Deployment Process


The successful deployment of a military force involves the movement of troops and materiel in response to a regional threat and the ability to sustain this force until the military objective is achieved. RAND has extensive experience evaluating and providing supportable recommendations to military decisionmakers to ensure rapid and sustainable deployments to counter regional threats.

  • Report

    Iraqi Army Will to Fight

    In summer 2014, the Iraqi Army imploded, breaking and scattering in the face of attacks from Islamic State fighters. How can U.S. advisors help strengthen Iraqi Army will to fight and overall combat effectiveness?

    Jan 11, 2022

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    What Would a Strategy of Restraint Mean for U.S. Security Policy?

    If the United States adopted a grand strategy of restraint in the Asia-Pacific, how would its posture in the region change and how would it determine when to use force? What warfighting scenarios involving the defense of Japan could guide defense planning?

    Mar 31, 2022

Explore Military Force Deployment

  • U.S. M1A2 Abrams tanks prior to a live fire exercise at Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, February 16, 2023, photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Foster/U.S. Army National Guard


    Poland and Ukraine: Defending Europe's Future

    In the Cold War, West Germany, with robust NATO support, stood guard at the center of the Iron Curtain. Looking ahead, Poland and Ukraine along with NATO will defend Europe's center at the front line. Insights from the West German experience might help them.

    Sep 25, 2023

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    Impact of Individual Augmentation Policy on Navy Reserve Force Readiness

    The authors examine the evolution of individual augmentation—from a stopgap to standard practice—and the effects on the Navy Reserve in terms of readiness and deployment times, specifically relating to anti-terror operations and the 2019 pandemic.

    Sep 7, 2023

  • A colorful silhouette of an aircraft is superimposed on maps of Russia and Iran, images by Belterz/Getty Images, Kevin Smart/Getty Images, and KeithBinns/Getty Images


    Deterring Russia and Iran

    How can the United States effectively and efficiently deter Russia and Iran without crowding out investments in other military missions, including competition with China in the Indo-Pacific?

    Aug 17, 2023

  • Undated photo purporting to show Wagner Group contractors, likely in Syria, released by the Security Service of Ukraine


    Will to Fight of Russia's Private Military Actors

    In Ukraine, Syria, and other parts of the world, private military contractors are operating on behalf of, yet are ostensibly separate from, the Russian state. How can the United States and its allies counter these adversary-employed private military actors?

    Jul 31, 2023

  • U.S. army vehicles arrive in the Netherlands as part of a NATO mission to reinforce the eastern flank, in Vlissingen, Netherlands, January 11, 2023, photo by Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters


    Why the United States Still Needs Ground Forces in Europe

    The bulked-up U.S. presence in Europe will remain necessary for at least three to five years, for at least three reasons: to preserve Ukraine's sovereignty, to sustain U.S. commitments to NATO, and to encourage the development of partner nation capabilities that will eventually enable greater burden-sharing among allies.

    Jul 24, 2023

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    Assessment of Deployment- and Mobilization-to-Dwell Policies for Active and Reserve Component Forces: An Examination of Current Policy Using Select U.S. Joint Force Elements

    The authors examine Department of Defense (DoD) policy that governs how much time service members must spend at home relative to time spent deployed or mobilized. They suggest policy changes to inform and optimize DoD's force utilization decisions.

    Jul 20, 2023

  • Wagner Group fighters pull out of the headquarters of the Southern Military District to return to base, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, June 24, 2023, photo by Stringer/Reuters


    Where Will All the Wagner Group Mercenaries Go Now That Russia Has Exiled Their Leader?

    Russian oligarch turned warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin is in exile in Belarus, but what will become of the tens of thousands of fighters who signed up to risk their lives for a paycheck or a ticket out of jail? It seems likely they will continue fighting, mostly because they have few better options.

    Jul 3, 2023

  • A Wagner fighter patrols a street near the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, June 24, 2023, photo by Stringer/Reuters


    The Wagner Group Will Live to Fight Another Day

    Yevgeny Prigozhin led Wagner Group fighters in what appeared to be a direct challenge to the Russian military establishment. But it's unlikely that the Kremlin will dissolve Wagner's paramilitary enterprise. It is too significant to Russia's greater geostrategic aims and economic strength.

