National Security

RAND conducts a broad array of national security research for the U.S. Department of Defense. RAND also carries out an extensive research program in homeland security, homeland defense, and terrorism-related research for the U.S. Government, as well as selected research for key allied governments and ministries of defense. Through its long-term investment in federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), the U.S. government has built a network of institutions with unique analytical and technical capabilities.

National security research is conducted by the following RAND FFRDCs: RAND Project AIR FORCE, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force; RAND Arroyo Center, sponsored by the U.S. Army; RAND National Defense Research Institute, sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense; RAND Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.

Latest Research

  • Neurodiversity and National Security: How to Tackle National Security Challenges with a Wider Range of Cognitive Talents

    This report provides analysis about neurodivergence and neurodiversity for the national security community and steps to achieve neurodiverse inclusivity. The authors describe the benefits that people with neurodivergence bring to national security; challenges in recruiting, working with, and managing a neurodiverse workforce; and barriers in national security workplaces that prevent agencies from realizing the full benefits of neurodiversity.

    Mar 27, 2023

  • Why National Security Needs Neurodiversity

    Neurodiversity, like other forms of diversity, can strengthen an organization. Members of the neurodivergent population have skills that can be beneficial in many fields of interest to national security. These include pattern recognition, problem-solving, visualization, and memory.

    Mar 27, 2023

  • Understanding the Russian General Staff

    The Russian General Staff is unlike any single organization in the U.S. military or government. Understanding its role and capacity to influence national security decisionmaking is important. Two case studies—Russia's 2014 war in Ukraine and 2015 intervention in Syria—observe the responsibilities and authorities of the General Staff in practice.

    Mar 22, 2023

  • Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition

    Why do external states provide military support to parties to a civil war? A quantitative analysis and case studies of China, Iran, and Russia examine the causes and likely future trends in proxy wars.

    Mar 9, 2023

  • Quantifying the link between COVID-19, conflict risk, and the global economy

    While there is a growing consensus that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected countries' economies and may exacerbate socio-political unrest, understanding the dynamics of this process remains challenging. RAND Europe research suggests that COVID-19 will significantly increase the risk of civil conflict in African countries. This effect may, in turn, have negative global economic repercussions via international trade losses.

    Mar 3, 2023

National Security News