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.

  • Iraqi Police and U.S. colonel attended the Iraqi Police River Patrol Graduation ceremonies on the banks of the Tigris River

    Report

    The End of the Iraq War Offers Lessons for Withdrawal from Afghanistan

    Policymakers and military commanders should use the lessons derived from the final years of U.S. involvement in Iraq to inform critical decisions and timelines required to successfully end large-scale military operations, including the one in Afghanistan. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” template to follow.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • U.S. military and Iraqi Army officers

    Research Brief

    Smooth Transitions? Lessons Learned from Transferring U.S. Military Responsibilities to Civilian Authorities in Iraq

    An examination of the transition of authority from military hands to civilians in the U.S. and Iraqi governments found lessons that could smooth the departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and guide similar transitions in the future.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • Afghan artillerymen in a live-fire exercise are certified and ready to lead

    Blog

    Weighing Afghanistan in 2013 Against the Counterinsurgency Scorecard

    Early 2013 Afghanistan ranks among the historical counterinsurgency winners, but its score is equal to those of the lowest-scoring historical wins. This tenuous position points to several areas in need of improvement.

    Oct 21, 2013

  • Report

    Counterinsurgency Scorecard: Afghanistan in Early 2013 Relative to Insurgencies Since World War II

    Previous RAND research on historical insurgencies found that a conflict's overall balance of good and bad factors and practices perfectly discriminated its outcome. A RAND study applied this scorecard approach to Afghanistan in early 2013.

    Oct 7, 2013

  • counterinsurgency mission in Afghanistan

    Commentary

    Paths to Victory in the Australian Defence and Security Context

    The historical importance of commitment and motivation and the need to overmatch insurgents suggest that Australia should weigh any commitment of support against existing conditions, those that can be changed and those that can't, writes Christopher Paul.

    Oct 2, 2013

  • U.S. soldiers on a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army

    Blog

    New RAND Report Updates, Expands Research on Successful Counterinsurgency Approaches

    When a country is threatened by an insurgency, what efforts give its government the best chance of prevailing? A new update to a RAND 2010 study expands the data set of 30 insurgencies to 71, and compares all 71 of them begun and completed worldwide since World War II.

    Sep 27, 2013

  • 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

    Paths to Victory: Detailed Insurgency Case Studies

    This companion volume to Paths to Victory: Lessons from Modern Insurgencies offers in-depth case studies of 41 insurgencies since World War II. Each case breaks the conflict into phases and examines the trajectory that led to the outcome.

    Sep 26, 2013

  • U.S. soldiers on COIN operation in Iraq

    Report

    Lessons from Modern Insurgencies

    A comparison of all 71 insurgencies begun and completed worldwide since World War II finds the counterinsurgency (COIN) practices or combinations of practices that offer the most promise for a government win against an insurgency.

    Sep 26, 2013

  • 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

    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

    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