Karl P. Mueller is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He specializes in research related to military and national security strategy, particularly coercion, deterrence, and escalation.
Mueller has written and lectured on a wide variety of subjects, including airpower theory, grand strategy, economic sanctions, nuclear weapons, Baltic and Nordic defense issues, space deterrence, and wargaming. Among his recent unclassified RAND publications are The Air War Against the Islamic State (2021), Innovation in the United States Air Force: Evidence from Six Cases (2016), Precision and Purpose: Airpower in the Libyan Civil War (2015), Denying Flight: Strategic Options for Employing No-Fly Zones (2013), Dangerous Thresholds: Managing Escalation in the 21st Century (Forrest E. Morgan et al., 2008), and Striking First: Preemptive and Preventive Attack in U.S. National Security Policy (2006).
His current projects focus on the use of airpower in the Russia-Ukraine War, strategic competition with Russia and China, defense and deterrence strategies for middle powers and small states, and developing expert-adjudicated wargames for examining future conflict scenarios in Europe and Asia.
Before joining RAND in 2001, Mueller was a professor of comparative military studies at the U.S. Air Force's School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). He is also a faculty member in the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University.
Priebe, Miranda, Kristen Gunness, Karl P. Mueller, and Zachary Burdette, The Limits of Restraint: The Military Implications of a Restrained U.S. Grand Strategy in the Asia-Pacific, RAND Corporation (RR-A739-4), 2022
Frederick, Bryan, Samuel Charap, Scott Boston, Stephen J. Flanagan, Michael J. Mazarr, Jennifer D. P. Moroney, and Karl P. Mueller, Pathways to Russian Escalation Against NATO from the Ukraine War, RAND Corporation (PE-A1971-1), 2022
Wasser, Becca, Stacie L. Pettyjohn, Jeffrey Martini, Alexandra T. Evans, Karl P. Mueller, Nathaniel Edenfield, Gabrielle Tarini, Ryan Haberman, and Jalen Zeman, The Air War Against the Islamic State: The Role of Airpower in Operation Inherent Resolve, RAND Corporation (RR-A388-1), 2021
Mueller, Karl P., Paper Wargames and Policy Making: Filling the Baltic Gap or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the D6, Battles Magazine (EP-66660), 2016
Adam Grissom, Caitlin Lee, and Karl P. Mueller, Innovation in the United States Air Force: Evidence from Six Cases, RAND (RR-1207), 2016
Karl P. Mueller, Denying Flight: Strategic Options for Employing No-Fly Zones, RAND (RR-423), 2013
Karl P. Mueller "The Nature of Escalation," in Forrest E. Morgan et al., Dangerous Thresholds: Managing Escalation in the 21st Century, RAND (MG-614), 2008
Karl P. Mueller et al., Striking First: Preemptive and Preventive Attack in U.S. National Security Policy, RAND (MG-403), 2006