RAND Review: Military Sexual Assault, International Interventions, and Cyber Security

In This Issue (Volume 37, Number 1: Summer 2013)

RAND Review: Summer 2013
Illustration by Eileen La Russo

The woodland camouflage pattern has been used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard.

Cover Story

Enemy Within: Military Sexual Assault Inflicts Physical, Psychological, Financial Pain

Awareness of sexual violence within the U.S. military has grown over the past decade, but barriers still exist for servicemembers who report the crimes and seek psychological health care. A research agenda needs to take full account of the types of damage being done.

Viewing Gallery

Dementia's Mounting Toll on the U.S. Economy

Dementia Costs

The number of cases of dementia, a medical problem that predominantly affects older people, may more than double in the next few decades, and the costs associated with treating it are growing accordingly.


Minimalist International Interventions

On June 5, 2013, Germany and Italy became the first nations to commit to serving alongside the United States as "lead nations" that will oversee different parts of Afghanistan after 2014, when the NATO role there will shift to a noncombat mission, helping Afghan security institutions stabilize their own country. In the following series of essays, RAND authors draw on the historical record of "minimalist international interventions," conducted on behalf of partner governments, to identify the kinds of limited efforts that could offer the greatest promise for Afghanistan and other countries in the years ahead.

For Stabilization Missions, Small Budgets Produce Limited Results

Rescued Civilians

Small-scale interventions to stabilize a partner government engaged in violent conflict could become the rule rather than the exception for U.S. military forces, but such modest resource commitments generally yield only modest results.

For Building Partner Capacity, Choose Partners Wisely

U.S. Army Col. makes Afghan site visit, photo by USACE Afghanistan Engineer District

The success of interventions to develop a partner nation's security forces depends as much on the partner nation's capabilities and interests as it does on the intervening nation's efforts.

For Afghan and Other Local Defense Forces, History Holds Warnings

  • By Austin Long

For counterinsurgency interventions, the greatest value of local defense forces lies in intelligence, not combat; misuse of such defensive forces can greatly reduce their effectiveness.

For Nation-Building Missions, Modest Costs Yield Meaningful Benefits


Most of the major nation-building missions undertaken since the end of the Cold War achieved not only their primary aim of establishing peace, but also other benefits — with only a modest commitment of military resources and economic assistance.

For the Future U.S. Overseas Presence, Access Agreements Are Key

USS Los Angeles on Singapore's Changi Naval Base for a cooperation exercise, photo by Erin A Zocco/U.S. Navy

Instead of relying on or establishing new permanent overseas bases, the United States should increasingly focus on developing access agreements with host nations.

Tangled Web

Cybersecurity Strategies Raise Hopes of International Cooperation

  • By Neil Robinson

In recent years, concerns over cyber threats have spurred supranational cyberdefense initiatives within NATO and, to a lesser extent, the European Union.

Cyberwar Fears Pose Dangers of Unnecessary Escalation

Cyber Attack
  • By Martin C. Libicki

Nations must ensure that, in their zeal to defend themselves in cyberspace, they do not trigger even greater threats, such as real-world military or economic retaliation.

Public Square

  • Compensating U.S. doctors
  • Withdrawing from Afghanistan
  • Mapping Egyptian politics
  • Gun risks outweigh benefits
  • Commercial pot industry
  • Crisis in Syria
  • Killer mutant viruses
  • Separate beds?
  • Healthy food policy
  • Libya via Sierra Leone
  • Prices at the pump
  • Innovation versus bureaucracy
  • Affordable Care Act in Arkansas
  • Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania
Read More

Publisher's Page

Michael D. Rich

The Value of Perspective, in Dollars and Cents

RAND's president and CEO discusses how rigorous and objective analysis can inform government organizations responsible for U.S. national security as they address today's budget realities.

Message from the Editor

John Godges


The feature stories in this issue each confront scourges — sexual assault in the U.S. military, violent insurgencies in Afghanistan and other partner nations, and the proliferation of cyber attacks — and suggest steps that could be taken to deal with them.