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

    Medical Support to Light Footprint Operations: Why smaller operations require a different approach to medical support

    Traditional military medical support is designed for larger formations and draws on a heavier supporting infrastructure. Recent EU operations have a smaller number of personnel, shorter duration and seek to have a lighter infrastructure footprint.

    Jun 9, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    Dominating Duffer's Domain: Lessons for the U.S. Marine Corps Information Operations Practitioner

    To support the U.S. Marine Corps and its curriculum for information operations personnel, RAND has adapted the premise of the military classic The Defence of Duffer's Drift for a modern-day audience of Marine Corps officers.

    Apr 20, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    Dominating Duffer's Domain: Lessons for the U.S. Army Information Operations Practitioner

    Adapting the format of military classic, The Defence of Duffer's Drift, this report analyzes alternative courses of action in the same hypothetical mission in order to derive lessons about integrating information operations into operational planning.

    Apr 20, 2017

  • A soldier sets up voice intercept equipment during a cyber integration exercise on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, October 21, 2015

    Report

    Building an Army Strategy for Cyber Support

    Cyber operations are increasingly important to the Army and other services' ability to incorporate actions in cyberspace with activities in traditional warfighting domains. A new strategy for tactical Army cyber operations enumerates overarching goals, objectives, and associated activities.

    Mar 28, 2017

  • U.S. Air Force A-10s fly in formation

    Report

    Defining an Approach for Future Close Air Support Capability

    This report helps to define an approach to ensure that the Army has a viable close air support capability in light of the possible retirement of the A-10.

    Jan 30, 2017

  • The autonomous ship "Sea Hunter" is shown docked in Portland, Oregon before its christening ceremony April 7, 2016

    Commentary

    Killer Robots: Moral Concerns vs. Military Advantages

    The U.S. military should balance Americans' ethical concerns over computers making life and death decisions with the need to maintain an edge in the face of rapid advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning across the globe.

    Nov 4, 2016

  • Report

    Report

    Maritime Tactical Command and Control Analysis of Alternatives

    This report is about software systems that support situational awareness and command and control (C2) for the U.S. Navy. This report provides the results of an analysis of alternatives for the follow-on to the Global C2 system maritime (GCCS-M).

    Aug 29, 2016

  • Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe's Charlie Company show Ukrainian Marines and National Guard soldiers the proper procedures for clearing a room, September 16, 2014

    Commentary

    It's Getting Harder to Define Military Readiness. Here's What to Do About It.

    Focusing on one type of threat or the other — whether state or non-state in its general nature — is becoming a less tenable option as the United States considers how to assess and improve its military readiness.

    Jul 12, 2016

  • Report

    Report

    The Crisis Within: America's Military and the Struggle Between the Overseas and Guardian Paradigms

    The nation's understanding of both the common defense and organized violence has changed dramatically since 2001. This report is an attempt to start a conversation about how to better understand America's 21st-century military.

    Apr 27, 2016

  • Two THAAD interceptors and a Standard-Missile 3 Block IA missile being launched at a test site

    Commentary

    THAAD's Effect on South Korea's Neighbors

    It is hard to determine how China or Russia will respond to THAAD deployment in South Korea. THAAD deployment could change the dynamic and terms of the debate, leading to greater Chinese pressure on North Korea to curb its nuclear and missile threats.

    Apr 5, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Confessions of a Hybrid Warfare Skeptic

    The vocabulary of hybrid warfare and hybrid threat has been adopted fairly widely, including formal use in NATO discussions and across the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Special Operations Command.

    Mar 10, 2016

  • Naval officers from the Colombian, Brazilian, and U.S. Navy work together as a control group at U.S. Naval War College during the 2013 Inter-American War Game

    Commentary

    Gaming the System: Obstacles to Reinvigorating Defense Wargaming

    Reinvigorating wargaming in the defense community offers great potential value given the complex strategic situation that the U.S. faces today. DoD should educate sponsors and consumers about the appropriate use of wargames, set realistic expectations, and build the right amount of risk acceptance into its gaming enterprise.

    Feb 18, 2016

  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Legged Squad Support System can relieve troops of their 100-pound equipment load, take voice commands, and maneuver around obstacles, in addition to numerous other tasks in the field

    Commentary

    Should We Fear an AI Arms Race?

    Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and others signed a letter calling for a ban on the application of artificial intelligence to advanced weapons systems. AI weapons are not without risks, but the benefits are substantial and the risks can be mitigated with more moderate regulation than a ban.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Members of the 183d Air Operations Group conduct simulated battle operations during exercise Virtual Flag, December 2015

    Commentary

    Getting the Most Out of Your Wargame

    Some famous historical wargames offer a compelling narrative of what wargames can be at their best and worst, but they cannot illustrate the full range of contemporary wargaming that leaders should strive to achieve. A better understanding of how wargames can be helpful — or backfire — is critical.

    Jan 26, 2016

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    The Role of Oil in ISIL Finances: Addendum

    Document submitted on January 6, 2016 as an addendum to testimony presented before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on December 10, 2015.

    Jan 6, 2016

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un addresses the fourth conference of artillery personnel of the KPA in Pyongyang, December 5, 2015

    Commentary

    Does North Korea Really Have an H-Bomb?

    Kim Jong Un has claimed that North Korea has an H-bomb. Whether this claim is accurate, or an exaggeration, remains to be seen. But it does highlight how the country's leadership culture requires Kim to periodically demonstrate his power.

    Dec 16, 2015

  • Barrels of fuel are displayed inside a damaged, non-functioning petrol station in Aleppo, Syria, January 13, 2015

    Testimony

    The Role of Oil in ISIL Finances

    Sales of oil and refined oil products are the most important single source of recurrent revenues for ISIL. Targeting ISIL's oil loading facilities and heavy trucks can weaken the group, but this alone will not lead to its demise.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • Passengers walk through an airport security check

    Journal Article

    Assessing the Effectiveness of Layered Security for Protecting the Aviation System Against Adaptive Adversaries

    This study examines the effectiveness of layered security for protecting the aviation system against adaptive adversaries.

    Nov 24, 2015

  • U.S. Army soldiers patrol through a palm grove looking for insurgents and weapons caches during an operation in the Diyala River Valley region of Iraq on Aug. 18, 2007, Photo by Sgt 1ST Class Robert C Brogan/U.S. Army

    Report

    A Preliminary Assessment of the Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF) Concept's Implications for Army Personnel Management

    RAND Arroyo Center explored how the U.S. Army might need to adapt its personnel management policies and practices to support the Regionally Aligned Forces concept.

    Nov 11, 2015

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, September 30, 2015

    Commentary

    What Is Putin Really Up to in Syria?

    Russia wants to be sure that it's not ignored if and when the West succeeds in implementing a broader, more effective solution to the Syria-Iraq-ISIL problem. This is a task far beyond Russia's capabilities, but one that America, the West, and regional powers may be able to accomplish.

    Oct 2, 2015