The electric grid is central to U.S. national security. Recent disasters provide an example of the downsides of leanness. It's more costly to be less lean, but given our dependence on the electric grid and the increasing prevalence of disasters, safety and resilience may be greater priorities.
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.
Changing how we make development decisions requires a cultural shift as much as it requires an analytical shift. Methodological innovations like Robust Decision Making can help. By motivating and equipping analysts to manage uncertainty, they can shape how we think about, discuss, and make decisions.
Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.
A U.S. Official has confirmed that two mariners thought to be U.S. Citizens were kidnapped from an American ship in a pirate attack off of the West African coast — the 40th such attack reported in the Gulf of Guinea in 2013. The current security situation in the Gulf has affected petroleum and natural gas production.
The 2013 SOTU address will be remembered for its impassioned call for greater gun control just two months after Sandy Hook. But President Obama's second-term agenda can be characterized by its sheer breadth, reflecting the broad range of policy challenges facing the United States today.
An attack of this complexity would have required months of reconnaissance, planning, recruiting of inside confederates, and training of participants. France's intervention in Mali was used to “justify” an attack that would likely have taken place anyway, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
Like it or not, the United States counts among its allies a number of authoritarian Arab countries, and they are essential partners in protecting its interests, writes Seth G. Jones. The normative hope that liberal democracy may flourish in the future must be balanced by the need to work with governments and societies as they exist today.
Both candidates glossed over two issues: the myth that independence from imported oil will reduce gasoline prices and the policies that will be needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and temper climate change, writes Keith Crane.
Just by threatening to close the Strait, Iran increases pressure on the U.S. to restrain Israel from attacking Iran. Other key players—including major oil importers such as China, Japan, and India—would be reluctant to support military action because of heavy dependence on Persian Gulf oil, writes Alireza Nader.
When the U.S. Department of Defense purchases oil, it has almost no effect on world oil prices, according to new RAND reports. That means reducing fuel consumption is the only effective way for the Pentagon to cut its petroleum expenses.
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.