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.

  • U.S. and French soldiers at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, March 2017, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    Could France Support a U.S.-Led War in Eastern Europe?

    Jun 16, 2021

    France has a greater range of capabilities than most other European militaries. It has remained strongly committed to NATO and bilateral defense cooperation with the United States. What capabilities might France bring to a high-intensity conventional war against Russia?

  • Protesters gather during the Indiana Stop Asian Hate Rally on Monument Circle in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 27, 2021, photo by USA Today Network via Reuters

    Research Brief

    What Former Extremists and Their Families Say About Radicalization in America

    Jun 25, 2021

    Violent extremism is an evolving, ongoing threat in the United States. Interviews with former extremists—and their families and friends—offer insights into how individuals become radicalized, how they leave extremist groups, and what communities can do to stop the growth of extremism in their area.

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  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un take a walk in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this picture released by KCNA on June 21, 2019, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Can China Be a Real Partner in Bringing North Korea to the Nuclear Negotiating Table?

    The United States remains committed to the goal of denuclearization of North Korea. China is more interested in maintaining a delicate geopolitical balance to counter U.S. influence in the region and in expanding its own reach. Thus, prospects for productive U.S.-China cooperation on the North Korean nuclear threat seem faint at best.

    Jul 14, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Running the Joint: Air Force Efforts to Build a Joint Task Force Headquarters

    The authors examine U.S. Air Force efforts to develop a capability to carry out a Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTF HQ) mission. The findings will be relevant to anyone interested in Air Force efforts to stand up a JTF HQ.

    Jul 13, 2021

  • Report

    Understanding the Value of Defence: Towards a Defence Value Proposition for the UK

    The UK Ministry of Defence asked RAND to develop a 'Defence Value Proposition' to provide a better understanding of why defence exists and how the value it brings to the nation can be better articulated to government, partners and the wider public.

    Jul 13, 2021

  • May 2011 Parade - S-400

    Multimedia

    Russian S-400 Surface-to-Air Missile System: Is It Worth the Sticker Price?

    Indian civilian and military leadership face investment choices that go beyond the decision to buy the S-400. To be effective, the S-400 needs to be deployed within a larger integrated air and missile defense system and requires a very skilled military workforce to operate. Otherwise, it will prove to be a costly and expensive military extravagance.

    Jul 13, 2021

  • Image of a HAR2 Bell Griffin helicopter, seen here at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus on 4 July 2021 assisting with efforts to tackle wildfires across Cyprus, photo by Cpl Phil Dye/UK Ministry of Defence Crown Copyright

    Multimedia

    Expert Insights: Understanding the Value of Defence

    RAND Europe Defence, Security and Infrastructure director Ruth Harris and Research Leader James Black examine the ‘value proposition’ of UK defence in this audio conversation. They explore how the value it brings to the nation can be better articulated across government, to partners and to the wider public.

    Jul 13, 2021

  • 2019-08-27T000000Z_113196812_RC1FFC467030_RTRMADP_3_RUSSIA-TURKEY

    Multimedia

    Russia's Su-57 Heavy Fighter Bomber: Is It Really a Fifth-Generation Aircraft?

    RAND Defense Analyst Ryan Bauer discusses the variety of developmental challenges that the Russian Su-57 fifth-generation jet has experienced, decreasing the likelihood of Russia exporting the aircraft for a number of years despite continued marketing efforts.

    Jul 13, 2021

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspects a long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 in an undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, May 15, 2017, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    North Korean Nuclear Weapons Pose an Existential Threat to China

    Despite the current border closures between their two countries, China and North Korea remain resolutely pledged to a “blood-alliance.” But this partnership has vastly different implications depending on which side of the border you consider.

    Jul 13, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Air Force Professional Military Education: Considerations for Change

    Professional military education is a complex system that accommodates thousands of Air Force officers yearly. The Air Force needs to rebalance the assignment of students to Air University and to other PME or fellowship programs outside the Air Force.

    Jul 12, 2021

  • A soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad's forces is seen in Quneitra, Syria, July 22, 2018

    Commentary

    The Power and Limits of Threat: The Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act at One Year

    A powerful new U.S. sanctions law on Syria came into effect one year ago, with great notice and speculation regarding its potential effects. Now, one year later, it is apparent that the act's power lies not in who the United States has sanctioned but in who the United States could sanction.

