Civil-Military Relations

RAND research on civil-military relations includes studies of how a military employs civilian contractors, how military bases interact with their neighbors, and how a nation's military affects its politics—and vice versa.

  • An Indonesian army ambulance, repainted with U.N. peacekeeping colors, is loaded aboard S.S. Wilson.

    Research Brief

    Enhancing Civilian Agency Participation in Stability Operations

    U.S. plans for stability operations emphasize a "whole of government" approach in which civilian and military agency efforts reflect a common U.S. strategy, but such an approach has been difficult to implement in practice. How can the Army assist in making key civilian agencies more capable partners in the planning and execution of stability, security, transition, and reconstruction (SSTR) operations?

    Sep 18, 2013

  • Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood during a protest in Cairo August 23, 2013

    Commentary

    What's Next for the Muslim Brotherhood?

    Some believe the Muslim Brotherhood should stay in the political game, adopting the role of loyal opposition. The Brotherhood would remain a minority party, but it could continue to hold offices, provide social assistance that the government does not, and demonstrate its continuing strength at the polls.

    Aug 26, 2013

  • A man shouts during a protest of military rule in Egypt.

    Blog

    Dalia Dassa Kaye: Don't Cut Economic Aid to Egypt

    It's pretty clear that the U.S. administration is frustrated with the way Egypt is going, says Dalia Dassa Kaye. There are few good choices. What is unfortunate is the development of cutting economic assistance to Egypt. That is sending exactly the wrong message to the Egyptian people and the broader region.

    Aug 22, 2013

  • A soldier stands outside the burnt Rabaa Adawiya mosque, the morning after the clearing of a protest camp around the mosque, in Cairo August 15, 2013.

    Blog

    Things Could Get Worse in Egypt

    As terrible as yesterday was in Egypt, things could get worse, says Jeffrey Martini, a RAND Middle East analyst. While the military-ruled government appears to be trying to break the neck of the Muslim Brotherhood, one shoe that hasn't dropped is the arrest of senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

    Aug 15, 2013

  • Mohamed ElBaradei when he was the International Atomic Energy Agency chief, who is now serving as vice president for foreign relations

    Commentary

    Egyptian Liberals, Please Stand Up

    While Egypt really is in trouble, what is needed is not a U.S. signal in the form of an aid cut off or another European mediation effort, it is for Egyptian liberals to stand up and condition their participation in government on genuine national reconciliation.

    Aug 1, 2013

  • Egyptian men talking in Idfo, Aswan, EG, January 2013

    Commentary

    The Enduring Mirage of the Arab Spring

    U.S. policy should not be hamstrung by a narrow focus on democratization, writes Seth G. Jones. More than ever, the United States and its allies should think first about protecting their vital strategic interests in Egypt and the region.

    Jul 22, 2013

  • Turkey Prime Minister Erdogan speaking at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia in Istanbul, June 2012

    Commentary

    The Biggest Loser of Cairo's Coup: Turkey

    The military coup deposing Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, has sparked an important shift in the regional balance of power in the Middle East. Morsi's ouster deals a strong blow to the Turkey-Qatar-Egypt “pro-change” axis and to Turkey's hopes of playing a larger role in the region.

    Jul 19, 2013

  • Egyptian policemen on guard by the entrance to the Ayyubid 13th century Madrasa of al-Salih Ayyub in Cairo, Egypt

    Blog

    In Egypt, Polarization Stands in the Way of Stability

    The establishment of a stable government in Egypt is an elusive goal that depends on finding ways to reduce seemingly intractable levels of political polarization, says Jeffrey Martini. There is little cause for optimism that polarization will diminish any time soon.

    Jul 18, 2013

  • Egyptian police stand talking to each other, the visors on their riot helmets raised.

    Commentary

    Halting Aid to Egypt Over Military 'Coup' Would Hurt US Interests

    Critics advocate for acknowledging that what occurred in Egypt is a coup and shutting off the more than $1.5 billion that Egypt receives annually from the US government. But this position fails to appreciate the limits of the leverage Washington derives from its aid to Cairo and the potential consequences of halting it.