    Jun 28, 2023

  • Wagner fighters wave flags of Russia and Wagner group on top of a building in an unidentified location in Ukraine in this still image obtained from a video released on May 20, 2023, photo by press service of Concord/Handout via Reuters


    Ukraine Is a Breeding Ground for Russian PMCs

    Moscow's desire for additional fighters in Ukraine has created a breeding ground for Russian private military company (PMC) development. This explosion of what are essentially private armies is not only shaping the battlefield in Ukraine; it could have devastating impacts long after this conflict ends.

    Jun 14, 2023

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    Lead Forward: Mobility Air Force Command Nodes for Complex Operations

    Motivated by the future threat to air force command and control networks and forces, the authors identify the demands of future conflicts and consider alternative options for the design of wing-level command and control elements.

    May 15, 2023

  • The aftermath of the U.S. Army Air Corps' bombing of Dresden during World War Two


    Alternative Futures Following a Great Power War: Volume 1, Scenarios, Findings, and Recommendations

    RAND researchers generated four plausible near-term great power war scenarios and assessed how they could shape the postwar strategic environment.

    May 9, 2023

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    Alternative Futures Following a Great Power War: Volume 2, Supporting Material on Historical Great Power Wars

    To inform a project on the aftermath of great power wars, the author examined ten conflicts since 1853. This volume presents brief historical summaries and assesses past forecasts of the duration, intensity, stakes, and consequences of each war.

    May 9, 2023

  • Americans gather to read headlines about the German invasion of Poland that triggered World War II, September 1, 1939, photo by Everett Collection/Alamy

    Research Brief

    The Aftermath of a Great Power War

    A review of historical great power wars shows that prewar predictions about who would fight, how long the war would last, and how the world would look afterward were often wrong. It's important to understand what the outcomes of different conflicts could look like and how to better prepare for them.

    May 9, 2023

  • Russian reservists recruited to support the military campaign in Ukraine walk towards a banner with a portrait of Russian President Putin during a ceremony before their departure in Omsk, Russia, January 6, 2023, photo by Alexey Malgavko/Reuters


    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: Escalation

    If Russian forces remain unable to defeat Ukraine, and Putin remains unwilling to back down, what escalation options does Russia have left?

    Feb 27, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference following the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) leaders' summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, October 14, 2022, photo by Valery Sharifulin/Sputnik Pool via Reuters


    Why Vladimir Putin Is Likely to Be Disappointed

    None of the Kremlin's recent gambits—annexation, mobilization, or personnel shuffles—can overcome the larger problems facing Russia's military. And in the months ahead, its difficulties will only worsen.

    Oct 18, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin makes an address on the Russia-Ukraine conflict in Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2022, photo by Russian Presidential Press Service/Kremlin via Reuters


    RAND Experts React to Putin's Latest Threatening Rhetoric

    Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to double down on his country's war effort during a major speech, calling up hundreds of thousands of new troops, threatening Ukraine and the West, vowing to use “all the means at our disposal,” and pointing out that he is not bluffing. Here's what RAND experts had to say.

    Sep 21, 2022

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    Physical Fitness Standards to Support Readiness and Deployability: An Examination of Department of the Air Force Policies and Culture

    Through analyses involving the Air Force's Tier 1 fitness assessment (FA), the authors examine whether FA components meet their intended purpose to minimize health risks and maximize readiness of airmen.

    May 2, 2022

  • Wrecks of Russian military vehicles on the front line as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, near Kyiv, Ukraine, March 29, 2022, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters


    The Will to Fight, Lessons from Ukraine

    In Ukraine, ferocious defense has stalled the invaders. Even if Kyiv falls, continued resistance seems likely. Ukraine has reminded the world that national unity in the face of existential threats, self-reliance strengthened by collective defense, and courage coupled with compassion can help underdog populations resist the mightiest military forces.

    Mar 29, 2022

  • A woman from Ukraine listens to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's speech on a phone, at a refugee shelter after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 28, 2022, photo by Bernadett Szabo/Reuters


    The Will to Fight in the Age of Social Media

    Social media messaging has played a decisive role in strengthening Ukraine's will to fight—arguably the single most important factor in war—against Russia.

    Mar 22, 2022