RAND researchers examine military and national security issues across a broad spectrum — from political dissent and military training to tactical operations and reconstruction efforts — and take a long-term, global perspective. Terrorism, types of warfare, and international intervention are among the many topics RAND explores.
Historical insurgencies that ended in settlement after a stalemate have generally followed a seven-step path. A master narrative distilled from these cases could help guide and assess the progress toward a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.
Success stories in small-footprint U.S. interventions have occurred in countries with inclusive politics and reasonable state capacity. Unfortunately, most insurgencies seek to overthrow regimes that are weak in inclusion and capacity.
RAND examined the utility of operations analysis, modeling, and simulation for supporting decisionmaking in counterinsurgency and irregular warfare, with the focus on Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
An examination of the transition of authority from military hands to civilians in the U.S. and Iraqi governments found lessons that could smooth the departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and guide similar transitions in the future.
The experiences of the Israel Defense Forces against hybrid opponents — Hezbollah and Hamas — in the recent conflicts in Lebanon and Gaza will help the U.S. Army understand the capabilities that it and the joint force will require in the future.
U.S. plans for stability operations emphasize a "whole of government" approach in which civilian and military agency efforts reflect a common U.S. strategy, but such an approach has been difficult to implement in practice. How can the Army assist in making key civilian agencies more capable partners in the planning and execution of stability, security, transition, and reconstruction (SSTR) operations?
A RAND study of the challenges that reserve component service members and their families face after deployment and the factors that contribute to successful reintegration led to a series of recommendations for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Provides an overview of research on how observable behavioral indicators might be used to detect potential violent attacks, such as by suicide terrorists or those laying improvised explosive devices.
This research brief summarizes the findings of a project that sought to identify common strategies used by practitioners in various professions, from professional sports to Navy SEALs, to respond to unexpected events.
This research challenges the assumption that the timing of deployments and their distribution over time are serially independent, arguing that military interventions occur in temporal clusters driven by the number of interventions in the recent past.
American interests in the Western Pacific depend on sea power. Yet China views nearby U.S. sea power as a threat, a counterweight to its regional interests, and a potential barrier to its access to the world's oceans, resources, and markets. David C. Gompert explores the future relationship between U.S. and Chinese sea power.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command wants to enhance the contributions of Army National Guard Special Forces and move toward making them a purpose-driven force, that is, organized and employed to take advantage of their particular experience.
This study analyzes the impact of planned defense budget cuts on the capabilities of seven key European members of NATO and suggests ways in which the Alliance can adapt to meet emerging security challenges.
Minimalist stabilizations — small-scale interventions designed to stabilize a partner government engaged in violent conflict — have both utility and limitations. This report proposes policy recommendations to improve the outcomes of such operations.
This research brief offers an overview of the effectiveness of U.S. psychological operations in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2010, with particular attention to how well messages and themes were tailored to target audiences.
The authors identify factors critical to the coalition victory over Jaish al-Mahdi in the 2008 Battle of Sadr City and describe a new model for dealing with insurgent control of urban areas.
With regard to Army families, the study examines the effects of long and frequent parental deployments on children’s academic performance as well as their emotional and behavioral well-being in the school setting.
Helps to develop an integrated strategy for building partner capacity for stability operations through an analysis of key strategic elements within the context of BPC and stability operations guidance as well as ongoing security cooperation programs.
Describes the methodology used to develop resource allocation and forward positioning recommendations for the sustainment stock portion of Army pre-positioned stocks, given a specific scenario and budget.
A framework for thinking about commanders' critical information needs in countersurgency operations, offering practical ways for commanders to integrate influence activities into combined arms planning and assessment.