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Research Spotlight

Recent Work

  • An individual in a U.S. Air Force uniform uses an overhead touch screen


    Systematic Method for Prioritizing Investments in Game-Changing Technologies

    This report summarizes a demonstration of an Evaluation and Comparison Process framework that U.S. government and private-sector organizations can use to evaluate and compare potential game-changing technologies to make a preliminary determination about where to best invest limited resources.

  • Lockheed Martin employees work on the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter production line in Fort Worth, Texas, December 24, 2012, photo by Defense Contract Management Agency


    Improving Defense Acquisition

    Informed by 35 years of RAND research on defense acquisition, a new analysis describes overarching trends that affect DoD's acquisition system, outlines challenges in the acquisition process, and suggests improvements that might help address those challenges.

  • Flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California, August 18, 2019, photo by Scott Howe/U.S. Department of Defense


    Challenges of Deploying Ground-Based Intermediate-Range Missiles on Allied Lands

    The United States has been hoping to develop and deploy ground-based intermediate-range missiles to the Indo-Pacific. But what is the likelihood of its treaty allies in the region—Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand—hosting these systems? Are there alternatives to permanent basing?

  • An illustration of the International Space Station over Earth, image by NASA


    Commercial Space Market Development and Trends

    The growing commercial space industry offers a range of capabilities and services, including emerging technologies. Opportunities for the U.S. Space Force and Department of Defense to leverage these capabilities for military purposes are expanding. What concerns should stakeholders address?

  •  Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping walk down the stairs as they arrive for a BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil, November 14, 2019, photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters


    Understanding the Emerging Era of International Competition Through the Eyes of Others: Country Perspectives

    The U.S. National Security Strategy focuses on the expectation of a new era of growing international competition. RAND researchers evaluated how the competition looks through the eyes of other major powers, beginning with the primary challengers to the U.S.-led international order, and expanding to key countries around the world.

  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands at the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia, October 24, 2019, photo by Sergei Chirikov/Pool/Reuters


    Russia's Growing Presence in Africa

    Knowing where Russia is involved in Africa and where it is likely to become engaged in the future can help U.S. Air Forces Africa refine its regional strategy. A geostrategic assessment shows Russian activity in commercial, diplomatic, military, and paramilitary domains.

  • Furture


    Supporting Combat Power Projection Away from Fixed Infrastructure

    A new report examines the logistics and sustainment aspects of an emerging operational concept for employing a family of unmanned aerial vehicles that can be launched, recovered, and sustained with minimal reliance on runways.