After the Cold War, U.S. logistics planners moved away from a focus on effectiveness to a focus on efficiency in the sense that little is left idle for significant periods and that commodities are delivered at minimum cost. The ability of the system to support the joint force in the event of major conflict is at best untested and could be problematic.
With U.S. domestic challenges ranging from the ongoing pandemic to long-delayed infrastructure investments, now is a good time to consider spending that provides both domestic and national security benefits. Infrastructure spending offers one such example.
The resilience and robustness of the U.S. electric grid needs to be improved, especially given the likely increased occurrence and magnitude of natural disasters due to climate change. This is where government entities that operate large facilities in the United States, such as the Department of Defense, can potentially play a role.
Anu Narayanan, an engineer at RAND, is a specialist in what-ifs. Her research focuses on critical infrastructure and national security. In this interview, she discusses her latest work that explores what would happen if a cyberattacker tried to take down the power grid.
The Trump administration may be considering requiring host nations to subsidize the entire cost of the U.S. military presence and pay an additional 50 percent of that amount. This type of transactional foreign policy increases the risk that countries will rethink their agreements to host U.S. forces, and that could reduce the U.S. military's ability to operate globally.
Despite its varied roles and responsibilities, the DIA can be boiled down to just two core missions: intelligence analysis and intelligence collection. Having a better understanding of these core missions could help to properly frame the agency’s value to the intelligence, military, and policymaking communities.
The option to permanently base Marines on Guam should hinge on the benefits of the location and the costs. Guam scores poorly on both counts and better options exist. However, previous guidance provided to the Marine Corps constrains consideration of such options.
Technological development challenges suggest that it is highly unlikely that advanced approaches for producing hydrotreated renewable oils suitable for military applications will constitute an important fraction of the commercial fuel market until well beyond the next decade, writes Keith Crane.
The Atlantic Monthly Magazine features a compilation of ten short essays written by experts at RAND, collectively titled Headlines Over the Horizon. The RAND authors examined developments in international and military affairs drawing little attention today that are expected to be major issues in the next three to five years.