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

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, October 20, 2015, photo by Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters

    Understanding Russia's Intervention in Syria

    Oct 31, 2019

    Russia's military intervention in the Syrian civil war began in 2015. This decision was the result of an extraordinary set of political and military circumstances. What might cause Moscow to take similar actions in other conflicts beyond its immediate neighborhood?

  • A simulated nuclear key turn

    Managing Nuclear Modernization Challenges for the U.S. Air Force

    Oct 29, 2019

    After decades of near neglect, the Air Force is embarking on a vast modernization of its portion of the nation's nuclear deterrence capabilities, but these activities face a range of challenges. A RAND report describes ways to allay these challenges, with a focus on the integrated planning and preparation for mission success across programs.

  • Servicemen disembark from a Ka-29 helicopter during an exercise staged by the Baltic Fleet forces of the Russian Navy to train amphibious assault, at Khmelevka firing ground in Kaliningrad Region, Russia, April 4, 2019, photo by Vitaly Nevar/Reuters

    How Capable Are Russia's Armed Forces?

    Oct 29, 2019

    Since 2008 the Russian military has become more capable in general, of defending its territory and also of launching invasions against its neighbors. Russia's defense spending is now in decline, but NATO policymakers and defense planners should continue to monitor improvements in its military.

  • Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division out of Hawaii and from TRADOC Centers of Excellence participated in the U.S. Army's Cyber Blitz April 2016 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Cyber Blitz provides the Army a venue to observe and assess cyber and electromagnetic activity-related interactions in a Tactical Command Post., photo by Kristen Kushiyama/U.S. Army CERDEC

    Assessing Force Sufficiency and Risk Using the Multi-Period Assessment of Force Flow Tool

    Oct 28, 2019

    How can the Army rapidly explore risk and budget implications across a variety of proposed force structures, readiness policies, and force generation policies? The Multi-Purpose Assessment of Force Flow (MPAFF) set of tools allows the Army to quickly perform quantitative assessments of capacity and force sufficiency risk over time relative to a large set of possible future demands.

  • Illustration of a robot analyzing a database of personnel, image by OstapenkoOlena/Getty Images

    Big Data Could Improve Military Recruiting

    Oct 22, 2019

    DoD and the U.S. military services have had some success with data-enabled outreach and recruiting. But they could benefit from expanding their adoption of private-sector approaches. For example, recruiters could better target prospects through the use of personally identifiable information and third-party data.

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