Intelligence Community


The intelligence community comprises the many agencies and organizations responsible for intelligence gathering, analysis, and other activities that affect foreign policy and national security. RAND conducts research, develops tools, and provides recommendations to U.S. and allied decisionmakers to support their efforts at gathering and interpreting high-quality information.

  • Essay

    Truth Decay Is Putting U.S. National Security at Risk

    Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts and analysis in public life—could weaken the U.S. military, costs America credibility with its allies, and calls into question the nation's ability to respond to the next big crisis. How can the United States guard against these risks?

    Jun 28, 2023

  • Essay

    Trauma Takes a Toll in the U.S. Intelligence Community

    For people in the intelligence community, the risk of experiencing a variety of traumas is very real. Agencies should look more closely at their workforces to better understand the traumas their analysts face and what they can do to help.

    Sep 6, 2023

Explore Intelligence Community

  • Image depicting shield on top of code by burcu demir/Getty Images


    Trust, but Verify: The Security Clearance Process and Experience

    RAND hosted a panel discussion about steps that the U.S. government can take to ensure that the security clearance process is not only better understood but also fair and equitable to grow its talent base to meet national security needs.

    Mar 13, 2024

  • A collage showing a Soviet nuclear ballistic missile in Red Square, Moscow; a Soviet ship using a water cannon against a Chinese fisherman on the Ussuri River, May 6, 1969; and a U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat aircraft launching from the flight deck of the USS Independence, March 10, 1996, photos by CIA, China Photo Service/Dutch National Archives, and U.S. Navy


    Managing Escalation Between Nuclear-Armed Powers

    The return of great-power competition and the war in Ukraine have highlighted the stark risks of conflict with nuclear-armed rivals. What lessons can be learned from historical cases that could help identify adversary thresholds and manage escalation during a potential crisis?

    Feb 22, 2024

  • U.S. intelligence agency seals arranged in a circle over an abstract background, images by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Golubovy/Adobe Stock


    Has Trust in the U.S. Intelligence Community Eroded?

    An analysis of the relationship between policymakers and intelligence providers finds that the degree of perceived bias in intelligence estimates is highly dependent on the presidential administration in power. And the most common reason for bias from policymakers is the desire to minimize the appearance of dissent.

    Feb 13, 2024

  • Report


    Allied by Design: Defining a Path to Thoughtful Allied Space Power

    In this report, the authors evaluate the U.S. Department of Defense space enterprise and the interest, potential, and perspectives of six allies to recommend opportunities for a more effective approach to allied space power.

    Jan 30, 2024

  • Planet Earth with U.S. and allies' flags around it, design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND from photos by Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Charting a Path to Thoughtful Allied Space Power

    U.S. policy statements stress that close cooperation with allies is central to U.S. strategy, especially in space. But allies have grown increasingly vocal about a gap between what the United States says and what it does to make tangible progress toward allied space cooperation. How can that be improved?

    Jan 30, 2024

  • Report


    Challenges to Achieving Information Warfare Convergence in the U.S. Air Force

    This report summarizes major challenges facing the U.S. Air Force as it attempts to mature information warfare forces and capabilities.

    Jan 3, 2024

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Disinformation Amid the Israel-Hamas War, U.S. Gun Policy, Cannabis: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the information war may play out between Israel and Hamas, what the evidence says (and doesn't say) about U.S. gun policy, supply models for recreational cannabis, and more.

    Nov 3, 2023

  • Human silhouettes against the backdrop of an application for a national security job, image adapted from Melitas/Getty Images and Office of Personnel Management


    Vetting National Security Personnel: What Contributes to Bias and Inequity?

    Applicants for the national security workforce must provide detailed personal information—such as race or ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and neurodivergence—in order to gain a security clearance. What potential bias or inequities exist within this vetting process?

    Oct 31, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Trauma in the Intelligence Community, Climate Change, Cybersecurity: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the toll that trauma takes in the intelligence community, how climate change will affect the federal budget, why it may be time for a new cybersecurity standard, and more.

    Sep 29, 2023

  • Periodical


    RAND Review: September-October 2023

    Features explore the impact of four-day school weeks; the risk of people in the intelligence community experiencing trauma; and how insomnia affects societal health, well-being, and productivity.

    Sep 11, 2023

  • Local residents make anti-tank obstacles to defend the city after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, February 27, 2022, photo by Serhii Hudak/Reuters


    Ukrainian Civilians' Contributions to Resisting Russia

    Civilian-based resistance in Ukraine began in the first hours of Russia's 2022 invasion. Civilians' actions have potential value in helping ensure victory by regaining territorial integrity and maintaining political sovereignty. And this war offers insight into what civilian contributions in future wars could look like.

    Aug 15, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Private Military Contractors, China's Efforts to Imprison Tibetans, Truth Decay: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on undermining Russia's private military contractors, what nighttime lighting reveals about the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to imprison Tibetans, how Truth Decay damages national security, and more.

    Aug 11, 2023

  • Man seen from behind sitting in a chair and looking at a wall with a line drawing of an entertainment center with a TV showing two people with their noses growing long signifying that they're lying, photo by SIphotography/Getty Images


    Truth Decay and National Security

    Even if the U.S. national security apparatus can operate entirely outside of politics, it remains exposed to the effects of Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. Little work is being done to understand how severe the impact of Truth Decay is on national security and, more importantly, how to mitigate it.

    Aug 1, 2023

  • A monk in Gansu Province, China, holds a picture of the Dalai Lama ahead of the Tibetan New Year, February 21, 2012, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Research Brief

    Tibet's Prisons and Detention Centers: What Does Nighttime Lighting Reveal?

    Researchers used nighttime lighting data to better understand prisons and detention facilities in Tibet. They found patterns of growth in lighting concentrated in higher-security facilities since 2019. This trend may suggest a shift toward longer detentions and imprisonments.

    Jul 27, 2023

  • Report


    A night-time lighting analysis of Tibet's prisons and detention centres

    Using the innovative method of night-time lighting data, this study aims to shed light on the prisons and detention centres in Tibet.

    Jul 27, 2023

  • Report


    National Security Employment: Improving the Candidate Experience Journey Through the Personnel Vetting Process

    This report explores how existing U.S. government security, suitability, and credentialing mechanisms might benefit from a formalized candidate experience strategy and framework to create a more positive vetting experience.

    Jul 26, 2023

  • People using their cell phones, photo by PeopleImages/Getty Images


    Misperceptions Online About the Security Clearance Process

    The security clearance process may seem confusing and opaque to the public. When people search the internet for answers they might encounter misinformation that could lead to misperceptions about the process. But there are opportunities for the government to clarify areas of confusion.

    Jul 20, 2023

  • Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone, July 13, 2021, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters


    The Promise—and Pitfalls—of Researching Extremism Online

    How big of a problem is extremism in the United States and around the world? Is it getting worse? Are social media platforms responsible, or did the internet simply reveal existing trends? We have few answers because this research is easy to do poorly and hard to do well.

    Jul 17, 2023