Oct 7, 2021
This volume is an important resource for those interested in gaining an informed understanding of a persistent, though usually low-level, military threat to U.S. security. Although such conflicts do not require the United States to deploy large numbers of forces at any given time, they often last for many years or decades. Moreover, they have proven difficult to prosecute and conclude in ways that serve our nation's interests and meet its objectives.
Since the 1960s, the RAND Corporation has conducted research and analyses on such small wars and the nation-building activities that typically occur in their aftermath. Some studies have focused on specific conflicts, while others have examined broad trends. This volume surveys the best examples from this ongoing research that are cleared for public release and synthesizes their collective results.
Readers of this volume should not only learn what is known about which strategies and practices are likely to succeed in small wars but also develop realistic, evidence-based expectations about outcomes.
RAND Arroyo Center initiated a series of volumes that synthesizes decades of RAND Corporation research and analysis on topics that represent perennial and evolving challenges to our nation's security. Each of the analyses was conducted at the request of a senior leader, uniformed or civilian, who faced a major decision and required high-quality, objective research to help inform it. As a result, each analysis was designed to be not only rigorous and reliable but also responsive, relevant, and immediately useful. This is the second of the four volumes.