    Jul 8, 2021

  • Violent Extremism in America: Can it be Stopped?

    Multimedia

    Violent Extremism in America: Can It Be Stopped?

    Co-authors of the RAND report, Violent Extremism in America, discuss the findings from their interviews with former members of radical organizations.

    Jul 7, 2021

  • A boy in the Hillcrest section of Corpus Christi, Texas, at the fence line of a refinery in August 2007, photo by Peter Essick/Cavan Images/Alamy

    Essay

    How RAND Applies an Equity Lens to Research and Analysis

    RAND recognizes that serving the public good requires tackling the factors that contribute to inequities head-on. Current projects focus on such issues as environmental racism, mass incarceration, and anti-Asian violence.

    Jul 7, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Challenges and barriers that limit the productivity and competitiveness of UK defence supply chains

    Small and medium-sized companies attempting to enter and operate in the UK's defence market face several barriers that can limit productivity of defence supply chains. Addressing these challenges is key to improving productivity and competitiveness.

    Jul 6, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Understanding and Pursuing Information Advantage

    This article tries to unpack the concept of "information advantage" and explore what it might mean and how it should be thought about by the U.S. Army and the joint force more broadly.

    Jul 6, 2021

  • Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman meets with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, June 2, 2021, photo by U.S. Embassy Bangkok

    Commentary

    Biden's Troubled Southeast Asia Policy Needs a Reboot

    Nearly six months into Joe Biden's presidency, it is now possible to begin assessing the effectiveness of some of his administration's policies. When it comes to Southeast Asia, the Biden administration has thus far fallen short, but the future looks relatively bright with certain caveats.

    Jul 6, 2021

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld pauses during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., March 29, 2005, photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

    Commentary

    Donald Rumsfeld: Anti–Nation-Builder

    As Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld repeatedly resisted U.S. military participation in nation-building–type operations. Even as the United States terminates the last of those nation-building missions, that in Afghanistan, it is worth reflecting on these experiences.

    Jul 6, 2021

  • Kenneth Wells at an Ideas Generation event for the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program on October 2, 2014, with an overlay of music notes, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    Veteran Journeys: Where Mental Health Research Meets Opera

    Kenneth Wells, a psychiatrist, librettist, and composer, has written a documentary disguised as an opera. He drew on Partners in Care, a 10-year RAND-UCLA study that was one of the first to use a multisite collaborative primary care approach to treat veterans and others experiencing depression.

    Jul 6, 2021

  • A service member being treated for lower back pain, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    Quality Measurement Is Key to Improving Chronic Pain Care for Service Members

    Chronic pain affects 31 to 44 percent of active-duty service members and is a leading cause of disability and reduced readiness. And factors such as traumatic brain injury and PTSD can complicate treatment. Research can guide efforts to improve the quality of care for this population.

    Jul 1, 2021

  • Earth partially covered by Chinese Yuan, image by Stephen Finn/Adobe Stock

    Report

    China's Drive for Power and Influence Around the World

    An analysis of China's ability to use various mechanisms of influence to shape the policies and behavior of 20 countries finds that its economic power is the foundation for its influence. What lessons do these examples offer the United States and how should it respond?

    Jun 30, 2021

  • Chinese People's Liberation Army soldiers demonstrate their capabilities to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen in China, July 12, 2011, photo by MC1 Chad J. McNeeley/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

    Commentary

    The Signal and the Noise: Understanding China's Military Threats

    Although China's capabilities and communication channels have changed, its fundamental approach to military deterrence signaling as a form of political coercion has not. As Australia-China relations enter a new, more confrontational era, Canberra is likely to be an increasingly frequent target of Chinese deterrence signaling.

    Jun 29, 2021

  • A supporter of Ebrahim Raisi displays his portrait during a celebratory rally for his presidential election victory in Tehran, Iran, June 19, 2021, photo by Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Iran May Be in No Hurry to Get Nuclear Weapons Even Without a Nuclear Deal

    History shows that many countries with advanced nuclear technologies but without nuclear bombs opt to stay that way. There are reasons to believe that Iran, too, may choose to remain non-nuclear at least in the foreseeable future.

    Jun 28, 2021