    Jul 11, 2013

  • Crowd going to Tahrir square to join the June 30 protests against the Muslim brotherhood and President Morsi

    Commentary

    The Egyptian Military's Playbook

    The Egyptian military, still bruised from its last stint in power, is likely to proceed with caution this time around. If it does intervene, it will likely seek some acquiescence from the Islamists and will want to quickly form an inclusive caretaker government.

    Jul 2, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Talk Like a Marine: USMC Linguistic Acculturation and Civil–military Argument

    This study examines the relationship between US Marine discourse and civil–military public argument.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Harold Brown from his time as Secretary of the Air Force (Oct 1965 through Feb 1969)

    Commentary

    Why Civilian Military Secretaries Are No Longer Needed

    Civilian oversight of support functions — the whole of the service secretary’s task — is currently done or repeated by existing elements in the offices of the undersecretaries of defense, writes former secretary of defense Harold Brown.

    Oct 19, 2012

  • Report

    Bridging the Gap: Prototype Tools to Support Local Disaster Preparedness Planning and Collaboration

    RAND researchers developed an initial prototype tool to help determine capabilities and resources a locality will likely require during a disaster. The report also describes two social networking tools for local coordination of disaster preparedness.

    Oct 12, 2012

  • U.S. President Barack Obama puts his arm on Afghan President Hamid Karzai after they signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement in Kabul, May 2, 2012

    Commentary

    The Next War

    To prepare for the interventions to come in the next decade, the United States must adapt the lessons from its experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan and use them to generate a new, more realistic, and feasible doctrine, write Radha Iyengar and Douglas A. Ollivant.

    May 7, 2012

  • soldier, silhouette, america, american, marines, gi, usa, us, ammo, ammunition, acu, army, troops, armed, special forces, afghan war, combat, militant, desert, sand, army rangers, ranger, commando, peacekeeper, forces, human, infantry, power, special, service, iraq, iraqi, afghanistan, afghan, sunset, rifle, war, firearm, gun, military, weapons, american soldier, american troops

    Report

    New Counterinsurgency Assessment Methods Are Needed to Better Inform Policymakers

    The U.S. Department of Defense will receive more detailed, transparent, and credible assessments of its counterinsurgency campaigns by replacing its top-down approach with a bottom-up method driven by contextual, narrative reporting provided by commanders on the ground.

    Apr 13, 2012

  • sad soldier

    Research Brief

    Improving Counterinsurgency Campaign Assessment: The Importance of Transparency in the Fog of War

    Current processes used by the U.S. military do not provide accurate assessments of counterinsurgency campaigns. A new process that adds transparency and context to assessments would make them more credible and useful at all levels of decisionmaking.

    Apr 13, 2012

  • U.S. Army Major greets a local resident at Jani Kheyl, Afghanistan

    Commentary

    Should the U.S. Leave Afghanistan Now? History Favors More Time

    The Afghans will have better prospects for defeating their insurgency with continued improvement, of course, and the United States can contribute to that improvement while American forces remain, writes Christopher Paul.

    Apr 3, 2012

  • Members of the Libyan military force under the ruling of the National Transitional Council wave their national flag as they parade along a main street in Tripoli February 14, 2012

    Commentary

    Bringing Libya Under Control

    While NATO countries and allies like Jordan and Qatar have started to train and equip the security forces, there is more that outsiders can do to help, writes Frederic Wehrey.

    Feb 25, 2012

  • Report

    Characterizing and Exploring the Implications of Maritime Irregular Warfare

    Although irregular warfare includes a range of activities in which naval forces have played an integral role, there has been little examination of the characteristics or potential of such operations in maritime environments. Current notions of irregular warfare would benefit from increased recognition of potential maritime contributions.

    Feb 20, 2012

  • Report

    Considerations for the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce: Preparing to Operate Amidst Private Security Contractors

    The U.S. Department of Defense Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (CEW) is deployed to support theater operations. This paper builds on prior RAND research to examine how private security contractors may interact with and affect CEW operations.

    Feb 14, 2012