National Security Research Division

The RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD) conducts research and analysis for the U.S. government, U.S. allies, and private foundations. The division operates the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI), a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC).


  • Juggled Plan for McCarthy-Tsai Meeting Does Taiwan No Favors

    Instead of traveling to Taiwan like Nancy Pelosi did, U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is abiding by the advice of President Tsai Ing-wen to skip the trip. They will meet in California. This could be seen as a major victory for China's aggressive stance toward U.S. ties with the island and could embolden Beijing.

    Mar 24, 2023

  • Why Is China Strengthening Its Military? It's Not All About War

    China's military modernization goals serve a variety of political and military purposes, none of which imply any intent to actually start a war. A grasp of the myriad drivers could help observers more accurately assess the danger posed by the PLA's modernization.

    Mar 24, 2023

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Latest Publications

  • How China Understands and Assesses Military Balance

    China sees itself as the weaker side in the overall military balance with the United States, largely because it has made only limited progress in the key areas that will define future warfare. Those include informatization and system-of-systems–based operations.

    Mar 1, 2023

  • The View of the Taiwan Strait from the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    In this video from an October 2022 event, experts examine the view of the Taiwan strait from the U.S.-Japan alliance. Presenters with experience in the governance of the United States and Japan considered the Taiwan strait issue from the perspectives of the two countries.

    Feb 20, 2023

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  • The Challenges to Making AUKUS Work

    Senior political scientist Jennifer D. Moroney writes in Security & Defence PLuS that for AUKUS to reach its potential, it will need to overcome barriers in terms of policies, legislation, management structures, and information-sharing practices.

  • Civilian Casualties: Lessons from the Battle for Raqqa

    The United States' emphasis on minimizing civilian harm in Raqqa, Syria, was quite clear and strong up and down the chain of command. But the way in which the U.S. military waged war in Raqqa too often undercut that commitment. The Pentagon asked RAND to find out what happened.

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