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

  • Man at home working on a computer, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Should the Federal Workforce Stay Remote? Planning for After the Crisis

    Apr 3, 2020

    As physical distancing becomes the new norm, so too does telework. But should federal agencies maintain their remote operations for the long haul? As those of us involved with national security agencies, operations, and workforce issues know, this is not a decision to make lightly.

  • A Sabre short-range ballistic missile launches in June 2017 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, for a test of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement, an advanced missile defense system, photo by U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Maximizing Bargaining Leverage with Beijing: Developing Missiles as Bargaining Chips

    Apr 3, 2020

    Arms negotiations may offer the only way to reduce the grave threat posed to the United States and allied security by China's missiles. U.S. owned and operated missiles could provide the best bargaining chips.

  • South Korea and U.S. Special Forces during a joint military exercise in Gangwon province, South Korea, November 7, 2019, photo by Capt. David J. Murphy/U.S. Air Force/Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S.–South Korea OPCON Transition: The Element of Timing

    Apr 2, 2020

    As Washington and Seoul continue to examine the feasibility and conditions for wartime operational control transition, decisionmakers will likely face political pressure on timing. It may well be to the advantage of both allies that the determination of the transfer be driven by a hard, thorough diagnosis of military capabilities against emerging threats.

  • Soldiers at Camp Funston, Kansas, are quarantined while recovering from the Spanish flu in 1918, photo by National Guard Bureau

    Commentary

    Pandemics and the U.S. Military: Lessons from 1918

    Apr 1, 2020

    Military leaders today face a more benign security environment than their predecessors did during the 1918 Spanish flu. The U.S. military is engaged in operations abroad, but it's not fighting a great-power war. The Pentagon has every reason to focus on stemming the COVID-19 pandemic even if it has to absorb some downgrade in readiness.

  • Cyber warfare specialists engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Maryland, June 3, 2017, photo by J.M. Eddins Jr./U.S. Air Force

    Report

    The Defense Industrial Base Needs a Cyber Protection Program

    Mar 30, 2020

    The unclassified networks of defense industrial base firms have become a target for adversaries seeking to steal sensitive data, trade secrets, and intellectual property. How can the U.S. Department of Defense better secure these networks?

More Research on National Security

Briefings

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

    How Do We Prevent the Next Homegrown Terrorist?

    May 3, 2019

    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.]

  • Chat bot in the form of binary code

    Approaches to Counter Russian Social Media Influence

    Mar 15, 2019

    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.]

  • 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

    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.]

  • 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

    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.]

  • 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?

    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.

More Work on National Security

Alerts & Newsletters

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

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty at Prague Castle in the Czech Republic, April 8, 2010, photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

    Why Should the New START Agreement Be Extended?

    Mar 31, 2020

    Only one nuclear arms control agreement between the United States and Russia remains: the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). But that agreement expires next year.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 19, 2019, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    What Provokes Putin's Russia?

    Feb 27, 2020

    Deterring Russia without provoking it requires an understanding of what Russia considers to be redlines. A deterrent that is too heavy-handed might prompt the precise response that it sought to avoid.

  • In Case You Missed It: Escalation with Iran

    Feb 13, 2020

    In response to the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran is likely to continue to take action against the United States. RAND's Ariane Tabatabai describes some of the tools Iran could use to challenge the United States.

  • An activist outside the Dutch embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, holds a banner that says not to listen to Russian propaganda, February 5, 2016, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Competing against Russia in the Gray Zone

    Jan 30, 2020

    RAND researchers ran a series of war games to explore Russian gray zone aggression--ranging from disinformation to electoral interference to little green men--in Europe.

  • A rifleman with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment

    How Can Imminent Danger Pay and Hostile Fire Pay Be Improved?

    Dec 19, 2019

    RAND examined HFP and IDP and assessed whether a different approach might be more effective. While the current process is generally effective, it could be improved by allowing IDP rates to vary with the severity of threat in a location.

  • An Army couple reacts to local residents' posts regarding housing issues on a community Facebook group at their army base home in Fort Hood, Texas, May 16, 2019, photo by Amanda Voisard/Reuters

    What Are the Biggest Challenges Facing Army Families?

    Nov 21, 2019

    RAND surveyed more than 8,500 Army spouses on common military service challenges and their solutions. The analysis found that spouses most frequently rate work-life balance, military practices and culture, and their own well-being as their top problem areas.

  • Illustration of a network, security information, and AI technology, image by  issaronow/Adobe Stock

    How Do Russia and China Engage in Social Manipulation?

    Oct 29, 2019

    U.S. competitors such as Russia and China engage in hostile social manipulation—the use of informational means to manipulate political, social, and economic conditions.

  • In Case You Missed It: Extending Russia

    Oct 8, 2019

    Former Ambassador James Dobbins, Raphael Cohen, and Howard Shatz discuss Russia's economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties. What are some ways the United States can impose costs on Russia?

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Testimony

2010 and prior

More Testimony

Briefs

More Research on National Security