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.

  • Chinese marine surveillance ships cruising in the East China Sea, as the islands known as the Senkaku isles in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China are seen in the background, April 23, 2013, photo by Kyodo/Reuters

    Report

    The Health of U.S. and Partner Deterrence in the Gray Zone

    Apr 19, 2021

    Gray zone aggression, campaigns to achieve political objectives while remaining below the threshold of outright warfare, is on the rise. U.S. and allied deterrent postures are reasonably strong, though mixed, when it comes to China's aggression in the Senkaku Islands, Russia's in the Baltic states, and North Korea's in South Korea.

  • Staff Sgt. Sharonica White completes a deadlift repetition during the U.S. Army Japan 2020 Army Week's Army Combat Fitness Test Fitness Warrior Competition at Camp Zama, Japan, June 8, 2020, photo by Winifred Brown/U.S. Army

    Project

    What Do We Know About the Health and Well-Being of U.S. Service Members?

    Apr 28, 2021

    RAND experts have analyzed data from the Department of Defense's flagship survey for understanding the health, health behaviors, and well-being of service members. The results provide valuable insights across various health-related topics and about personnel by service branch.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • News Release

    News Release

    Odds of Leaving Military Double After Sexual Assault

    Exposure to sexual assault in the U.S. military doubled the odds that a service member would leave the military within 28 months, and sexual harassment was associated with roughly 4% of all military separations during this same time period.

    Feb 8, 2021

  • Blog

    Unemployment Insurance, Domestic Extremists, Housing Insecurity: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on what the pandemic has revealed about America's unemployment system, why stopping domestic extremism will be difficult, how housing insecurity may affect sleep, and more.

    Feb 5, 2021

  • U.S. Navy sailors pull a line affixed to a combat rubber raiding craft with Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Amphibious Rapid Deployment Regiment soldiers in the Pacific Ocean, February 6, 2020, photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Natalie M. Byers/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    The United States and Japan Should Prepare for War with China

    The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of peace, security, and stability in the East China Sea region. Those benefits come through a shared commitment to provide robust responses from peacetime to contingencies. But is the alliance equipped, postured, and authorized to do what will need to be done in a conflict?

    Feb 5, 2021

  • A digital image of the globe with red point-to-point paths

    Report

    Managing Risk in Globalized Supply Chains

    This report addresses the challenges the U.S. Air Force faces in mitigating the risks associated with an increasingly globalized weapon supply chain and suggests ways to improve how it addresses such risks.

    Feb 5, 2021

  • Two Air Force F-22 Raptors fly over Syria, February 2, 2018, while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, photo by Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott/Air National Guard

    Report

    Airpower Was Indispensable to Defeating ISIS

    Some argue that airpower could have been applied more vigorously in Operation Inherent Resolve to have more quickly defeated ISIS. Airpower was essential, but ground forces led by Iraqi and Syrian partners were needed to destroy the Islamic State as a territorial entity.

    Feb 5, 2021

  • An F-16 Fighting Falcon an F-35A Lightning II from Eielson Air Force Base and an F-35A from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, fly over the installation in Alaska, May 15, 2020. With the arrival of the F-35As, the 354th Fighter Wing is now home to fourth and fifth-generation fighter aircraft, photo by Tech. Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Fighter Basing Options to Improve Access to Advanced Training Ranges

    The authors explore U.S. Air Force squadron restationing and range upgrade options that can maximize access to advanced live training ranges while evaluating cost and risk measures associated with these options.

    Feb 5, 2021

  • Police clear the U.S. Capitol Building with tear gas as supporters of then-President Donald Trump gather outside, in Washington, January 6, 2021, photo by Stephanie Keith/Reuters

    Testimony

    Addressing the Threat of Domestic Violent Extremism

    The attack on the Capitol was an unprecedented assault on America’s political system. How might a national commission to review the events of January 6 offer a road to national recovery? And what can be done to address broader threats from violent domestic extremists?

    Feb 4, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Deceive the Enemy with Emerging Technologies

    By using technology to deceive and confuse adversaries, the U.S. Navy can gain a competitive edge.

    Feb 4, 2021

  • Will U.S.-Iran Relations Improve?

    Multimedia

    Under the Biden Administration: Will U.S.-Iran Relations Improve?

    RAND senior international/defense policy researcher Heather Williams discusses the current landscape for improving the strained relationship between the United States and Iran.

    Feb 4, 2021

  • An Indian fighter plane flies over a mountain range in Leh, in the Ladakh region, India, September 15, 2020, photo by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

    Commentary

    Stabilizing China-India Relations in 2021: Is This Possible?

