21st century.

    Dec 2, 2014