Defence Strategy, Policy and Capabilities

Providing clients with the tools and knowledge to develop their defence capabilities across a range of functional areas, including strategy development, capability planning and workforce management

Research, commentary, and events

  • Commentary

    What Sweden's Accession Means for NATO

    Russia's failed invasion of Ukraine pushed neutral Sweden to embrace a role in NATO's collective defence and security. With this addition, NATO's toolkit gains Sweden's ground and air combat, nearshore and undersea warfare capabilities, as well as the country's expertise in niche areas such as cold weather operations.

    22 Mar 2024

  • Project

    Towards Defence Supply Chain Disruption Management

    Supply chains are highly vulnerable to events that are unexpected and difficult to plan for but may have far-reaching and catastrophic consequences. Researchers explored how to design resilient defence supply chains that are secure from these 'Black Swan' events.

    22 Mar 2024

  • Commentary

    Pace Through Integration? UK Defence Attempts Procurement Reform, Again

    The Ukraine war has exposed a challenge: How can allies gear their defence industries up to deliver materiel to Ukraine while remaining fit for purpose at home? By introducing a new procurement model, the UK Ministry of Defence aims to integrate lessons learned from past programmes.

    20 Mar 2024

  • Commentary

    Relationships with Netherlands Neighbours Would Set the Course of Walrus Replacement

    The Netherlands recently commissioned a French company to replace the Royal Navy's four Walrus submarines. Economic and strategic considerations play a role in the decision, but policy safeguards will ensure that even a non-Dutch bidder returns industrial benefits.

    15 Mar 2024

  • Commentary

    As Europe's Peace Unravels, Czech Republic Ties Its Defence More Tightly to NATO

    The Czech Republic's new defence strategy emphasises its commitment to its allies and Ukraine at a time when NATO's cohesion is being challenged by both domestic and external factors.

    11 Mar 2024

  • Commentary

    How Finland and Sweden Bolster NATO

    In response to Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden have joined NATO. These two small Nordic countries have outsized strategic and military benefits for the alliance.

    07 Mar 2024

  • Commentary

    Directed Energy Dilemmas

    Directed energy weapons (DEW) are part of a layered approach to integrated air and missile defence. But with wide-ranging and disruptive implications for defence budgets and for industry that have only just begun to be considered, could the military impact of this possible DEW revolution be just the tip of the iceberg?

    20 Feb 2024

  • Q&A

    Two Years After Russia Invaded Ukraine: Q&A with RAND Experts

    RAND experts discuss the state of the conflict in Ukraine and its prospects, the war's global implications, possible outcomes and solutions, and what the West and the rest of the world might be doing now and once hostilities end.

    19 Feb 2024

  • Commentary

    How Finland Approaches Its New NATO Role Is a Key Decision for the New President

    Finland's presidential election is complete, and Alexander Stubb is the winner. As the president holds executive power to set foreign and security policy, as well as commanding the military, NATO countries are watching closely to see which course their newfound ally will chart.

    14 Feb 2024

  • Project

    Meeting the Needs of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy Family

    RAND Europe is currently undertaking research to support the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and Greenwich Hospital in understanding the current and future size, demographics and support needs of RAF and RN Service People, Veterans and Families.

    09 Feb 2024

  • Commentary

    Lessons for Industrial Resilience: The UK's Typhoon Export Conundrum

    If Turkey steps back from its pursuit of the Typhoon, it would join India, South Korea, Finland, the UAE, and Switzerland on the list of countries to decline acquisition of the four-nation collaborative platform jointly exported by the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The United Kingdom and Germany have the most to gain, or lose, from the Typhoon's success.

    02 Feb 2024

  • Commentary

    Directed Energy: The Focus on Laser Weapons Intensifies

    Directed energy weapons offer a more cost-efficient means of dealing with fast-proliferating threats. If the technology can be matured, such systems could tip both the military and economic calculus of modern warfare in their users' favor.

    25 Jan 2024

  • Project

    UK Armed Forces Incentivisation in 2035 and beyond

    RAND Europe, as part of a collaboration, supported the UK Ministry of Defence in conducting the Haythornthwaite Review of Armed Forces Incentivisation.

    18 Jan 2024

  • Commentary

    Germany's New Plans for Transforming Its Defence and Foreign Policy Are Bold. They Are Also Running Into Familiar Problems

    Germany's new defence policy guidelines mark a seismic transformation in German military strategy, away from diplomacy and dialogue, towards defence and deterrence. But as the country seeks to be more assertive on the international stage, there may be resistance at home.

    17 Jan 2024

  • Report

    China's Global Energy Interconnection Initiative

    China aims to build a worldwide power grid that addresses the growing demand for electricity while supporting the transition to net zero. Could the potential global security implications of a super grid governed by China outweigh its benefits?

    05 Dec 2023

  • Project

    Study on the factors influencing the uptake of EU-Funded Security Research Outcomes

    RAND Europe researchers identified hindering and enabling factors for EU security innovation uptake.

    26 Jul 2023

  • Journal Article

    Factors Influencing the Uptake of EU-funded Security Research Outcomes

    RAND Europe researchers brought greater clarity to EU-funded security research and innovation implementation by identifying three different research strands and a series of factors that support and hinder uptake.

    20 Jul 2023

  • Commentary

    Finland Joins NATO, Sweden's Accession Remains Uncertain

    Finland is at long last joining NATO, having applied together with Sweden last year in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Finland's accession represents a boon to NATO, a radical change in Finnish foreign and security policy, and another unplanned setback for Russia.

    04 Apr 2023

  • Commentary

    Deciding Whether to Send Fighter Jets to Ukraine

    Supplying military equipment to another country's forces can be far from straightforward. The logistical, operational, and technical considerations are immensely complex, and any offer made by NATO allies to Ukraine might best come with a credible plan for deployment and effect—not just a cheque that cannot be cashed.

    24 Feb 2023

  • Commentary

    Realising the promise of the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy

    Drawing on a body of RAND research on the UK defence industrial base, R&D and technology, researchers reflect on areas of emerging challenges to implementing the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS) published in March 2021.

    28 Nov 2022