RAND Research on Key Defense Challenges

These pages are introductions to a variety of topics of great importance to U.S. defense decisionmakers. Each is part of a series initiated by RAND Arroyo Center, the Army's Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) for studies and analysis. These introductions succinctly synthesize decades of RAND research and analysis on topics that represent perennial and evolving challenges to our nation’s security.

The studies highlighted and synthesized within each introduction were sponsored by the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted in three FFRDCs managed by RAND: RAND Arroyo Center, RAND Project AIR FORCE, and the National Defense Research Institute (part of the RAND National Security Research Division).

  • A People's Liberation Army (PLA) armoured personnel carrier manoeuvres in woodland at the PLA's Tam Mei base in Hong Kong's rural New Territories, China September 28, 2019, photo by James Pomfret/Reuters

    Taking Stock of RAND's China and Indo-Pacific Security Research

    Fueled by decades of extraordinary economic growth, China has transformed itself into a major power on the world stage. The RAND Corporation has studied China and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region extensively over the past two decades. This brief introduction discusses the main findings from RAND's unclassified research in six main areas.

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    What RAND Research Says About Counterinsurgency, Stabilization, and Nation-Building

    RAND has conducted an extensive body of work on what is sometimes characterized as the other war. These "other wars" have acquired multiple descriptive labels to include low intensity conflict, irregular warfare, special warfare, counterinsurgency (COIN), counterterrorism, peace enforcement, and hybrid warfare.

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    Taking Stock of RAND's Security Cooperation Research

    Security cooperation refers to defense activities undertaken "to develop partnerships that encourage and enable partner nations to act in support of US strategic objectives." The RAND Corporation has examined security cooperation topics in detail over decades of research. This brief introduction discusses the main findings from RAND's unclassified research in five main areas.

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    Taking Stock of RAND's Research About the Information Environment

    Information, or how to obtain knowledge from investigation, study, or instruction, has always been a critical and broad element of the human experience. The information environment is central in warfare. This brief explores RAND research on operations within the information environment.