Military Tactics

RAND has studied issues related to the successful deployment of military forces since 1948. In that time, its studies have addressed tactics varying from nuclear deterrence to terrorism and counterinsurgency.

  • Report

    Report

    Exploring the Feasibility and Utility of Machine Learning-Assisted Command and Control: Volume 1, Findings and Recommendations

    This report describes the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) systems to assist in Air Force command and control (C2). The authors develop a framework and metrics for assessing the suitability of a given AI system for a given C2 problem.

    Jul 15, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Exploring the Feasibility and Utility of Machine Learning-Assisted Command and Control: Volume 2, Supporting Technical Analysis

    This volume serves as the technical analysis to a report concerning the potential for artificial intelligence systems to assist in Air Force command and control (C2).

    Jul 15, 2021

  • The SolarWinds logo is seen outside its headquarters in Austin, Texas, December 18, 2020, photo by Sergio Flores/Reuters

    Commentary

    Unconventional Supply Network Operations: A New Frontier in Global Competition

    The technological advances of recent decades that have made supply networks drastically more efficient, valuable, and essential to every element of our daily lives have also created a highly interdependent, largely unsecured portfolio of potential attack surfaces.

    Apr 19, 2021

  • A reconstruction of the Prussian military wargame Kriegsspiel, based on a ruleset developed by Georg Heinrich Rudolf Johann von Reiswitz in 1824, photo by Matthew Kirschenbaum / CC BY 4.0

    Commentary

    Use Wargaming to Sharpen the Tactical Edge

    As a growing consensus embraces the utility of educational wargaming, a more daunting question remains: Can the Joint Force integrate and sustain educational wargaming in the operating forces? The challenges are substantial, but they are not insurmountable. The answer depends on bold leadership, sufficient tools, and eager partners.

    Mar 8, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Evolution of Special Operations as a Model for Information Forces

    This article draws an analogy between special operations and information forces and suggests the history and evolution of SOF could serve as a model and provide lessons for the development of information forces.

    Feb 19, 2021

  • PLA Qiandaohu, a Chinese navy ship, steams in close formation as one of 42 ships and submarines from 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific 2014, photo by Shannon E. Renfroe/U.S. Navy

    Report

    Command and Control in U.S. Naval Competition with China

    The navies of the United States and China will likely face challenges as they shift to new missions unless they adapt their existing concepts of command and control. Their willingness to adapt could prove to be decisive in maritime rivalry, and perhaps in the overall balance of strategic competition between the two nations.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Multiple Dilemmas for the Joint Force: Joint All-Domain Command and Control

    The authors examine potential command and control impediments to multidomain operations and propose alternative models for joint all-domain command and control.

    Dec 3, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Multiple Dilemmas: Challenges and Options for All-Domain Command and Control

    The authors examine potential command-and-control impediments to multidomain operations and propose alternative models for joint all-domain command and control.

    Dec 3, 2020

  • U.S. Marine Corps 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Amphibious Assault Vehicles rush Freshwater Beach during Talisman Sabre 2011 in Australia, on July 19, 2011, photo by Captain Staci Reidinger/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    Two Vignettes: How Might Combat Operations Be Different Under the Information Joint Function?

    RAND researcher Christopher Paul employs storytelling to illustrate two distinct approaches to Joint Combat Operations. While both vignettes result in the expulsion of adversary forces and the restoration of territorial integrity, they take different approaches to kinetic and informational power.

    Oct 8, 2020

  • Battalion of French soldiers of the RSMA marching during a monthly ceremony rewarding the young soldiers in Saint-Paul, LaRéunion, June 28 2017, photo by Gwengoat/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Grand Strategy Is Total: French Gen. Andre Beaufré on the Nuclear Age

    Gen. André Beaufre, the father of contemporary French strategic thought, epitomizes better than anyone the traits that make modern French military theory unusually rich. He is also a key for accessing a rich and distinctly different way of thinking about war with direct applications for today, whether one is pondering Afghanistan or how to deal with China.

