This week, we discuss the U.S.-Saudi relationship; what makes deterrence effective; what life is like as an Army private; how to train principals; the goal of China's air power; and what role the U.S. military plays in border enforcement.
On Tuesday, the White House announced that the United States would remain a "steadfast partner" of Saudi Arabia, despite new reports about Riyadh's alleged role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The administration cited security and economic benefits as key drivers of the decision. But RAND experts note that the Saudis need U.S. support more than America needs Saudi Arabia. The United States could indeed use this leverage to encourage the Saudi government to curb its damaging policies abroad.
Russian aggression in the Baltics. Chinese belligerence at sea. North Korean threats on the South. What's required to deter potential aggressors abroad from attacking U.S. allies or other countries? According to a new RAND report that takes a fresh look at deterrence, managing an aggressor's motives is a key first step.
History records the names of generals. But what about the privates who fill out supply forms, clean out trucks, or huff through training exercises? These soldiers keep the U.S. Army running, and so their stories matter. Findings from new RAND research offer an inside look at what it really means to serve in the junior ranks.
Principals are crucial. They set school vision and culture, support teacher effectiveness, and help improve student achievement. So how can training programs better prepare them to succeed? To find out, RAND is evaluating an initiative by the Wallace Foundation to improve training for aspiring school leaders. Initial findings suggest that universities participating in the initiative have begun to change their principal preparation programs to better reflect the real-world demands of the job.
Advancing aerospace power is a core feature of Chinese military modernization. A new RAND report explains what's driving Beijing's efforts: To deter, and, if necessary, defeat the United States in a high-end clash. In pursuit of this end, Beijing sometimes chooses to copy what other other foreign powers are doing. Other times, Beijing is an innovator. The report concludes that both of these are valid pathways to helping China achieve its goal.
Nearly 6,000 active-duty troops who were sent to the U.S.-Mexico border will reportedly head home soon. According to RAND's Christine Wormuth, it's unclear why such a large military response was needed in the first place. What is clear, she says, is that such a deployment is expensive. And it diverts soldiers and Marines from training for their warfighting missions.
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