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

  • Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army fighters fly a drone in Northern Afrin countryside, Syria, February 15, 2018, photo by Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Drone-Era Warfare Shows the Operational Limits of Air Defense Systems

    Jul 2, 2020

    External powers have intervened in the civil wars in Libya and Syria, supplying advanced conventional weapons that have intensified the conflicts. But not all of the weapons have performed as claimed.

  • An Airman with the 238th Air Support Operations Squadron prepares for a close air support exercise during Southern Strike 2020 at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, MS,  February 3, 2020, photo by Staff Sgt. Izabella Workman/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    Book Review: 'The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare' by Christian Brose

    Jul 2, 2020

    As the Pentagon and commercial technologists continue to explore the potential of commercial technologies for the military and work towards greater adoption, they may wish to focus not only on lowering bureaucratic barriers but also on managing expectations about what technologies will be most beneficial and how they will be used.

  • Counterterrorism police stand guard at the annual Gay Pride Parade in Greenwich Village, June 25, 2017, photo by PeskyMonkey/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Growing Irrelevance of Organizational Structure for U.S. Domestic Terrorism

    Jul 2, 2020

    For decades, America's primary terrorist threat came from groups based abroad. Today, a new crop of terrorist actors is emerging from within our own borders. Although diverse and for the most part unconnected to each other, they share a common objective of disrupting society and in the process, overturning existing norms if not the entire political, social, and economic order.

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin gestures during the joint press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018, photo by Lehtikuva/Jussi Nukari/Reuters

    Commentary

    Take the Bird in the Hand. Strike a Nuclear Weapons Deal with Russia

    Jul 1, 2020

    By extending New START, the Trump administration would preserve verifiable constraints on Russia's nuclear arsenal, buy time to negotiate a more comprehensive agreement, and pave the way for arms talks about intermediate-range missiles.

  • Virtual human 3D illustration with computer code, photo by monsitj/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Machine Learning Approach Could Help Counter Disinformation

    Jun 25, 2020

    Disinformation has become a central feature of the COVID-19 crisis. As this type of malign information and high-tech “deepfake” imagery can spread so fast online, it poses a risk to democratic societies worldwide by increasing public mistrust in governments and public authorities. New research highlights new ways to detect and dispel disinformation online.

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.

  • A Delta IV rocket successfully launches the Global Positioning System IIF-5 satellite from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, February 20, 2014, photo by Ben Cooper/United Launch Alliance

    The Future of Warfare in 2030

    Jun 26, 2020

    What will future conflicts look like in 2030? A new RAND series seeks to answer this question by examining the factors that shape conflict, including trends in geopolitics, the global economy, and even climate change.

  • U.S. Army soldiers deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve await aerial extraction via CH-47 Chinook during a training exercise in Iraq, October 31, 2018, photo by 1st Lt. Leland White/U.S. Army National Guard

    Establishing an Enduring Commitment in Iraq

    May 29, 2020

    Recent events have caused uncertainty about the future of the U.S. military's presence in Iraq. However, these setbacks should be viewed in a larger context: U.S. interests could suffer if strategic competition in Iraq is abandoned.

  • An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington D.C., June 15, 2005, photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

    What Does the COVID-19 Pandemic Mean for the Defense Budget?

    Apr 30, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a dramatic toll on the economy, and government relief efforts have increased the federal deficit. What could this crisis mean for defense spending?

  • 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.

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Testimony

2010 and prior

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Briefs

More Research on National Security