Michael E. Linick

Michael E. Linick
Senior International / Defense Researcher
Washington Office


BA in politics, University of California, Santa Cruz; MA in national security, Georgetown; MA in security studies, Army War College; MA in world politics, Catholic University


Michael Linick is a Senior Defense Researcher/Analyst at the RAND Corporation. His research encompasses a wide range of areas, including military strategy, operations, and readiness; force structure; reserve component issues; mobilization; defense civilian and military manpower; and, defense health issues. As a researcher and retired Army Colonel, he has extensive experience in the areas of managing and understanding change in force structure; force development and equipping processes; understanding the DoD as an institution; and linking strategy to force requirements and capabilities. Linick is heavily involved in RAND’s efforts to use gaming to support operational and policy analysis, and has been one of the lead designers for several RAND games, including "Hedgemony" – RANDs first commercially available policy game.  Key positions included being the Director of the RAND Arroyo Center’s Personnel, Training, and Health program, managing the Army’s Total Army Analysis process, managing the Army’s force structure and requirements demands as the Chief of Force Management in both OEF and OIF, and writing the Army's first Equipping Strategy. He was involved in several major strategic reviews, including the Bottom Up Review in the 1990s, development of the 2011 Defense Strategic Guidance, and the 2013 Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR). He also has extensive experience as an Infantry Officer – including Peacekeeping operations in Kosovo.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Georgetown University

Recent Projects

  • Hedgemony: A Game of Strategic Choices
  • A Throughput-Based Analysis of Active Component/Reserve Component Mix
  • New Directions for Projecting Land Power in the Indo-Pacific: Contexts, Constraints, and Concepts
  • Assessing the Readiness of the Joint Force: Detailed Analysis of Contributing Factors Based on Select Cases
  • Measuring Strategic Readiness: Identifying Metrics for Core Dimensions

Selected Publications

Mazarr, Michael J., Katharina Ley Best, Burgess Laird, Eric V. Larson, Michael E. Linick, and Dan Madden, The U.S. Department of Defense's Planning Process: Components and Challenges, RAND Corporation (RR-2173/2-A), 2019

Larson, Eric V., Derek Eaton, Michael E. Linick, John E. Peters, Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Keith Walters, Stephanie Young, H. G. Massey, and Michelle D. Ziegler, Defense Planning in a Time of Conflict: A Comparative Analysis of the 2001–2014 Quadrennial Defense Reviews, and Implications for the Army, RAND Corporation (RR-1309-A), 2018

Gentile, Gian, Michael E. Linick, and Michael Shurkin, The Evolution of U.S. Military Policy from the Constitution to the Present, RAND Corporation (RR-1759-A), 2017

Martin, Bradley, Michael E. Linick, Laura Fraade-Blanar, Jacqueline Gardner Burns, Christy Foran, Krista Romita Grocholski, Katherine C. Hastings, Sydney Litterer, Kristin F. Lynch, and Jared Mondschein, Measuring Strategic Readiness: Identifying Metrics for Core Dimensions, RAND Corporation (RR-A453-1), 2021