    Oct 8, 2020

  • Chinese soldiers using desktop computers at a garrison of the PLA in Chongqing, China, November 14, 2013, photo by Gao Xiaowen/Reuters

    Report

    China's Evolving Military Strategy and Doctrine

    The People's Liberation Army has made impressive modernization progress over the past three decades, but it is unclear how its efforts will translate to battlefield performance. Chinese military theory, strategy, and operational concepts are key to understanding how the PLA might fight when needed.

    Sep 29, 2020

  • Human brain partially consists of circuit board, photo by Prostock-studio/AdobeStock

    Report

    Brain-Computer Interfaces: An Initial Assessment

    Brain-computer interfaces allow humans to communicate directly with machines. This technology may eventually be used to monitor a soldier's cognitive workload, control a drone swarm, or link with a prosthetic. But potential risks should be considered before the technology is widely deployed.

    Aug 27, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Joint All-Domain Command and Control for Modern Warfare: An Analytic Framework for Identifying and Developing Artificial Intelligence Applications

    The authors examine and recommend opportunities for applying artificial intelligence and, more broadly, automation to deliberate planning for joint all-domain command and control for the U.S. Air Force.

    Jul 1, 2020

  • A U.S. military B1B Lancer on the tarmac of Andersen Air Force base, on the island of Guam, August 17, 2017, photo by Joseph Campbell/Reuters

    Commentary

    Japan and Dynamic Force Employment

    In April, the United States ended a program that maintained a rotational bomber force to the U.S. territory of Guam. While the removal of a permanent bomber presence in the region has caused some in Japan to worry, U.S. commitment to Japan's defense shows no sign of changing nor does America's deterrent capability.

    Jun 23, 2020

  • The Hawaii National Guard hosting the 2018 Pacific Rim: Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Response, Enterprise Wargame at its Joint Force Headquarters in Honolulu, HI, July 10, 2018, photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson/U.S. Air National Guard

    Commentary

    How Can Wargaming Improve Government Response to Catastrophic Events?

    Wargames are abstracted models of national security challenges, where players' decisions and their consequences are adjudicated within a rules-based environment. Due to its inherent flexibility as a tool, wargaming can be applied to a wide range of issues. Yet, it is important to understand what wargaming can and cannot do.

    May 29, 2020

  • Afghanistan, Bazaar School, Combat Camera, Hutal, Kandahar Province, OEF, U.S. Army, Afghanistan, Bazaar School, Combat Camera, Hutal, Kandahar Province, OEF, U.S. Army

    Report

    Restraint and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force

    This volume of the Future of Warfare series examines trends in factors affecting the use of restraint in warfare that could affect U.S. national security, notably effectiveness of false accusations and public concern for civilian casualties.

    May 11, 2020

  • Yuna Wong standing behind a wargame, photo by Dori Walker/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    The Serious Side of Gaming: Q&A with Yuna Wong

    Yuna Wong, codirector of RAND's Center for Gaming, didn't expect to make gaming a focus of her career. In this interview, she discusses what drew her to the field, what makes a good wargame, and her latest research on the dangers of putting too much trust in artificial intelligence.

    May 8, 2020

  • Artificial intelligence concept of eye with overlay of military helicopter and submarine, images by 4X-image/Getty Images; design by Jessica Arana/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Thinking Machines Will Change Future Warfare

    Until now, deterrence has been about humans trying to dissuade other humans from doing something. But what if the thinking is done by AI and autonomous systems? A wargame explored what happens to deterrence when decisions can be made at machine speeds and when states can put fewer human lives at risk.

    Jan 27, 2020

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2018-2019

    This Annual Report illustrates the depth and breadth of the research conducted for the Army in fiscal year 2019.

    Dec 4, 2019

  • Raphael S. Cohen discusses Russia’s economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties in an overview of a September 5th congressional briefing.

    Multimedia

    Extending Russia

    What policies could the United States adopt to stress Russia’s military, its economy, or the regime’s political standing at home and abroad? In this congressional briefing summary, former Ambassador James Dobbins, Raphael Cohen, and Howard Shatz discuss Russia’s economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties; nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue to stress Russia; and the costs, benefits, and implications of those options.

    Sep 5, 2019