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.

  • 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

    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

    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

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    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

    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

    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

  • A contractor hired to supplement security stands watch at main entry point tower, Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, photo by Michael D. Heckman/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    U.S. Control of Contractors in Iraq Is Vital

    With U.S. troops out of Iraq, the U.S. presence there will fall to 5,000 private security contractors....The experience with private security contractors during the war was fraught with challenges that pose risks now, writes Molly Dunigan.

    Jan 31, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    Coalition Forces During Stability Operations: Band of Brothers or Dysfunctional Family?

    As challenging as coalition warfare is during conventional conflicts, the difficulties are compounded in number and character when the contingency is instead a stability operation. The absence of a threat that puts survival interests at risk translates into weaker commitment and more-restrictive caveats on how a participant's capabilities are employed.

    Nov 21, 2011

  • An Iranian flag flutters during the opening ceremony of the 16th International Oil, Gas & Petrochemical Exhibition in Tehran, April 15, 2011, photo by Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iran's Growing State of Civil Disobedience

    A typical Iranian has many reasons to disobey the government, whether he or she is young, an ethnic minority, a poor teacher or laborer, or a struggling student, writes Alireza Nader.

    Sep 8, 2011

  • Egyptian army vehicles are parked near the Israeli embassy as protesters shout slogans against Israel in Cairo, August 21, 2011, photo by Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

    Commentary

    Commanding Democracy in Egypt: The Military's Attempt to Manage the Future

    The SCAF's attempts to curtail dissent and the democratic process have fueled doubts about its true intentions. Will the military fulfill its promise to support democracy? Or will it seek to replace Mubarak's rule with its own or that of a friendly autocrat? write Jeffrey Martini and Julie Taylor.

    Aug 25, 2011

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    Getting Better at Strategic Communication

    If "strategic communication" as a term is too vague or becomes politically untenable, abandon it. Just do not allow the underlying effort to coordinate government impact on the information environment to be lost too.

    Jul 11, 2011

  • Report

    Report

    How Does the Conflict in Afghanistan Compare to Counterinsurgencies of the Past 30 Years?

    An analysis of 30 insurgencies worldwide between 1978 and 2008 determined what factors were ultimately correlated with success or defeat. Comparing Afghanistan in early 2011 against this scorecard results in an uncertain outcome for the conflict there, but the findings may help provide additional guidance as operations continue.

    Jun 27, 2011