Bruce McClintock

Bruce McClintock
Lead, Space Enterprise Initiative; Senior Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


M.S. in aeronautical engineering, University of Florida; M.S. in airpower art and science, School of Advanced Airpower Studies; B.S. in astronautical engineering, United States Air Force Academy

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

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Bruce McClintock is lead of the RAND Space Enterprise Initiative, a senior policy researcher, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The RAND Space Enterprise Initiative provides a focal point for all RAND space-related research for the U.S. government and U.S. allies. McClintock joined RAND in 2016 after retiring from the Air Force as a brigadier general. In addition to tours as an A-10 pilot and test pilot, he studied at the School for Advanced Airpower Studies, served at the Space Warfare Center at Schriever Air Force Base, was a special assistant to the commander of Air Force Space Command, was U.S. Defense attaché to Russia, and served as a White House fellow.

McClintock's primary research focus areas at RAND include space, Eurasia and Indo-Pacific security issues, military doctrine, and strategy. He is currently guiding RAND's efforts to influence the sustainability, safety, and security of space for the new space era. He served as a member of U.S.-Russia Track-II Dialogue on Strategic Stability from 2018 to 2023 and led that group's effort to improve space safety and stability.

McClintock is founder and CEO (Chief Exploration Officer) of Hike for Life (, an outdoor education company based in Colorado that nurtures community, inspires responsible exploration, and helps preserve the great outdoors.

McClintock holds an M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the University of Florida, an M.S. in airpower art and science from the School of Advanced Airpower Studies, and a B.S. in astronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

CEO, Hike for Life

Recent Projects

  • Russia's Global Interests
  • Allied by Design
  • Responsible Space Behavior for the New Space Era
  • First Mover Typology for the Space Domain
  • International Space Traffic Management

Selected Publications

Weinbaum C, Berner S, McClintock B, SIGINT for Anyone: The Growing Availability of Signals Intelligence in the Public Domain, RAND Corporation (PE-273), 2017

McClintock, Bruce, Katie Feistel, Douglas C. Ligor, and Kathryn O'Connor, Responsible Space Behavior for the New Space Era: Preserving the Province of Humanity, RAND Corporation (PE-A887-2), 2021

McClintock, Bruce, Krista Langeland, and Michael Spirtas, First Mover Typology for the Space Domain: Building a Foundation for Future Analysis, RAND Corporation (RR-A2208-1), 2023

McClintock, Bruce, Jeffrey W. Hornung, and Katherine Costello, Russia's Global Interests and Actions: Growing Reach to Match Rejuvenated Capabilities, RAND Corporation (PE-327-A), 2021

Bruce McClintock, Andrew Radin, Cortney Weinbaum, Stephanie Anne Pillion, Bonnie L. Triezenberg, Jonathan Cham, Daniel Elinoff, Maggie Habib, Mark Hvizda, Kotryna Jukneviciute, Adi Rao, Bryan Rooney, Allied by Design: Defining a Path to Thoughtful Allied Space Power, (RR-A1739-1), 2023 (forthcoming)

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Arirang News, Korea; Defense & Aerospace Report; FOX 5 DC; TodayHeadline; Wired; WPXI-PIT (NBC)


  • Military Strategy

    Encouraging Consistency in National Security Transparency

    The United States remains the leader in space in both national security and commercial capabilities. Greater transparency about existing on-orbit systems that are already detected by many is an important next step that could bolster U.S. credibility while also aiding deterrence.

    Oct 16, 2023

    The RAND Blog

  • Ukraine

    One Year After Russia's Invasion of Ukraine: Experts React

    We asked nearly 30 RAND experts to highlight takeaways from the first year of Russia's all-out war—and share what they're watching as the conflict in Ukraine grinds on. Here's what they said.

    Feb 20, 2023

  • Ukraine

    From Gatherer of Lands to Gravedigger: A Political Assessment of Putin's War on Ukraine

    Putin's war in Ukraine is already redefining the entire international order. If the United States acts now, it may be able to influence the shape of the post-war geopolitical terrain.

    Feb 13, 2023

    The RAND Blog

  • Space Science and Technology

    Russia's Withdrawal from the ISS: Another Sign of Its Space Decline?

    Russia's threatened exit from the International Space Station could simply be more bluster from Moscow at a time of heightened tension between Russia and the West over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But it also appears to be another signal that Russia's profile in space is in decline, a trend that is likely to continue and that the United States could be preparing for now.

    Aug 4, 2022

    United Press International

  • Antisatellite Systems

    U.S. Decision on ASAT Testing a Positive Step Towards Space Sustainability

    The United States recently committed not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing. This sets an important example others might follow and takes an important first step towards a binding, international ban.

    Apr 21, 2022


  • Space Science and Technology

    Navigating Norms for the New Space Era

    To make better progress on global norms for responsible behavior in space, the U.S. defense and intelligence communities might first consider reaching a consensus among themselves on what these norms should be. Until they reconcile their differences the United States will be less likely be in a position to play a leadership role.

    Feb 8, 2021

    The National Interest

  • Security Cooperation

    How Joe Biden Can Galvanize Space Diplomacy

    The potential for conflicts to originate in outer space, or for terrestrial conflicts to extend there, has grown with the development of counterspace weapons and the explosion of commercial space activity. But previous efforts to establish norms have had limited results. The Biden administration has an opportunity, working with like-minded allies and partners, to galvanize nascent international efforts.

    Jan 15, 2021


  • Russia

    Russia Is Eyeing the Mediterranean. The U.S. and NATO Must Be Prepared

    Russia is seeking more access and freedom of movement in the Mediterranean region, and is bolstering its military footprint to achieve this objective. The United States and NATO could respond by developing a more robust southern strategy, with a reinforced air and naval presence, respectively.

    Jun 30, 2020


  • Nuclear Deterrence

    Stabilizing the Nuclear Cold War

    Russia and the United States are still locked in a nuclear cold war. Thousands of nuclear weapons are deployed, some on high alert. Although the United States prudently withdrew from several past arms control treaties with Russia, it could be in America's interest to extend New START.

    Feb 13, 2020


  • Satellite Communication

    Space Safety Coordination: A Norm for All Nations

    As space becomes more congested with satellites, the need for every nation to actively participate in the space safety coordination system grows. Most spacefaring countries participate, but a few countries do not—notably, Russia and China. That creates greater potential for collisions and hazards from debris.

    Apr 16, 2019

    Small Wars Journal

  • Security Cooperation

    Joint Military Exercises Distract from Complex Russia-Belarus Relationship

    Analysts and military leaders have concerns that Russia will use the Zapad 2017 exercise in Belarus as a smokescreen to put personnel and equipment in place, and keep it there. But the deep ties and history of cooperation between the two states make the chances of that happening unlikely.

    Sep 13, 2017

    The National Interest

  • Cyber Warfare

    Russian Information Warfare: A Reality That Needs a Response

    For the last three decades, Russia has exploited its growing capabilities in cyberspace to spy on, influence, and punish others. The West will continue to struggle to hold Moscow accountable, in part because international law falls far short of fully defining the rules or resolving conflicts.

    Jul 21, 2017

    U.S. News & World Report

  • Russia

    Russia in Action, Short of War

    The West needs to work more quickly and coordinate better to offset Russia's capabilities, aggressiveness, and success. Responding to Russia's hostile influence involves predicting Russia's targets, identifying the tools it's likely to use, and playing the long game rather than focusing on near-term events.

    May 9, 2017

    U.S. News & World Report