Military Affairs

Featured

Military affairs comprise a range of topics from military personnel and veterans to equipment and facilities—as well as the methods, doctrines, organizational concepts, and technologies that support the military's strategic or tactical goals. RAND provides objective policy recommendations in all of these areas and more.

  • Commentary

    Potential Pathways to Russian Escalation Against NATO

    A Russia-NATO war is far from an inevitable outcome of the current conflict in Ukraine. U.S. and allied policymakers should be concerned with specific pathways and potential triggers, but they need not operate under the assumption that every action will entail acute escalation risks.

    Jul 26, 2022

  • Report

    Pentagon Processes on Civilian Casualties Inconsistent, in Need of Reform

    The Department of Defense has committed to civilian-harm policies and processes, but inconsistencies remain. The Pentagon is not adequately organized or resourced to sufficiently assess, reduce, and respond to civilian-harm incidents. Reform will require institutional, not just operational, changes.

    Jan 27, 2022

Explore Military Affairs

  • Stylized U.S. and Russian flags

    Research Brief

    The Day After: Postwar U.S. Strategy Toward Russia

    How should the United States deal with Russia after the war in Ukraine finally ends? And how might U.S. policy during the conflict shape the postwar world?

    Feb 9, 2024

  • The flags of the united States, Russia, and Ukraine on a cracked wall.

    Report

    Planning for the Aftermath: Assessing Options for U.S. Strategy Toward Russia After the Ukraine War

    Although there is no end in sight to the Russia-Ukraine war, U.S. policymakers should begin considering postwar Russia strategy now. The authors review U.S. strategic options and trade-offs that different choices pose for long-term U.S. interests.

    Feb 9, 2024

  • NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 4. 2023, photo by IMAGO/Thomas Trutschel/Reuters

    Commentary

    Four NATO Defense Priorities for the Upcoming Washington Summit

    The upcoming NATO summit in Washington, D.C., offers an opportunity for the alliance to prioritize new and transformational capabilities. With them, NATO can continue to provide deterrence and defense for its member state populations into the future, just as it has done for the past 75 years.

    Feb 8, 2024

  • A welder works on a Cougar H 4 X 4 MRAP vehicle at the factory in Ladson, S.C.

    Commentary

    Reform the Budget Process to Strengthen U.S. Global Leadership

    As the U.S. government confronts two near-peer challengers in China and Russia, along with mounting conflict in the Middle East, ensuring stability, predictability, and some measure of flexibility in the U.S. defense budget is more important than ever. Yet the U.S. budgeting system is in a state of disarray.

    Feb 7, 2024

  • A Royal Air Force A330 Voyager taxis past the air traffic control tower as it prepares to take off in Mildenhall, England, May 20, 2021, photo by Karen Abeyasekere/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    Public Finance Initiative Problems? The Challenges of Long-Term Defence Acquisition in a Rapidly Changing World

    Future-proofing defense equipment acquisition remains a perplexing and wicked problem for policymakers, but one that merits ever greater attention. Acquisition decisionmakers would benefit from greater use of robust decisionmaking tools and methods to help them identify options that could increase the UK's operational (and financial) resilience for multiple different futures.

    Feb 6, 2024

  • Unrecognizable person taking toxic samples, photo by SrdjanPav/Getty Images

    Report

    Attributing Biological Weapons Use

    Why is attribution of biological weapons use so important? And how can the U.S. Department of Defense better support investigations into deliberate biological incidents?

    Feb 6, 2024

  • Typhoons at RAF Coningsby in Linconshire, United Kingdom, December 9, 2022, photo by Joe Giddens/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    Lessons for Industrial Resilience: The UK's Typhoon Export Conundrum

    If Turkey steps back from its pursuit of the Typhoon, it would join India, South Korea, Finland, the UAE, and Switzerland on the list of countries to decline acquisition of the four-nation collaborative platform jointly exported by the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The United Kingdom and Germany have the most to gain, or lose, from the Typhoon's success.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Rear view of Black female soldier saluting, photo by DanielBendjy/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Support for Veterans Leaves Rape Victims Behind

    Far too many survivors of military sexual trauma are unable to access the generous benefits available to those injured by enemies overseas. Survivors are already far less likely to qualify for the full range of benefits and services available to those injured in combat, and the United States is doing nothing to rectify this injustice, allowing further inequities to fester.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Multimedia

    Multimedia

    What Americans Think About Veterans—and Why It Matters

    The RAND Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute shared results from a recent survey on how U.S. adults view veterans. Experts discussed the role of public perceptions in policies to support veterans and promote national security.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    PLA Social Media Warfare and the Cognitive Domain

    The article explores how the Chinese military has come to recognize the important role of social media in modern conflict and peacetime operations through its discussions of "social media warfare."

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Powering the PLA Abroad: How the Chinese Military Might Fuel Its Overseas Presence

    This article explores Chinese military thinking on the role of renewable energy for powering its overseas bases, focusing on the research of Zheng Chongwei, a Chinese military researcher.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Glowing quantum beam weapon hit blue target, photo by sakkmesterke/Getty Images

    Testimony

    The Chinese Industrial Base and Military Deployment of Quantum Technology

    The United States and China are the leaders in quantum science and technology development. But since they focus on different applications, it is hard to assess which country is closer to military deployment. If Congress determines that quantum technology is a strategic priority, continued investment in research is paramount.

    Feb 1, 2024

  • Online profile icons with scattered icons in red, photo by DamnwellMedia/Getty Images

    Testimony

    China's Developing Use of Generative AI in Influence Operations

    There are many reasons to be concerned that China's military will use generative AI to enhance its influence operations to undermine the democratic process in the United States and around the world. What can U.S. policymakers do to counter China's social media manipulation and other IO efforts?

    Feb 1, 2024

  • A Ukrainian serviceman drives an M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle at a position near Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, June 26, 2023, photo by Rfe/Rl/Serhii Nuzhnenko via Reuters

    Commentary

    Upping the Ante on Western Weapons Could End the Stalemate in Ukraine

    The Russo-Ukrainian war might be at a strategic tipping point. The ground fight in Ukraine's east is stalemated, but Russian sea and air power in Crimea is diminished. The future flow of Western aid may be less certain. To address these challenges, the West might escalate support for Ukraine's military and signal firmness to Moscow.

    Jan 30, 2024

  • Report

    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

  • two large ground satellites at a military base

    Research Brief

    Getting Space Acquisition Right: Steps to Realize Enduring Change

    RAND researchers explored ways the U.S. Space Force can facilitate the integration, synchronization, and acceleration of space acquisition and fielding to support the delivery of end-to-end space capabilities to outpace adversary threats.

    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

    Report

    Command and Control in the Future: Concept Paper 2: The Defence C2 Enterprise

    This is the second in a series of four papers examining how Command and Control (C2) will manifest in the future, and focuses on what will likely constitute the C2 enterprise.

    Jan 29, 2024

  • Report

    Report

    Command and Control in the Future: Concept Paper 1: Grappling with Complexity

    This is the first in a series of four papers examining how Command and Control (C2) will manifest in the future and sets a baseline for subsequent research by exploring the future operating environment for C2 systems.

    Jan 29, 2024

  • Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass talks provides a mentoring session at the Department of the Air Force Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Conference, September 18, 2023, Washington, D.C., photo by Capt. Shane Ellis/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    Demystifying the Wealth Gap to Inform Military Talent Management Decisions

    Wealth disparities across gender and racial/ethnic minority groups affect current and future service members. A better understanding of these disparities can help the Department of the Air Force and the Pentagon take actions that bridge the wealth gap and promote equality and inclusion.

    Jan 29, 2024