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.

  • 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

    Feb 1, 2021

    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.

  • 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

    Feb 5, 2021

    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.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • Red and blue profiles with thinking gears in their heads, illustration by JakeOlimb/Getty Images

    Report

    How to Avoid Aggression or Escalation in a Crisis

    Anticipating how an opponent may be reasoning, and then seeking ways to alter that thinking can inform an effective influence strategy. Deterring adversaries by threat of punishment alone is often ineffective. A better approach might involve a mix of several measures, such as being able to thwart aggression, reassurances to reduce the adversary's fears, and relationship-building.

    Feb 16, 2021

  • Blog

    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, COVID-19 Variants, Myanmar: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on alternatives in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military, how couples can sleep better during the pandemic, and more.

    Feb 12, 2021

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    The Role of U.S. Airpower in Defeating ISIS

    The United States used airpower in Syria and Iraq to halt ISIS's momentum and help defeat the organization, without committing a large number of ground forces.

    Feb 12, 2021

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal on the podium during the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Ajo Border Patrol Station in Why, Arizona, August 19, 2010, photo by Lee Roberts/USACE

    Commentary

    The Essential Role of DHS in the Economic Recovery from COVID-19

    The name Department of Homeland Security belies an important set of roles, missions, and functions of the department related to the economic security of the United States. Wielding these powers to their full extent during the COVID-19 pandemic could set the conditions for a more rapid recovery.

    Feb 11, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    Israelis Unwilling to Risk Two-State Solution; Palestinians Only Interested in Variant That Israelis Cannot Accept

    Israelis across the political spectrum prefer the status quo to the two-state solution, and Palestinians are only willing to accept a two-state solution that Israelis will be unable to accept.

    Feb 10, 2021

  • Domestic Terrorism

    Multimedia

    Domestic Terrorism in the U.S.: The Need to Rethink Strategy

    An overview of testimony by Brian Michael Jenkins presented before the House Committee on Homeland Security on February 4, 2021.

    Feb 10, 2021

  • An aerial view shows the Cave of the Patriarchs, a site sacred to Jews and Muslims, in the Palestinian city of Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, November 2, 2020, photo by Ilan Rosenberg/Reuters

    Report

    Alternatives in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    The two-state solution has dominated efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. But Israelis across the political spectrum prefer the status quo to the two-state solution, and Palestinians are interested in a variant that Israelis cannot accept. Is there a viable alternative?

    Feb 10, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Department of the Air Force Civilian Compensation and Benefits: How Five Mission Critical and Hard-to-Fill Occupations Compare to the Private Sector and Key Federal Agencies

    The authors examine U.S. Air Force civilian compensation for hard-to-fill and mission critical occupations, comparing it with other federal agencies and the private sector and providing recommendations for recruiting and retaining civilian talent.

    Feb 10, 2021

  • Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the leader of the Taliban delegation, signs an agreement with Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar, February 29, 2020, photo by Ibraheem al Omari/Reuters

    Commentary

    Afghanistan: Give Peace a Chance

    The timetable set out in the Afghan peace agreement was always unrealistically ambitious. If the Biden administration postpones the May withdrawal of U.S. troops, then this could provide the two Afghan sides more time to address core issues that must be resolved if any settlement is to stick.

    Feb 9, 2021

  • 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 8% of all military separations during this same time period.

    Feb 8, 2021

  • The United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket launches from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, July 30, 2020, photo by Frank Michaux/NASA

    Commentary

    Navigating Norms for the New Space Era

    To make better progress on global norms for responsible behavior in space, the U.S. defense and intelligence communities might first consider reaching a consensus among themselves on what these norms should be. Until they reconcile their differences the United States will be less likely be in a position to play a leadership role.

    Feb 8, 2021

  • Intricate real life-like models in a wargame at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia, August 23, 2017, photo by Frances Seybold/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    Wargames as an Educational Tool

    The benefits of games for military education are well documented. But harnessing the potential of games to foster innovation may require a commitment to sustain gaming over the years needed to explore a problem space and develop and stress-test new ideas.

    Feb 8, 2021

  • U.S Marines static line jump from a KC-130J Hercules over Drop Zone Basilone on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., December 10, 2020, photo by Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels/U.S. Marine Corps

    Report

    How Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Affect Separation from the U.S. Military

    Exposure to sexual assault doubles the odds that a service member will separate from the military within 28 months. Those who are sexually harassed also have a higher risk of separation. In addition to the psychological and physical effects on the service member, this is costly for the services and harms military readiness.

    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

  • Report

    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

  • Report

    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

  • 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

  • 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