Military Planning

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RAND research on military strategy has ranged from issues related to the tactics that lead to success in armed engagements, to work that describes how the size and deployment of one nation's military affects its political relationships with others.

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  • The round table at the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2022, photo by Yves Herman/Reuters

    Commentary

    A New Era? NATO's Prioritisation of Human Security in an Insecure World

    Human security and NATO's role and responsibility to protect civilians during conflict saw new prioritization in the alliance's 2022 Strategic Concept. While much progress has been made, more could be done to ensure the alliance can deliver on these commitments.

    Aug 10, 2022

  • A Ukrainian service member looks on outside the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine, as Russia's attack continues, June 19, 2022, photo by Oleksandr Ratushniak/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Case for Cautious Optimism in Ukraine

    While the outcome of the war in Ukraine is by no means clear, the balance of materiel, manpower, and willpower all seem to make the case for cautious optimism. Although Ukraine is unlikely to throw Russia back to its borders any time soon, the war will likely trend in Ukraine's favor in the coming months. But only if the West does not blink first.

    Aug 9, 2022

  • A rescuer carries a land mine on the premises of a brick plant Trostianets, Sumy Region, northeastern Ukraine, June 17, 2022, photo by Pavlo_Bagmut/NurPhoto via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Is the Virtue in the Weapon or the Cause?

    The Biden administration's recent announcement of its intention to adhere to the provisions of the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel landmines has real consequences. This decision is the latest in the long controversy over the use of anti-personnel landmines and, more broadly, what means are moral in war.

    Aug 5, 2022

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Evaluating the Use of Non-Lethal Weapons in Operational Environments

    This brief summarizes a RAND-developed methodology to evaluate the impact of non-lethal weapons in a way that better informs Department of Defense decisions about their development, integration into military forces, and use in diverse contexts.

    Aug 5, 2022

  • CARAT, USS Pioneer, Royal Thai Navy

    Journal Article

    Emerging Trends in Naval Mining Capabilities

    Although mines using decades-old technology remain menacing, several broad technological trends are likely to enhance the threat from naval mines in the next few decades.

    Aug 5, 2022

  • The International Space Station, November 25, 2009, photo by NASA

    Commentary

    Russia's Withdrawal from the ISS, Another Sign of Its Space Decline?

    Russia's threatened exit from the International Space Station could simply be more bluster from Moscow at a time of heightened tension between Russia and the West over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But it also appears to be another signal that Russia's profile in space is in decline, a trend that is likely to continue and that the United States could be preparing for now.

    Aug 4, 2022

  • U.S. and South Korean sailors conduct anti-mine drills

    Journal Article

    The Imperative to Defend Minefields

    Minefields can impede an adversary fleet's ability to sortie from port. But once laid, they must be defended to prevent sweeping operations.

    Aug 3, 2022

  • A Ukrainian serviceman lights a candle at the spot where a child was killed by a Russian cruise missile strike in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, July 15, 2022, photo by Maxym Marusenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Might Russia Turn to Terror Bombing Civilians in Ukraine?

    Recent Russian missile attacks against civilian targets in cities far away from the front lines have killed scores of Ukrainians, leading to widespread outrage. These events raise the question of whether the war in Ukraine is entering a new phase in which terror attacks might become common.

    Jul 29, 2022

  • U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov in a Ukraine Defence Contact group meeting in Brussels, Belgium, June 15, 2022, photo by Yves Herman/Pool/Reuters

    Report

    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

  • A destroyed Russian tank by the roadside near Huliaipole, Zaporizhzhia Region, southeastern Ukraine, June 29, 2022, photo by Dmytro Smolyenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Lessons the United States Learned, and That Russia Did Not

    As dissimilar as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may be to the war in Ukraine, those conflicts taught the United States a few important lessons, often the hard way. As a result, the U.S. military probably would have avoided the problems that beset the Russians in Ukraine—not in spite of the global war on terrorism, but because of it.

    Jul 25, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Adaptive Engagement for Undergoverned Spaces: Concepts, Challenges, and Prospects for New Approaches

    This report is a compendium of expert insights regarding opportunities for investing in science and technology to increase U.S. ability to engage in long-term competition in undergoverned spaces.

    Jul 13, 2022

  • Russian weapons captured by Ukrainian forces seen in front of St. Michael's Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 31, 2022, photo by Ulf Mauder/Picture-Alliance/DPA/AP

    Q&A

    Russia's Ambitions and the War in Ukraine: Q&A with Dara Massicot

    Dara Massicot is a senior policy researcher at RAND who specializes in Russian military strategy. In this interview, she discusses Russia's war in Ukraine, its incorrect assumptions about Ukraine's will to fight, and how hard it's going to be for Russia to restore its military capabilities.

    Jun 29, 2022

  • Military aid from the United States is unloaded from a plane at the Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, February 13, 2022, photo by Serhiy Takhmazov/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Better Way to Use the Arsenal of Democracy?

    At what point can the United States and other countries no longer afford the massive transfer of weapons to the Ukrainians, lest they jeopardize the readiness of their own militaries? When does the arsenal of democracy shift to the arsenal for self? These are questions that are starting to be raised as the demand for weapons becomes clear in what is now a protracted war in Ukraine.

    Jun 28, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Human Security and the 2022 NATO Strategic Concept: Knowledge, Insights and Lessons Learned.

    These conference proceedings document the perspectives of human security experts brought together to provide recommendations on the importance of human security within the new Strategic Concept and the future of NATO.

    Jun 15, 2022

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2021

    This Annual Report illustrates the depth, breadth, and responsiveness of the studies that RAND Arroyo Center conducted for the Army in 2021.

    Jun 10, 2022

  • South Korea's new President Kim Dae-jung waves on the grounds of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, February 25, 1998, photo by Str Old/Reuters

    Commentary

    Three Principles for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security

    In his inaugural address in 1998, former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung defined three principles for Korean Peninsula peace and security. How might these principles be adjusted to manage today's changing North Korean threats and the Korean security environment?

    May 20, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Supporting a Royal Australian Navy Modelling and Simulation Strategy: A Strategy-to-Task Framework

    The authors provide an evidence base for an expanded Modelling and Simulation Strategy for the Royal Australian Navy so that it can better position itself to operate in a high-end warfighting environment.

    May 18, 2022

  • Local resident Olga is seen in her destroyed flat in Borodyanka, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 5, 2022.

    Multimedia

    What Does Putin Want in Ukraine?

    RAND senior political scientists Samuel Charap and Stephen J. Flanagan discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin's strategic goals in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

    May 3, 2022