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.

  • An M1A2 Abrams main battle tank fires during an exercise in Egypt

    Tool

    Forecasting the Demand for U.S. Ground Forces

    Jul 6, 2022

    This interactive tool uses a dynamic forecasting model to project future demand for U.S. ground forces. The resulting forecasts can help inform U.S. military decisions regarding future force planning, posture, and investments.

  • Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram from 2009 to 2021, speaks in an unknown location in Nigeria in this still image from a video obtained on January 15, 2018, handout from Sahara Reporters via Reuters

    Report

    How to Reduce Violent Nonstate Actors' Abilities to Adapt

    Jun 6, 2022

    Violent nonstate actors—terrorist groups, drug trafficking organizations, and others—pose durable and direct threats to U.S. security interests. Why are they so capable of adapting to changes in their environments, and how might the Army detect and mitigate such adaptations before they occur?

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • Blog

    The West's Response to Russia, the State of the Union, Outer Space: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to prevent Russia's war on Ukraine from becoming a war with NATO, insights from RAND on the State of the Union, the future of outer space, and more.

    Mar 4, 2022

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, December 6, 2021, photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Sipa USA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia Looks Less and Less Like India's Friend

    India has strong ties with Russia dating back to the Cold War. But the geostrategic winds have shifted significantly in recent years, suggesting that India might want to reconsider the benefits of close Russia ties.

    Mar 4, 2022

  • Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani arrives at Palais Coburg for nuclear talks Vienna, Austria, February 28, 2022, photo by Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Renewed Nuclear Deal With Iran: Turning Back the Clock?

    Diplomats from Europe, the United States, Russia, China, and Iran are in Vienna trying to revive the Iran nuclear agreement of 2015. But even if negotiations succeed, the post-deal environment could be much more unstable than it was seven years ago.

    Mar 4, 2022

  • Fully armed aircraft from the 18th Wing conduct an elephant walk during an exercise at Kadena Air Base, Japan, April 12, 2017, photo by SrA John Linzmeier/U.S. Air Force

    Q&A

    Building Better Government Acquisition Programs: Q&A with William Shelton

    In the U.S. Air Force, William Shelton managed hundreds of millions of dollars in acquisition programs. He retired as a colonel then joined RAND as an engineer. One of his recent projects provided the U.S. Space Force with a new approach to acquisition, designed around its unique mission.

    Mar 4, 2022

  • Red world map with areas circled, illustration by traffic_analyzer/Getty Images

    Report

    Competition and Restraint in Cyberspace

    Recent years have seen a mounting concern in the United States over foreign efforts to harm election security or legitimacy through cyber means, an increase in cyber espionage, and attacks of growing sophistication. How could international norms help constrain such destabilizing behavior in cyberspace?

    Mar 4, 2022

  • Sweden's Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde, Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Finland's Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen pose during a photo call in Stockholm, Sweden, February 2, 2022, photo by Paul Wennerholm/ TT News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    Finland and Sweden Mull NATO Membership

    After decades of military neutrality between NATO and Russia, recent events saw a potential sea-change in how Finland and Sweden consider their role with the NATO alliance. NATO leadership could start planning now so that if Sweden and Finland make the jump to joining the alliance, they can be welcomed in quickly.

    Mar 3, 2022

  • U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 1, 2022, photo by Saul Loeb/Pool via Reuters

    Blog

    State of the Union 2022: Russia's Invasion of Ukraine and Domestic Policy

    In his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden rebuked Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, aimed to turn a page on the pandemic, and covered a wide range of domestic issues, including mental health care, prescription drug prices, and supporting veterans.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • 3D printer printing prototypes, photo by kynny/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Military Yet to Fully Leverage Additive Manufacturing

    Additive manufacturing may very well become a critical component of the Defense Department supply chain, but challenges ranging from decentralized approaches among the various services, a lack of standards, limited awareness and know-how among military workforce and leadership, and intellectual property issues could prevent the Pentagon from realizing its potential.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Destroyed military vehicles on a street, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in the town of Bucha in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, March 1, 2022, photo by Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Ensuring Russia's War with Ukraine Doesn't Morph into Direct Conflict with NATO