    China-India relations seem to be at their lowest point in decades. The Ladakh confrontation is fraught with the risk of escalation. But both countries have much to gain from a compromise. Leadership on both sides could help by focusing on the long-term gains in a spirit of give-and-take.

    Feb 2, 2021

  • Security fencing surrounds the U.S. Capitol days after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building, in Washington, January 11, 2021, photo by Erin Scott/Reuters

    Commentary

    What the Capitol Siege Means for the Future of Security Clearances

    Some people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 had or have a national security clearance and thus trusted access to classified information. And some might apply for a security clearance in the future. If they are not identified and prosecuted, then they won't have a criminal record that could be detected in a background check.

    Feb 2, 2021

  • Supporters of Donald Trump scale a wall as they storm the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Commentary

    Domestic Violent Extremists Will Be Harder to Combat Than Homegrown Jihadists

    The beliefs driving today's domestic extremists are deeply rooted in American history and society. For this and several other reasons, shutting them down will prove far more difficult than combating homegrown jihadists.

    Feb 1, 2021

  • National Guardmen on U.S. Capitol security detail in Washington, DC, January 11, 2021, photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht/U.S. Air National Guard

    Commentary

    How to Root Out Extremism in the U.S. Military

    The military has a growing extremism problem because America does. Service members who embrace violent extremism are thankfully few; Americans citizens who do so are sadly far too many. As a nation we need to deal with both.

    Feb 1, 2021

  • A Vietnamese naval soldier stands guard at Thuyen Chai island in the Spratly archipelago January 17, 2013, photo by Quang Le/Reuters

    Commentary

    How U.S.-Vietnam Ties Might Go Off the Rails

    Although there are valid reasons to question the trajectory of U.S.-Vietnam relations in the coming years, the overwhelming momentum is positive and is likely to stay that way. Any frictions that arise will probably be handled diplomatically to avoid greater damage to the relationship. But of course, nothing is guaranteed.

    Feb 1, 2021

  • Blog

    Prescription Drug Prices, Transgender Troops, Space Diplomacy: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on America's high prescription drug prices, allowing transgender troops in the military, food insecurity in Black neighborhoods, and more.

    Jan 29, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    The Demand for Responsiveness in Past U.S. Military Operations

    The Department of Defense argues that it must maintain a high level of readiness across the joint force to remain highly responsive. The author conducts a historical analysis to identify the demand for responsiveness in past U.S. military operations.

    Jan 28, 2021

  • An MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flightline at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. June 19. Gen. John D.W. Corley, Air Combat Command commander, met with Army Gen. William S. Wallace, Army Training and Doctrine Command commanding general, June 30 to discuss a new concept of operations that would maximize the contributions unmanned aerial systems bring to the joint warfighter, photo by Lance Cheung/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Technology Innovation and the Future of Air Force Intelligence Analysis: Findings and Recommendations

    Getting the right intelligence to the right people at the right time is increasingly difficult as the amount of data grows and timelines shrink. How can tools and technologies help the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System evolve to meet the challenges of synthesizing data effectively and efficiently?

    Jan 27, 2021

  • A U.S. Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle with B company, 229th Aviation Regiment known as Flying Tigers prepares for takeoff at the Air Combat Element landing strip, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms, Calif., Nov. 7, 2019, photo by Cpl. William Chockey/U.S. Marine CorpsA U.S. Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle with B company, 229th Aviation Regiment known as Flying Tigers prepares for takeoff at the Air Combat Element landing strip, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms, Calif., Nov. 7, 2019, photo by Cpl. William Chockey/U.S. Marine Corps

    Report

    Technology Innovation and the Future of Air Force Intelligence Analysis: Technical Analysis

    What are the near-term fixes to existing intelligence challenges? And where could artificial intelligence and machine learning be integrated in the future? An in-depth analysis explores technologies that could help the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System become more effective, efficient, and agile.

    Jan 27, 2021

  • Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Ethan Clabaugh stands watch on the amphibious assault ship USS America in Okinawa, Japan, January 16, 2021, photo by MCSN Matthew Cavenaile/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Why Biden's Japan Agenda Matters

    Efforts to mend America's political wounds, combating COVID-19, and the continuing deterioration of U.S.-China relations may dominate the Biden agenda. But quick wins with Japan are possible and could be necessary to ensure that the alliance begins on a positive footing so it can tackle difficult challenges in the years ahead.

    Jan 26, 2021

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    The Department of Defense's Posture for Artificial Intelligence: Assessment and Recommendations for Improvement

    In this report, RAND Corporation researchers assess the state of artificial intelligence relevant to the U.S. Department of Defense and provide recommendations for the future of the department's artificial intelligence posture.

    Jan 26, 2021