Edward Geist

Photo of Edward Geist
Policy Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in history, University of North Carolina; M.A. in history, University of North Carolina; B.A. in history, William & Mary College

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Edward Geist is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. His research interests include Russia (primarily defense policy), civil defense, artificial intelligence, nuclear weapons, and the potential impact of emerging technologies on nuclear strategy. Formerly a MacArthur Nuclear Security Fellow at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation and a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at RAND, Geist received his Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina in 2013. His book Armageddon Insurance: Civil Defense in the United States and Soviet Union, 1945–1991, was published by University of North Carolina Press in 2019.

Honors & Awards

  • Strategy and Policy Fellowship, Smith Richardson Foundation



Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: NPR/National Public Radio; War and Peace


  • Sailors conduct flight operations on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS <em>Ronald Reagan</em>, in the South China Sea, June 14, 2021, photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Quinton Lee/U.S. Navy

    Defeat Is Possible

    If the United States is to have a reasonable hope of winning a war, it needs to think about what it would be like to lose. An essential first step could be to start taking the prospect of protracted near-peer conflict seriously.

    Jun 17, 2021 War on the Rocks

  • Artificial intelligence concept, photo by kentoh/Getty Images

    Military Deception: AI's Killer App?

    Contrary to the promise that AI would deliver an omniscient view of everything happening in the battlespace—the goal of U.S. military planners for decades—it now appears that technologies of misdirection are winning. Military deception, in short, could prove to be AI’s killer app.

    Oct 23, 2019 War on the Rocks

  • A robot arm moves its index finger toward a nuclear button

    Will Artificial Intelligence Undermine Nuclear Stability?

    In the coming years, AI-enabled progress in tracking and targeting adversaries' nuclear weapons could undermine the foundations of nuclear stability. Will AI someday be able to guide strategy decisions about escalation or even launching nuclear weapons?

    May 1, 2018 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists