National Security and Terrorism

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RAND conducts a broad array of national security research for the U.S. Department of Defense and allied ministries of defense. Our federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) explore threat assessment, military acquisition, technology, recruitment and personnel management, counterinsurgency, intelligence, and readiness. RAND is a world leader in terrorism research. Studies address such topics as terrorism financing and strategies to undermine violent extremism.

  • Concept of artificial intelligence winning at chess, photo by JohnDWilliams/Getty Images

    Report

    The Emerging Risk of Virtual Societal Warfare

    Oct 9, 2019

    Living in an information society opens unprecedented opportunities for hostile rivals to cause disruption, delay, inefficiency, and active harm. Social manipulation techniques are evolving beyond disinformation and cyberattacks on infrastructure sites. How can democracies protect themselves?

  • Billboard that reads, "Welcome Home SGT KURT POWER" and illustration of mental health issues

    Article

    How High-Quality Mental Health Care Improves Veterans' Lives

    Sep 25, 2019

    A growing body of RAND research shows that veterans who receive high-quality care have the best chance of improving their mental health outcomes.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy march during a parade in Tehran, Iran, September 22, 2011, photo by Stringer Iran/Reuters

    Commentary

    The U.S. Designated the Revolutionary Guards as a Terrorist Group. What Happens Next?

    The U.S. designation of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization was meant to serve America's interests by isolating Iran. Instead, it may increase the likelihood of a tit-for-tat escalation that will require significant resources to avoid a broader regional conflagration.

    Apr 11, 2019

  • The Iron Throne on the set of the television series Game of Thrones in Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 24, 2014, photo by Phil Noble/Reuters

    Commentary

    'Game of Thrones' Reflections on International Relations

    As two RAND researchers join millions of others in eagerly awaiting the final season of Game of Thrones, they reflect on one of the show's central themes: rival views of the nature of power and justice.

    Apr 11, 2019

  • Veterans and other guests attend a signing ceremony for the VA Mission Act of 2018 in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 6, 2018, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Testimony

    Ensuring Veterans' Access to Timely, High-Quality Health Care

    Though the size of the U.S. veteran population has been decreasing over time, an influx of a new era of veterans with significant service-related health problems has increased VA health care enrollment to over 9 million. Insights from RAND research can help inform policymakers about the timeliness and quality of VA care.

    Apr 10, 2019

  • Report

    Do Differing Analyses Change the Decision? Using a Game to Assess Whether Differing Analytic Approaches Improve Decisionmaking

    In this report, RAND researchers use a structured comparison game to examine the value proposition of different analytic inputs (scenario-based versus Robust Decision Making) on a sample U.S. Department of Defense decision about force structure.

    Apr 8, 2019

  • Men work on a damaged building in the northwestern province of Idlib, Syria, December 27, 2014, photo by Mahmoud Hebbo/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Syrian Civil War Is Coming to an End

    Coalition forces have driven ISIS from its final patch of territory in Syria. But the bigger challenge will be ending the ongoing civil war and rebuilding Syria to bring home millions of refugees and internally displaced people. This means creating a state that can provide safety, security, and opportunity that forestalls further rebellion and devastation.

    Apr 8, 2019

  • Cordon tape at the scene of an accident in Australia, photo by STRINGERimage/Getty Images

    Report

    Countering Violent Extremism Programs May Gain Insights from Each Other

    As countries around the world develop CVE programs to prevent homegrown terrorism, there is a dearth of understanding about what types of such programs exist and which approaches are most effective. Mapping CVE programs against goals and activity types could facilitate information exchange across countries.

    Apr 4, 2019

  • Report

    Development of a Knowledge Readiness Level Framework for Medical Research

    A new framework for assessing the maturity of knowledge products (outputs from health science research) assigns each product to a knowledge readiness level, to help the U.S. Army make better decisions about its health science research portfolio.

    Apr 4, 2019

  • News Release

    Countering Violent Extremism Programs May Gain Insights from Each Other

    As countries around the world develop countering violent extremism (CVE) programs to prevent homegrown terrorism, there is a dearth of understanding about what types of such programs exist and which approaches are most effective. A new RAND Corporation report aims to help CVE program directors and policymakers in Australia place their efforts in context and identify promising approaches domestically and internationally.

    Apr 4, 2019

  • Silhouette of soldiers with military vehicles, photo by veneratio/Adobe Stock

    Report

    What Makes U.S. Military Interventions Successful?

    An analysis of 145 U.S. military interventions identifies the factors that have made them more or less successful at achieving their political objectives. They were successful 63 percent of the time, but levels of success have declined over time as the United States has pursued more ambitious goals. Before intervening, planners should carefully match strategy with political objectives.

