Low-Intensity Conflict

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Civic Education, Twitter's Bot Problem, Police Reform: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses civic and citizenship education in America, addressing Twitter’s bot problem, why community engagement is key to police reform, and more.

    Sep 30, 2022

  • A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft makes a very low altitude pass by USS Donald Cook, April 12, 2016, photo by U.S. Navy

    Report

    Russian Coercive Signaling Toward the West

    In recent years, Russia has consistently engaged in signaling activities—military actions far short of direct aggression but often creating escalatory risks—toward the United States and its allies. Understanding what drives this behavior can help U.S. efforts to interpret future events.

    Sep 29, 2022

  • China's PLA released footage on August 8, 2022, showing training exercises conducted by the Navy's 2nd Type 075 amphibious assault ship, the Guangxi, photo by EyePress via Reuters

    Report

    Hypothetical Scenarios of U.S.-China Conflict

    The prospect of China overtaking the United States to attain global primacy appears unlikely, but it is not impossible. An analysis of two conflict scenarios—one low-intensity and one high-intensity—illuminates how a U.S.-China war of power transition might unfold.

    Aug 10, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in the opening ceremony of new healthcare facilities in several regions of Russia, via video link in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 18, 2022, photo by Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/Reuters

    Commentary

    Has the War in Ukraine Damaged Russia's Gray Zone Capabilities?

    Russia's actions are to blame for the damage done to its gray zone capabilities, but it's the West's choice to see whether this respite represents a short-term aberration or presents opportunities for some long-term fixes.

    Jun 22, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Helping Ukrainian Refugees, Truth Decay, Algorithmic Inequity: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to help Ukrainian refugees, the link between cognitive processes and Truth Decay, tracking wastewater to understand the spread of COVID-19, and more.

    Apr 1, 2022

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil, November 14, 2019, photo by Pavel Golovkin/Pool/Reuters

    Report

    Great Power Rivalry in a Changing International Order

    U.S. national security policy for the foreseeable future will be oriented around competition with China and Russia. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has intensified this rivalry and will likely have profound echo effects through the parallel U.S.-China rivalry and the international system.

    Mar 30, 2022

  • Officers of the Vietnamese Marine Guard monitor a Chinese coast guard vessel in the South China Sea, about 130 miles offshore of Vietnam, May 15, 2014, photo by Nguyen Minh/Reuters

    Research Brief

    How and Why China Uses Gray Zone Tactics

    China uses a variety of gray zone tactics—coercive actions that are shy of armed conflict but beyond normal diplomatic and economic activities—to advance its objectives, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. Which tactics should the United States prioritize countering?

    Mar 30, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Competition in the Gray Zone: Countering China's Coercion Against U.S. Allies and Partners in the Indo-Pacific

    This report examines how and why China uses gray zone tactics—coercive activities beyond normal diplomacy and trade but below the use of kinetic military force—against U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.

    Mar 30, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Analysis of Russian Irregular Threats

    The authors of this report describe strategic global trends related to Russian global influence and behavior and provide an overview and assessment of hostile activities that Russia has undertaken in the face of these trends.

    Nov 8, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Countering Russia: The Role of Special Operations Forces in Strategic Competition

    This report establishes a strategic framework for U.S. Army special operations forces support to countering Russian activities in the competition space.

    Nov 8, 2021

  • Chinese People's Liberation Army soldiers demonstrate their capabilities to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen in China, July 12, 2011, photo by MC1 Chad J. McNeeley/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

    Commentary

    The Signal and the Noise: Understanding China's Military Threats

    Although China's capabilities and communication channels have changed, its fundamental approach to military deterrence signaling as a form of political coercion has not. As Australia-China relations enter a new, more confrontational era, Canberra is likely to be an increasingly frequent target of Chinese deterrence signaling.

    Jun 29, 2021

  • A U.S. Army reenlistment ceremony held at Baghdad's Cross Sabers

    Report

    Securing Gains in Fragile States: Using U.S. Leverage in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Beyond

    This report evaluates U.S. options for stabilizing conflict-affected states by incentivizing governance reforms through military and development assistance in the context of U.S. military interventions.

    Jun 15, 2021

  • The colors are retired during a ceremony marking the end of the U.S. mission in Iraq in Baghdad on December 15, 2011, photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/U.S. Department of Defense

    Report

    Using U.S. Leverage to Limit Instability in Fragile States

    The United States can effectively support governance reforms in postconflict states by seizing on opportunities when partner interests align with U.S. interests. And it can use its leverage, including conditions on military and economic assistance, when interests do not align.

    Jun 15, 2021

  • Call with the Experts: The North Korean Nuclear Threat

    Multimedia

    RAND Experts Discuss the Biden-Putin Summit

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, Jeffrey Hiday, director of Media Relations at RAND, is joined by RAND experts Samuel Charap, Todd Helmus, Dara Massicot, and William Courtney. Together they discuss the June 16th summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. This call was recorded on June 10, 2021.

    Jun 10, 2021

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual end-of-year news conference, held online in a video conference mode, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia December 17, 2020, photo by Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via Reuters

    Blog

    Summit a Chance to Clarify U.S.-Russia Relations

    RAND experts discuss possible topics of conversation and potential takeaways from the upcoming summit between the United States and Russia. The summit will be a chance to rebuild and review the countries' fraught relationship.

    Jun 10, 2021

  • War, military threat, military power concept. China. Tanks toy near chinese flag on black background top view, photo by 9dreamstudio/AdobeStock

    Report

    Deciphering Chinese Deterrence Signalling in the New Era

    China is changing its approach to deterrence signalling in Xi Jinping's 'new era' as it leverages growing military capabilities and the availability of new communication channels. How can Australia, the United States, and other countries better decipher Chinese deterrence signalling in this new era?

    May 27, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Missing, Irregular Half of Great Power Competition

    The U.S. military must learn to embrace a new framework for understanding competition through the lens of its current approaches to traditional and irregular warfare.

    Apr 30, 2021

  • Russian Armed Forces disembark from assault boats during an exercise at the Opuk training ground, Crimea, April 22, 2021, photo by Sergei Malgavko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Will Russia's Risk-Aversion Keep It Away from Ukraine?

    Russia could blunder in Ukraine as Soviet rulers did in Afghanistan. Unlike then, however, a new Russian thrust into Ukraine could lead to early, heavy casualties. This could quickly bring home to the Kremlin the political costs of any incursion.

    Apr 28, 2021

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Summer Learning, America's Middle Class, Waking Up After the Pandemic: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to make summer learning count, U.S. deterrence in the ‘gray zone,’ why so many Americans are stuck outside the middle class, and more.

    Apr 23, 2021

  • Chinese marine surveillance ships cruising in the East China Sea, as the islands known as the Senkaku isles in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China are seen in the background, April 23, 2013, photo by Kyodo/Reuters

    Report

    The Health of U.S. and Partner Deterrence in the Gray Zone

    Gray zone aggression, campaigns to achieve political objectives while remaining below the threshold of outright warfare, is on the rise. U.S. and allied deterrent postures are reasonably strong, though mixed, when it comes to China's aggression in the Senkaku Islands, Russia's in the Baltic states, and North Korea's in South Korea.

    Apr 19, 2021