    Russia has launched an unprecedented act of aggression against Ukraine. The United States and its allies must respond forcefully. But as they do, they should take into account the possibility of triggering a spiral of escalation that could lead to the only outcome worse than the invasion of Ukraine itself: a hot war between Russia and NATO.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Global communication network concept network dots surrounding planet earth with focus on America. Information exchange via satellites, illustration by Thomas/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Space Might Be Used Between Now and 2050

    The number of space-related activities conducted by government, military, and commercial actors around the world is increasing. How will the way space is used change? Who will the key actors be? And what can be done to ensure a more future-proof space strategy?

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Developing Outcome Measures for the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program

    The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe is a residential program for youth experiencing difficulties in traditional high school. This capstone report describes some of RAND's research and analyses on the ChalleNGe program from late 2017 through mid-2020.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    The Role of Standards in Fostering Capability Evolution: Does Design Matter? Insights from Interoperability Standards

    This report presents the findings of a review of two military standards that have enabled significant interoperability and evolution in warfighting to better understand paths toward successful interface standard design in the military environment.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • The Ronald Reagan Strike Group ships conduct an exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships in the South China Sea, August 31, 2018

    Report

    Japan’s Possible Acquisition of Long-Range Land-Attack Missiles and the Implications for the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    The security environment in Northeast Asia is rapidly worsening. How is this situation affecting the debate in Japan over how to deter Chinese coercion? And what role might the U.S.-Japan alliance might play? To better understand these, RAND organized a virtual conference to discuss.

    Mar 1, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Prioritizing Security Cooperation with Highly Capable U.S. Allies: Framing Army-to-Army Partnerships

    In this report, researchers present recommendations for enabling the U.S. Army to better prioritize and coordinate its security cooperation activities with its allies for coalition operations and engagements in third countries.

    Mar 1, 2022

  • Ukrainian service members at a check point after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, February 27, 2022, photo by Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Kind of Resistance Can Ukraine Mount?

    Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has ordered general mobilization, and Ukrainians are already engaging in irregular warfare and preparing for a prolonged resistance. What might a comprehensive Ukrainian resistance entail? What is the potential effectiveness, and what are the risks? What support could the international community provide?

    Feb 28, 2022

  • A photo of a printed circuit board shows a chip with "CHINA" written on it

    Report

    Securing the Microelectronics Supply Chain: Four Policy Issues for the U.S. Department of Defense to Consider

    The authors analyze how the U.S. Department of Defense could mitigate microelectronics supply chain risk. They consider the appropriate mix of policy levers to promote a microelectronics technology ecosystem that is aligned with U.S. strategic goals.

    Feb 28, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Options for Strengthening All-Source Intelligence: Substantive Change Is Within Reach

    Foreign attacks against the United States occur frequently. The authors propose game-changing ideas to enable intelligence analysts to address long-standing challenges related to the use of open sources, analytic tradecraft, and politicization.

    Feb 28, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Air Force Operational Test and Training Infrastructure: Barriers to Full Implementation

    This report offers stakeholders in Air Force training a framework for discerning the implications of different training infrastructure investments for assessing the readiness of individuals and aircrews.

    Feb 28, 2022

  • Temporary shelters inside the Veterans Administration complex in West Los Angeles, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Essay

    The Lives of Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

    The United States pledged in 2009 to end veteran homelessness. The numbers have fallen by nearly half since then, but there are still more than 37,000 veterans living in their cars, in temporary shelters, or in makeshift camps. Researchers followed 26 of them for one year to see how they live and what keeps them on the streets.

    Feb 25, 2022

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky chairs an urgent meeting with leadership of the government, and representatives of the defense and economic sectors, in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2022, photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Continuity of Government in Ukraine

    On February 23 Russia launched a war on Ukraine. Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky and its parliament might accelerate steps to ensure the continuity of government, a need made more urgent because of the risk that Kyiv could soon fall.

    Feb 25, 2022