    Apr 1, 2019

  • British Royal Marine commandos participate in a hostile scenario during exercise at Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory, April 12, 2012, photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class April D. Adams/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    A Ruling from the Hague Threatens a U.S. and British Military Base in Asia

    A remote and obscure tropical atoll in the Indian Ocean would seem an unlikely stage for the latest act of the United Kingdom's unfolding Brexit drama and the newest challenge to U.S. global power projection. But a nonbinding verdict in The Hague calls into question the legitimacy of the UK's administration and the major U.S. military presence on the islands' largest atoll, Diego Garcia.

    Apr 1, 2019

  • Report

    Improving Gender Diversity in the U.S. Coast Guard: Identifying Barriers to Female Retention

    This report documents the results of a study designed to help identify the root causes of female attrition in the active-duty Coast Guard and develop recommendations to help mitigate identified barriers to Coast Guard female retention.

    Mar 29, 2019

  • Petty Officer 1st Class Krystyna Duffy, a boatswain's mate assigned to Coast Guard Station Golden Gate in San Francisco, drives a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat near the Golden Gate Bridge, February 8, 2018, photo by PO3 Sarah Wi/U.S. Coast Guard

    Research Brief

    Why Do Women Leave the Coast Guard, and What Could Encourage Them to Stay?

    Women leave the Coast Guard at higher rates than men. Focus groups raised concerns about work environment, career issues, and personal life matters. More inclusive personnel policies could help the Coast Guard address these concerns and retain more women.

    Mar 29, 2019

  • News Release

    Women Leave U.S. Coast Guard at Higher Rates Than Men; More Equitable Personnel Policies Could Help Narrow Gap

    As at other military services, women leave the active-duty Coast Guard at higher rates than men. To retain a diverse workforce the Coast Guard should continue to pursue more inclusive personnel policies, such as augmenting workforce gaps during parental leave, minimizing the impact parental leave has on evaluations and promotion, and expanding opportunities for leadership development training.

    Mar 29, 2019

  • Mock Bitcoins are displayed in Berlin, January 7, 2014, photo by Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

    Report

    Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies

    Counterterrorism finance strategies have reduced terrorist access to official currencies. Will terrorist groups therefore increase their use of digital cryptocurrencies? New ones have emerged, including some that claim to be more private and secure than Bitcoin, but they also have limitations that make them less viable.

    Mar 27, 2019

  • Pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing's 4th Fighter Squadron participating in Red Flag 19-1 at Nellis AFB, Nevada, January 31, 2019, photo by R. Nial Bradshaw/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Is It More Cost-Effective to Retain Pilots or Train New Ones?

    Instead of relying on retaining its current pilots, the U.S. Air Force could hypothetically find and train new ones. But expanding the pilot training pipeline is costly. What is the best way for the Air Force to allocate its resources and sustain its number of pilots?

    Mar 27, 2019

  • Khalifa Haftar salutes as he participates in the General Security conference, in Benghazi, Libya, October 14, 2017, photo by Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters

    Commentary

    Is an Escalation Imminent in Western Libya?

    The Libyan Civil War has largely been contained to pockets of violence. Prolonged battles decimated cities such as Benghazi, Derna, and Sirte, but the majority of the country has been spared large-scale destruction. However, that could change soon.

    Mar 27, 2019

  • Journal Article

    From Ballot-Boxes to Barracks: Votes, Institutions, and Post-Election Coups

    If war is too important to be left to the generals, politics may be too contentious to be left to the civilians. At least this is what frequent military forays into the political arena suggest. But when and why does the military actively intervene in politics?

    Mar 26, 2019

  • A U.S. soldier marches, followed by troops from various NATO countries, during a ceremony of the transfer of command in Herat, Afghanistan, May 31, 2005, photo by Ahmad Fahim/Reuters

    Testimony

    The U.S.-European Partnership Since World War II

    The relationship between the United States and Europe has advanced U.S. and global security since the end of World War II. The partnership has benefited the United States several times, including during the post-Cold War period, the years after the September 11 attacks, and the current era of strategic competition with Russia and China.

    Mar 26, 2019

  • Andrew Marshall, photo courtesy of RAND Corporation

    Announcement

    Andrew Marshall, RAND Researcher Who Founded Department of Defense's 'Internal Think-Tank,' Dies at 97

    The RAND Corporation notes with profound regret the passing of Andrew W. Marshall, 97, a RAND researcher who went on to serve for more than four decades as director of the Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment, which contemplates military strategy decades into the future.

    Mar 26, 2019

  • Christine Wormuth gives and overview of testimony presented before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment on March 26, 2019.

    Multimedia

    The United States and Europe Since World War II: A Mutually Beneficial Partnership

    An overview of testimony by Christine Wormuth presented before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment on March 26, 2019.

    Mar 26, 2019