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 ocr@rand.org or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • Sailors on the USS <em>Wasp</em> observe as the Japanese destroyer JS <em>Yuugiri</em> moors alongside in Okinawa, Japan, April 23, 2018, photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Japan's Strategic Shift: Significant, but Implementation Hurdles May Await

    Japan's new strategic documents appear to demonstrate a recognition in Tokyo that it must do more for its own defense in the face of unprecedented security challenges. The dedication of resources, pursuit of new capabilities, and overarching commitment to a more robust defense are all significant moves that represent landmark change by one of America's key allies.

    Jan 27, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Avoiding a Long War in Ukraine, Gun Violence, Migrant Surges: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the United States can help avoid a long war in Ukraine, responding to the gun violence crisis, limits on teachers’ instruction, and more.

    Jan 27, 2023

  • Soldiers of China's PLA take part in a joint multinational U.N. peacekeeping military exercise with troops from Pakistan, Mongolia, and Thailand, in Henan province, China, September 15, 2021, photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    Testimony

    China's Overseas Military Diplomacy and Implications for U.S. Interests

    As the U.S.-China competition intensifies, military diplomacy is one of the tools that China could potentially use to gain advantage. What are some ways that China’s military diplomacy activities could challenge U.S. interests? And what are some recommendations for U.S. policymakers?

    Jan 26, 2023

  • U.S. Army soldiers conduct a convoy in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve near northeastern Syria, September 21, 2020, photo by Staff Sgt. Michael West/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Appreciating U.S. Ground Force Contributions to Operation Inherent Resolve

    Defeating ISIS hinged on a ground fight, requiring the grueling liberation of territory kilometer by kilometer. While Iraqi forces bore the brunt of frontline fighting, U.S. forces were also engaged in on-the-ground combat operations that hastened the defeat of ISIS. Appreciating such contributions will be necessary to distill the right lessons so that we might correctly apply them to future irregular warfare.

    Jan 25, 2023

  • U.S. Army soldiers and French soldiers conduct a water obstacle course at Camp Papeari Tahiti, French Polynesia, May 11, 2022, photo by Master Sgt. Shelia L. Cooper/U.S. Army

    Report

    Greater Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Could Benefit U.S. and French Armies

    The United States and France already share objectives in the Indo-Pacific. They could cooperate further to increase dialogue and information-sharing, engage in more combined partnering with other countries, and broaden their participation in exercises and training in the region.

    Jan 25, 2023

More Research on National Security

Briefings

  • Crowd of people walking street, photo by blvdone/Adobe Stock

    How Do We Prevent the Next Homegrown Terrorist?

    What is the right terrorism prevention strategy for the federal government? Brian Jackson will discuss the nature of the homeland terrorist threat, past and current terrorism prevention policies, and recommendations for policymakers. [Washington, D.C.]

    May 3, 2019

  • Chat bot in the form of binary code

    Approaches to Counter Russian Social Media Influence

    How can policymakers combat the threat of Russian social media influence? Elizabeth Bodine-Baron will discuss different approaches and policy options to respond to Russian influence via disinformation spread on social media in the United States. [Washington, D.C.]

    Mar 15, 2019

  • A Russian soldier on top of an army vehicle keeps watch outside a border guard post in the Crimean town of Balaclava, March 1, 2014

    The Russian Way of Warfare

    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.]

    Jun 15, 2018

  • Chinese militaary vehicles carrying DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles, potentially capable of sinking a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in a single strike, travel past Tiananmen Gate during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing Thursday Sept. 3, 2015

    Overcoming the Threats of Our Strategic Competitors

    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.]

    Mar 27, 2018

  • On a street in eastern Mosul, Iraq, several months after being captured from ISIS

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

    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.

    Sep 22, 2017

More Work on National Security

Alerts & Newsletters

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

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the summit of leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Astana, Kazakhstan October 14, 2022, photo by Turar Kazangapov/Reuters

    What if Russia Were to Attack NATO?

    Although U.S. and NATO planners have long focused on preparing for the contingency of a large-scale conflict with Russia, the Ukraine war has created a unique set of circumstances that make a more limited Russian attack plausible. A new RAND paper outlines the characteristics of a potential Russian attack that are relevant to informing a U.S. or NATO response.

    Jan 26, 2023

  • Commanding General of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force awards U.S. Marines and Soldiers a challenge coin during an award ceremony in Okinawa, Japan, February 2019, photo by Joshua Sechser/U.S. Department of Defense

    National Security and International Affairs in the 118th Congress

    What are the biggest national security and international affairs policy issues facing the 118th Congress? RAND experts offer up insights on topics including competing with China, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, strategic competition, military personnel. and space policy.

    Jan 24, 2023

  •  Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping walk down the stairs as they arrive for a BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil, November 14, 2019, photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

    Understanding a New Era of Strategic Competition

    RAND researchers developed a framework for assessing competition between major powers and assembled high-level findings and recommendations to support immediate policy decisions to ensure the U.S. competitive advantage.

    Dec 15, 2022

  • COVID-19 vaccines are delivered in Tajikistan, March 2021, photo by Ruziev M/WHO

    Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Outbreak

    A new RAND publication contains a collection of essays that explores topics of critical importance toward that end and identifies actions to take to not only improve pandemic preparedness but also help prevent the occurrence of future pandemics.

    Dec 13, 2022

  • Commanding General of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force awards U.S. Marines and Soldiers a challenge coin during an award ceremony in Okinawa, Japan, February 2019, photo by Joshua Sechser/U.S. Department of Defense

    How Might China React to U.S. Posture Changes?

    A new RAND report provides a framework for assessing likely Chinese reactions to planned or proposed posture enhancements in the Indo-Pacific region.

    Nov 30, 2022

  • Members of China's research team setting up an ocean profiling float near the icebreaker Xuelong in the Arctic Ocean, August 18, 2016, photo by Wu Yue/Xinhua/Alamy

    China's Strategy and Activities in the Arctic

    A new RAND report assesses the potential implications of Chinese investments and activities in the Arctic for the regional rules-based order and for regional and transatlantic security.

    Oct 28, 2022

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kiribati's President Taneti Maamau shake hands during a signing ceremony in Beijing, China, January 6, 2020, photo by Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/Reuters

    The Implications of Chinese Influence in the Pacific Islands

    A recent RAND testimony provides a baseline of what we know about China's gambit in the Pacific, including its strategic goals and approach, and discusses how Pacific Island states are responding.

    Sep 29, 2022

  • U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov in a Ukraine Defence Contact group meeting in Brussels, Belgium, June 15, 2022, photo by Yves Herman/Pool/Reuters

    Pathways to Russian Escalation Against NATO from the Ukraine War

    The potential for Russia to decide to escalate the ongoing war in Ukraine by attacking a U.S. or allied target is a significant concern. A new RAND paper summarizes four plausible escalation pathways.

    Aug 23, 2022

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