Military Affairs

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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

  • Image released by the Israel Defense Forces on Oct 29, 2023 shows its ground operation in the Gaza Strip, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Lies, Misinformation Play Key Role in Israel-Hamas Fight

    At the strategic level, the war in Gaza is about perception, telling a story about who is the victim and who is the aggressor. Lies, mistruths, and disinformation will play a key and continuing role in this fight.

    Oct 31, 2023

  • A U.S. Marine loads a non-lethal mortar round

    Journal Article

    How to Assess the Impact of Non-Lethal Weapons

    A RAND team used a structure called a "logic model" to assess the tactical, operational, and strategic impact of non-lethal weapons. This article characterizes what these systems and operations are intended to achieve and how they do so.

    Oct 30, 2023

  • A data systems administrator with Headquarters Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, San Francisco works in the dark

    Multimedia

    Keeping Up with the Joneses: How Can DoD Address Its Technical Talent Shortage?

    The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes that it is struggling to recruit and retain the technical talent it needs. An October 2023 panel discussion examined the factors behind the department’s current shortage of technical talent.

    Oct 30, 2023

  • American and Chinese flags with a digital overlay, images by Anson_iStock and Norcoon/Getty Images

    Report

    U.S.-China Competition for Digital Infrastructure

    Digital infrastructure (DI) appears significant for future military operations and long-term strategic competition. How might global DI evolve by 2050? And what could the military implications be for the United States and China?

    Oct 30, 2023

  • The South Korean and American flags fly next to each other in Yongin, South Korea, August 23, 2016, photo by Staff Sgt. Ken Scar/U.S. Army

    Report

    South Korea Needs Greater Nuclear Assurance

    With growing nuclear threats from North Korea and China, there has been considerable interest in South Korea in developing its own nuclear weapons. But doing so could become a major disaster. The United States should bring greater strategic clarity to its nuclear umbrella commitment to South Korea.

    Oct 29, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Israel-Hamas War, AI and Gene Editing, Social Media Regulation: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the Israel-Hamas war, the convergence of machine learning and gene editing, regulating social media while protecting free speech, and more.

    Oct 27, 2023

  • Map of East Asia with China filled with the flag of China and Taiwan filled with the blue background and white sun from the flag of Taiwan, image by Olga Dubrovina/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Lessons from the Chinese Conquest of Taiwan

    As Chinese political and military leaders envision conquering Taiwan, their predecessors' earlier seizure of the island is likely to inform their thoughts. Deriving lessons from the prior conquest of Taiwan can contribute to anticipation of possible threats and effective responses to them.

    Oct 26, 2023

  • Business audit stock financial finance management on analysis data strategy with graph accounting marketing or report chart economy investment research profit concept, photo by Lucky Ai/Adobe Stock

    Content

    Veterans' Data in Focus

    A collection of infographics focused on veterans’ social, economic, and physical well-being can be used to shape policies and interventions that address veterans’ needs, close gaps in support, and foster better understanding of the veteran population and their families.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Factbook Highlights Demographic, Mental Health and Labor Participation of Military Veterans

    A factbook, accompanied by a collection of infographics, explores trends and estimates about the demographics of veterans. It focuses on the size, sex, age, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and geographic distribution of the veteran population as compared with nonveterans.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • Infographic

    Infographic

    Alcohol and Substance Use Among U.S. Veterans

    Nearly one-quarter of all veterans report binge drinking within the past month. Veterans who served after 9/11 have higher rates of all substance use behaviors, including alcohol and drug use disorders, than those who served exclusively before 9/11.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • Infographic

    Infographic

    Prevalence of Past-Year Serious Psychological Distress Among U.S. Veterans

    Certain subgroups of veterans — including female veterans, veterans aged 18–34, multiracial veterans, and bisexual veterans — experienced past-year serious psychological distress at rates significantly higher than the overall veteran population.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • Infographic

    Infographic

    U.S. Veteran Labor Market Trends

    Veterans, regardless of race/ethnicity, have lower unemployment rates than nonveterans and are more likely to work in the public sector. The top industries for veteran employment are public administration and manufacturing.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • Infographic

    Infographic

    Trends in U.S. Veteran Demographics

    Veterans who served after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are younger, more diverse in terms of sex and race/ethnicity, and more educated than earlier cohorts of veterans. The overall number of U.S. veterans has been steadily declining.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • Group side silhouette men and women of different culture, photo by AYSIA/Adobe Stock

    Report

    A Summary of Veteran-Related Statistics

    What are some trends and statistics among the U.S. veteran population? Baseline estimates related to veterans' demographics, mental health, and labor market outcomes can support the work of policymakers and researchers focused on veteran-related issues.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Today's Army Spouse Panel Methodology: 2018 and 2022 Cohorts

    The Today’s Army Spouse Panel offers the opportunity for spouses of U.S. Army soldiers to provide valuable feedback for the Army to use in data-driven decisionmaking. This report details the methodology used to establish this panel.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, U.S. President Joe Biden, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak deliver remarks on the AUKUS partnership at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, California, March 13, 2023, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    AUKUS as Big Science?

    AUKUS—the trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—framed as a multinational quest for discovery rather than a security pact made sensible by deterrence logics, could be a political boon, both diplomatically and domestically.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held the Fifth Enlarged Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, North Korea in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on June 11, 2022, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    What North Korea Is Learning from the Hamas-Israel War

    South Korea and the United States should rein in North Korean nuclear weapon production and prepare to respond to escalated North Korean coercion. While Kim Jong-un probably won't resort to a Hamas-style attack, he certainly shares Hamas' goal of cultivating U.S. reluctance to get involved militarily in the region.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • Israel's newest F-16I fighter jets take off for an airstrike mission in the Gaza Strip on October 16, 2023, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Four Questions the U.S. Military Should Be Asking About Operation Swords of Iron

    The war in Gaza, much like previous Israeli wars, will likely yield a host of lessons for American military planners. It's not too early to identify the right questions to be asking as the conflict unfolds.

    Oct 23, 2023

  • Smoke rises over buildings during an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, October 9, 2023, photo by Sameh Rahmi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Sparing Civilian Lives in Gaza

    How do you protect innocent civilians while conducting effective urban military operations against an enemy who is integrated into the civilian population and entrenched in a location's infrastructure? Despite the ferocity of the Hamas attack and the Israeli response, the moral obligation to reduce civilian harm cannot be ignored.

    Oct 21, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Risks of AI, Israel Faces Hard Choices, China 'Doesn't Get It': RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the risks of artificial intelligence, tough choices facing the Israeli government, China's blunders on the international stage, and more.

    Oct 20, 2023