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.

  • IEA

    Report

    Developing and Assessing Options for the Global SOF Network

    U.S. Special Operations Command's Global SOF Network vision calls for a distributed overseas posture for Special Operations Forces (SOF) as part of a new approach to respond to and deter threats. RAND researchers developed implementation options by creating and applying an analytically rigorous methodology.

    Sep 27, 2013

  • U.N. chemical weapons experts investigating a gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians in the suburbs of Damascus

    Commentary

    The Hidden Conclusions in the U.N.'s Syria Gas Report

    The lethality of the munitions used in Syria point directly to an actor with significant capacities and long experience using chemical weaponry and artillery, writes James T. Quinlivan. And that fingers the notoriously abusive Assad regime, not the outmatched, outgunned and frantically improvising rebels.

    Sep 25, 2013

  • PLA soldier plays "Glorious Mission Online" an online game that allows players to defend contested islands in the East China Sea

    Commentary

    U.S., China and an Unthinkable War

    Although the China-U.S. agenda is jammed with pressing issues, time must be found to improve procedures and channels to defuse crises and avert military miscalculation. Political leaders should not wait for a crisis before scrutinizing war-fighting plans and insisting on ones that strengthen, not weaken, stability.

    Aug 26, 2013

  • The Pentagon, as seen from an aerial view

    Journal Article

    Escalation Cause: How the Pentagon's New Strategy Could Trigger War with China

    As the threat to forward-deployed U.S. forces grows, particularly in East Asia, the Pentagon has been pursuing a strategy known as Air-Sea Battle which could precipitate an arms race and make a crisis more likely to lead to hostilities.

    Aug 1, 2013

  • Boitz,Eielson,Northern Edge 2011

    Report

    Charting the Course for a New Air Force Inspection System - Executive Summary

    This report presents primary data RAND collected on the Air Force inspection system and identifies effective inspection and information collection practices that the Air Force might emulate.

    Jul 1, 2013

  • Boitz,Eielson,Northern Edge 2011

    Report

    Charting the Course for a New Air Force Inspection System

    This report presents primary data RAND collected on the Air Force inspection system and identifies effective inspection and information collection practices that the Air Force might emulate.

    Jul 1, 2013

  • U.S. soldier provides pens to Iraqi boy

    Commentary

    Unlearning the Lessons of Iraq

    Trepidation about boots-on-the-ground engagement has unnecessarily forestalled even small-scale efforts to repair Libya's fractured security environment....Meanwhile, in Syria, the over-learned lessons of Iraq are taking an even more serious toll, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Mar 14, 2013

  • Paratroopers during air assault training

    Commentary

    Changing World Climate Requires a Dynamic Foreign Policy

    As Secretary of State Kerry and former senator Chuck Hagel outline their thinking on the nation's strategy, let us hope that they both hold firm to the strategy that has served us well in the past and have the courage to explore a very different set of political and military ways to accomplish it, write Lynn Davis and Andrew Hoehn.

    Feb 15, 2013

  • A Tuareg rebel in Mali poses with an assault rifle.

    Commentary

    Hostage Taking Exposes Terror Threat in Africa

    There is a danger in viewing Mali through the prism of counter-terrorism, since the rebel element there is tangled up in movements and groups with a wide variety of interests and motives, ranging from sincere religious conviction to local political rivalries to base economic opportunism, writes Michael Shurkin.

    Jan 18, 2013

  • Report

    Report

    Improving Air Force Command and Control Through Enhanced Agile Combat Support Planning, Execution, Monitoring, and Control Processes

    Describes agile combat support (ACS) process gaps and recommends ways to improve Air Force command and control through enhanced ACS planning, execution, monitoring, and control processes.

    Dec 19, 2012

  • Egyptian convoy at the Rafah border between Gaza and Egypt

    Blog

    Gaza: Hard Fighting Looms Without a Broader Peace Strategy

    The United States and Israel should capitalize on Egypt's active role in mediating a cease-fire and thus revisit initiatives like the Arab Peace Initiative, which in the new regional strategic environment may be the best hope of reviving the moribund peace process before it is too late.

    Nov 20, 2012

  • Famous mural of Statue of Liberty with a skull face in front of an American flag, former US Embassy, Tehran

    Commentary

    Would Iran Turn to Terror?

    In a conflict with the United States or Israel, Tehran could turn to terror tactics—directly or indirectly through proxies—to create leverage when it is significantly outmanned and outgunned against conventional military forces, writes Alireza Nader.

    Oct 3, 2012

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Military's Efforts to Influence Afghan Population Have Grown Less Effective Over Time

    The efforts of U.S. military information operations and psychological operations in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2010 grew less successful over time, as disenchantment with foreign occupation grew.

    Apr 30, 2012

  • leaflet drop over Iraq

    Report

    U.S. Military's Efforts to Influence Afghan Population Have Grown Less Effective Over Time

    The efforts of U.S. military information operations and psychological operations in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2010 grew less successful over time. The most notable shortcoming was the inability to counter the Taliban propaganda campaign against U.S. and coalition forces on the theme of civilian casualties.

    Apr 30, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Assessing Military Information Operations in Afghanistan, 2001–2010

    This research brief offers an overview of the effectiveness of U.S. psychological operations in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2010, with particular attention to how well messages and themes were tailored to target audiences.

    Apr 30, 2012

  • News Release

    News Release

    Israeli Mistakes Against Hybrid Adversaries Serve as Cautionary Tale for U.S. Military

    A review of recent Israeli military conflicts indicates the United States may be ill-prepared for "hybrid" warfare against state-sponsored adversaries who have a modicum of training and small force numbers, but possess advanced weapons and enough expertise to challenge the U.S. military.

    Jan 20, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    Israeli Mistakes Against Hybrid Adversaries Serve as Cautionary Tale for U.S. Military

    A review of recent Israeli military conflicts indicates the United States may be ill-prepared for "hybrid" warfare against state-sponsored adversaries who have a modicum of training and small force numbers, but possess advanced weapons and enough expertise to challenge the U.S. military.

    Jan 19, 2012

  • USARAF commander meets with Mauritanian senior leaders

    Research Brief

    Addressing Commanders' Needs for Information on "Soft" Factors

    A framework for thinking about commanders' critical information needs in countersurgency operations, offering practical ways for commanders to integrate influence activities into combined arms planning and assessment.

    Dec 5, 2011

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Standing Up a More Capable Joint Task Force Headquarters

    The U.S. Army needs to improve its ability to command and control joint, interagency, and multinational forces in diverse environments, and to prepare Army headquarters to perform as components of, or headquarters for, joint task forces.

    Nov 18, 2011

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Economic Assistance During Stability and Support Operations

    Designed to help U.S. Army personnel more effectively use economic assistance to support economic and infrastructure development.

    Nov 16, 2011