National Security Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access national security research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas. For additional information, to request documents, or to arrange a briefing, contact the RAND Office of Congressional Relations at or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • Commentary

    The U.S. Withdrawal from Syria Is an Opportunity for China

    Feb 15, 2019

    The U.S. withdrawal from Syria could allow Beijing to further assert its role as a key international partner in Syria and, by extension, further its interests in the Middle East. The extent of Sino-Syrian cooperation remains ambiguous but it has reportedly deepened, with China supplying intelligence personnel, strategic advisors, and special forces.

  • Commentary

    A New Framework for Evaluating Counter Violent Extremism Projects

    Feb 15, 2019

    Gathering evidence in the area of counter violent extremism (CVE) is vital, given the increasing role for CVE interventions in the political and security environment. Evaluations of these interventions can play a role in growing this knowledge, by helping the CVE field itself to develop.

  • Research Brief

    How to Strengthen Terrorism Prevention Efforts

    Feb 14, 2019

    Shortfalls in national terrorism prevention efforts have come not only from limited programmatic focus and resource investment, but also from critics seeking to constrain or halt such efforts. The most effective path for the U.S. government would be to support state, local, nongovernmental, and private terrorism prevention efforts rather than building capabilities itself.

  • Commentary

    Terrorists on the Border and Government Secrecy

    Feb 13, 2019

    Detailed information on how many would-be terrorists may have sought to cross the southern border is being withheld on the grounds that it is sensitive. The refusal of officials to offer a fuller explanation of the numbers illustrates how the continued expansion of secrecy in government is damaging the ability of the public to assess the risk and evaluate the response.

  • Commentary

    The Need to Think More Clearly About 'Great-Power Competition'

    Feb 11, 2019

    Today's world order is increasingly defined by competition between the United States and a host of major powers, especially China and Russia. Who is America's principal competitor and over what is it competing? What is America’s ultimate objective? And how will it prepare its economy and its society for infinite competition of an indefinite nature?

More Research on National Security


  • The Russian Way of Warfare

    Jun 15, 2018

    The House of Representatives recently passed an act that states that it is the policy of the United States to sustain a credible deterrent against aggression and long-term strategic competition from Russia. Scott Boston and Dara Massicot will discuss findings from their recent report, including key characteristics of Russian warfare and implications for U.S. policy. [Washington, D.C.]

  • Overcoming the Threats of Our Strategic Competitors

    Mar 27, 2018

    What weapon systems and posture enhancements should Congress and the Defense Department consider to prepare the United States for potential conflicts? In a RAND Congressional Briefing, David Ochmanek will discuss solutions that could help defend against national security challenges. [Washington, D.C.]

  • What Will It Take to Prevent a Security Decline in Mosul?

    Sep 22, 2017

    After defeating ISIS in Mosul, what must be done to stabilize the region and prevent a slide back into violence? Shelly Culbertson and Linda Robinson will brief Congress on targeted actions to address humanitarian and stabilization needs, and implications for U.S. policy.

  • North Korea's Continuous Provocations

    Jul 17, 2017

    North Korea's provocative behavior has heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula and caused alarm throughout Northeast Asia and beyond. Bruce Bennett will brief Congress on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, the role of China, implications for U.S. policy, and more.

  • Strategic Rethink: Choices for America in a Turbulent World

    Jul 24, 2015

    How does America envision its role in a turbulent geopolitical environment with growing challenges? Ambassador James Dobbins, Howard Shatz, and David Ochmanek examine the most consequential choices that are likely to face this president and the next.

More Work on National Security

Alerts & Newsletters

RAND periodically sends email alerts to update Congress on highlights of recent work concerning national security.

  • Who Joins Foreign Terrorist Groups?

    Jan 31, 2019

    An accurate understanding of the demographic profile of persons drawn to terrorist groups--and how it has changed over time--may help policymakers improve counterterrorism efforts.

  • Are DoD Scholarships for Military Spouses Making a Difference?

    Dec 19, 2018

    The Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act included a provision to improve awareness of the My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) Scholarship. This scholarship provides financial assistance for education and training in portable career fields to spouses whose service members are early in their careers.

  • Enhancing Family Stability During PCS Moves

    Nov 30, 2018

    About one-third of service members experience a permanent change of station (PCS) move every year. These moves are a stressor for military families and are associated with disruptions to family stability.

  • Reforming Security Assistance for Africa

    Oct 25, 2018

    Recent RAND analysis of U.S. security sector assistance (SSA) to Africa shows a mixed record. For most of the past quarter-century, SSA has been highly inefficient, achieving no aggregate reduction in insurgencies or terrorism in the countries that received the assistance.

  • In Case You Missed It: Current Trends in Terrorism and Illicit Finance

    Oct 10, 2018

    Terrorist organizations rely on funding in order to operate and achieve their objectives. It is important to keep these organizations from acquiring funds, and there are ways the United States and its partners can combat terrorist financing.

  • Is the U.S. Air Force Flying Force Large Enough?

    Sep 20, 2018

    By using historical evidence to estimate demands on the U.S. Air Force flying force in four possible futures, new RAND research sheds light on potential future force requirements. RAND researchers found that the current force experiences capacity shortfalls in all four scenarios and that no class of aircraft performs well across all scenarios.

  • Improving Force Development Within the Department of Defense

    Aug 31, 2018

    In wargames depicting future hypothetical conflicts against the nation’s most capable adversaries, programmed U.S. forces repeatedly have failed to achieve their primary operational objectives and have suffered heavy losses in doing so. What can the Defense Department and Congress do to ensure the military is capable of succeeding in potential future conflicts?

  • In Case You Missed It: Russian Nuclear Forces and Prospects for Arms Control

    Aug 2, 2018

    RAND's Austin Long discusses Russia's newest nuclear delivery systems and the current barriers to reaching an arms control negotiation.

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