Military Doctrine


Military doctrine is the fundamental set of principles that guides military forces as they pursue national security objectives. RAND examines these principles, which can range from the policies and procedures put in place by a particular military branch to the tactics and techniques taught to new members during training.

  • Riflemen compete in the Lithuanian Best Infantry Squad Competition at Rukla Training Area, Lithuania, August 24, 2017, photo by Lithuanian Land Forces

    Research Brief

    Why Understanding 'Will to Fight' Is Crucial

    Sep 13, 2019

    Arguably, will to fight is the most important factor in war. The best technology in the world is useless without the force of will to use it and to keep using it even as casualties mount and unexpected calamities arise. Ignoring will to fight can contribute to tactical or even strategic defeat.

  • A Skyborg conceptual design for a low-cost attritable unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), image by Air Force Research Laboratory


    Military Applications of AI Raise Ethical Concerns

    Apr 28, 2020

    Artificial intelligence offers great promise for national defense. For example, a growing number of robotic vehicles and autonomous weapons can operate in areas too hazardous for soldiers. But what are the ethical implications of using AI in war or even to enhance security in peacetime?

Explore Military Doctrine

  • Report

    Perspectives on the Study of Comparative Military Doctrines

    A conference paper discussing the diversity of current political-military doctrines. Seldom is strategic doctrine systematically articulated or formally codified, and the most vital issues are kept ambiguous.

    Jan 1, 1973

  • Report

    Communist China's Military Policies, Doctrine, and Strategy : A Lecture Presented at the National Defense College, Tokyo, September 17, 1968.

    An analysis of the recent development and future prospects of China's military strategy. Maoist military doctrine stresses political action in which war is only one of a number of instruments of policy to enable a weak force to succeed against a mil...

    Jan 1, 1968

  • Report

    Some recent signs of reaction against prevailing Soviet doctrinal emphasis on missiles

    Over the past few years, the primacy of strategic missile forces has become a tenet of Soviet military doctrine. It would now appear, judging from recently published Soviet military discussions, that a countertrend has begun--representing a reaction ...

    Jan 1, 1964

  • Report

    The Indonesian Doctrine of Territorial Warfare and Territorial Management

    The author found that the general mental and emotional climate in Indonesia had changed markedly since his previous visit and predicted that the Soviet military assistance program could lead to Indonesian expansionism or even to Soviet-Indonesian military

    Jan 1, 1963

  • Report

    Soviet limited war doctrine

    An examination of Soviet views on limited war. Since by definition the Soviet Union is not aggressive, it is said to stand in no need of a limited war doctrine. Limited war is thus ignored in Soviet military dictrine. Despite habitual Soviet denials ...

    Jan 1, 1963

  • Report

    Reliability Science and Technology in Military and Industrial Contexts

    The paper presents general reliability models and outlines the major topics in reliability science and technology.

    Jan 1, 1963

  • Report

    Comments on Lomov's ''Soviet Military Doctrine''

    Comments on the May 1963 brochure by Colonel-General Professor N. A. Lomav.

    Jan 1, 1963

  • Report

    Logistics research and management science

    A discussion of the many useful contributions made to the management of the logistics system of the United States Air Force through the application of research techniques. In particular, the author describes the broad nature of the military environme...

    Jan 1, 1959

  • Report

    Techniques of Systems Analysis

    A section of a proposed book on military planning in an uncertain world. The material has been gathered from a series of lectures given for the RAND Systems Analysis course.

    Jan 1, 1956

  • Report

    Military Doctrine of Decision and the von Neumann Theory of Games

    An analysis of the military doctrine of command decision in the light of the theory of games.

    Jan 1, 1951

  • Content

    Jeff Broughton

    Senior Defense Analyst
    Education M.S. in strategic studies, US Army War College

  • Content

    Brandon Corbin

    Defense Analyst
    Education M.A. in security studies, Georgetown University; B.S. in engineering management, US Mil Academy at West Point

  • Content

    Michael H. Decker

    Senior International/Defense Research Analyst
    Education M.S. in strategic intelligence, Nat'l Defense Intelligence College; M.A. in government/national security studies, Georgetown University

  • Content

    Ruth Harris

    Research Group Director, Defense, Security and Infrastructure, RAND Europe
    Education M.A. in defence and security, Kings College London; M.Sc. in conflict prevention and development management, The Open University; M.Sc. in logistics management, Lincoln University; M.Sc. in veterinary physiotherapy, Essex University

  • Content

    Luke Huxtable

    Associate Director
    Education M.Sc. in mathematics with statistics, Lancaster University

  • Content

    Michael Johnson

    Defense Research Analyst, Sr
    Education M.A. in theater operations, Command & General Staff College; M.A. in international relations, Monterey Institute of International Studies; M.A. in strategic studies, Command & Gen. Staff College; B.S. in European studies, U.S. Military Academy at West Point

  • Content

    Jennifer Kavanagh

    Director, Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program, RAND Arroyo Center; Senior Political Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in political science, University of Michigan; M.A. in political science, University of Michigan; B.A. in government, Harvard University

  • Content

    Michael E. Linick

    Senior International / Defense Researcher
    Education BA in politics, University of California, Santa Cruz; MA in national security, Georgetown; MA in security studies, Army War College; MA in world politics, Catholic University

  • Content

    Stephan B. Seabrook

    Senior Defense Analyst
    Education M.A. in international relations & international economics, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies; B.A. in economics; government, Bowdoin College

  • Content

    Laurinda L. Rohn

    Senior Policy Researcher
    Education Ph.D. in public policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; B.S. in mathematics and computer science, University of California, Los Angeles