Asymmetric Warfare

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The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the war in Afghanistan are among the best-known recent examples of asymmetric warfare: conflicts between nations or groups that have disparate military capabilities and strategies. RAND investigates political and military responses to — and the impacts of — counterinsurgency, terrorism, and other forms of irregular warfare.

  • A Delta IV rocket successfully launches the Global Positioning System IIF-5 satellite from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, February 20, 2014, photo by Ben Cooper/United Launch Alliance

    Research Brief

    What Will the Future of Warfare Look Like?

    May 11, 2020

    Poor predictions about wars stem from failing to think holistically about the factors that drive changes in the global environment and their implications for warfare. Geopolitical, economic, military, space, nuclear, cyber, and other trends will shape the contours of conflict through 2030.

  • Flags of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are raised in a ceremony outside the presidential palace in Vilnius, Lithuania, during the country's centenary celebration, February 16, 2018, photo by Birute/Getty Images

    Report

    Deterring Russian Aggression in the Baltic States

    Apr 14, 2019

    Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are vulnerable to low-level, hybrid, and full-scale attacks by Russian forces. Which unconventional strategies could they use to deter aggression and buy time for conventional military responses? And how can NATO allies help develop and fund these efforts?

Explore Asymmetric Warfare

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    Krystyna Marcinek

    Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, Jagiellonian University, Poland

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    Erik Ervin Mueller

    Defense Analyst
    Education M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago; B.A. in international affairs, Lewis & Clark College

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    Jan Osburg

    Senior Engineer; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, University of Stuttgart; M.S. in aerospace engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

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    Christopher Paul

    Senior Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in sociology, University of California, Los Angeles

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    Stephanie Pezard

    Senior Political Scientist
    Education Ph.D. in political science, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; M.A. in history, French Institute of Political Science, Paris (Sciences Po); M.A. in political science, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; B.A. in history, French Institute of Political Science, Paris (Sciences Po)

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    Eric Robinson

    Research Programmer & Analyst
    Education M.P.P. in public policy, College of William & Mary; B.A. in economics, government, College of William & Mary

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    Christopher M. Schnaubelt

    Senior Political Scientist
    Education Ph.D. in political science, University of California Santa Barbara; M.S.S. in strategic studies, U.S. Army War College

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    Barbara Sude

    Adjunct Political Scientist
    Education Ph.D. in Near Eastern studies, Princeton University; B.S. in Arabic studies, Georgetown University