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.

  • Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard wait to parade the colors at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. during a Concert on the Avenue, June 11, 2019, photo by MC Paul L. Archer/U.S. Navy

    Report

    Diversity Can Enhance Military Effectiveness

    Embracing diversity in the military could bring significant operational and strategic advantages. For example, diversity is important in developing effective, ethical, and trustworthy AI systems. How can the UK and U.S. armed forces remove barriers to inclusion and attract more diverse workforces?

    Aug 23, 2022

  • Kim Jong-un watches a military parade in Pyongyang to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean People's Revolutionary Army in this image released by KCNA on April 26, 2022, photo by EyePress News via Reuters

    Report

    The Risks of North Korean Weapons of Mass Destruction

    In addition to its nuclear weapons, North Korea has amassed chemical, biological, and electromagnetic pulse weapons. It has also created an active cyber hacker force. What can the United States and South Korea do to deter and, if necessary, counter these threats?

    Aug 29, 2022

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov attend security talks, Geneva, Switzerland, January 10, 2022, photo by Denis Balibouse/Reuters

    Commentary

    Speaking Aloud What NATO Has Left Unsaid Could Help Ease Ukraine-Russia Impasse

    A statement that NATO has no intention to offer Ukraine membership at present should only be made in return for a tangible drawdown of Russian forces on the border. It concedes nothing to declare that NATO is not planning to do something it has no intention of doing anyway.

    Jan 13, 2022

  • Iraqi army force are seen in frontline to fight against Islamic State (IS) militants in Khrbadan village in the city of Qayyarah, 55 km south of Mosul, Iraq, on April 9, 2016, photo by Yaser Jawad/Xinhua/Alamy Live News

    Report

    Iraqi Army Will to Fight

    In summer 2014, the Iraqi Army imploded, breaking and scattering in the face of attacks from Islamic State fighters. How can U.S. advisors help strengthen Iraqi Army will to fight and overall combat effectiveness?

    Jan 11, 2022

  • Airman Dalton Shank, 5th Bomb Wing public affairs specialist, reads pamphlets on the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., March 10, 2017, photo by Airman 1st Class Alyssa Akers/National Guard

    Report

    How Do Education Benefits Support Veterans’ Transitions to Civilian Life?

    Today’s new veterans have access to generous and flexible education benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. But it is difficult to determine the effectiveness of these benefits and who is using them. Additional research could help address these gaps and improve understanding of veterans’ needs.

    Jan 10, 2022

  • A tank crew member of the Russian armed forces fires a weapon during combat drills at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia, December 14, 2021, photo by Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters

    Report

    Russian Military Forecasting Translation Volume: 1999–2018

    This translation volume compiles texts by Russian military experts and planners and covers key factors in Russian military forecasting that inform military planning decisions on force structure and training.

    Jan 10, 2022

  • Blog

    Extremism and Substance Use Disorder, Criminal Background Checks, Vaccine Diplomacy: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the parallels between extremism and substance use disorder, a better way to measure recidivism risk, global vaccine diplomacy, and more.

    Jan 7, 2022

  • “Checkmate,” the new Sukhoi fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, at the opening ceremony of the MAKS 2021 air show in Zhukovsky, Russia, July 20, 2021, photo by Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

    Commentary

    Is Russia's Su-75 'Checkmate' Aircraft a Case of Vapor Marketing?

    During a Moscow air show last summer, Russia rolled out a mockup of the Su-75, a multipurpose fighter-bomber designed to compete in the global marketplace. But given the Russian aerospace sector's difficulties in developing, let alone delivering, advanced combat aircraft, prospective buyers should consider a range of options to meet defense needs.

    Jan 6, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Strategic and Legal Implications of Emerging Dual-Use ASAT Systems

    This article addresses the dual-use conundrum of space technology, examining where the threshold lies for anti-satellite systems.

    Jan 6, 2022

  • Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Murasame-class Yuudachi transits the South China Sea during a joint operation photo exercise, October 28, 2021, photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Langholf/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Taiwan and Six Potential New Year's Resolutions for the U.S.-Japanese Alliance

    How might the United States and Japan prepare for possible conflict with China over Taiwan, and ensure forces are postured to operate together? The alliance could benefit from greater clarity, and practical conversations could make a better and stronger alliance in the new year.

    Jan 5, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Retention of Enlisted Maintenance, Logistics, and Munitions Personnel: Analysis and Results

    In this report, the authors explore whether individual characteristics, economic and geographic factors, and the new Blended Retirement System can provide new insights into what predicts retention of maintenance, logistics, and munitions personnel.

    Jan 5, 2022

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2022

    The cover story highlights the risks of geoengineering -- the large-scale manipulation of environmental processes to control climate. The Q&A with Jacqueline Burns sheds light on how her military experience informs her approach to research and analysis.

    Jan 4, 2022

  • A woman leaves a voting booth during the parliamentary election at a polling station in Seoul, South Korea, April 10, 2020, photo by Heo Ran/Reuters

    Commentary

    South Korea's Presidential Election: Beyond Mudslinging, What Gives?

    The 2022 South Korean presidential campaign has focused largely on personal attacks and allegations of corruption with little attention being paid to pressing issues facing the nation. The absence of meaningful policy debate and clarity on policy deliverables will continue to leave the South Korean electorate largely uninformed about what may be the most important decision they will make in 2022.

    Jan 3, 2022

  • The launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile during a test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, February 5, 2020, photo by SrA Clayton Wear/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Weighing the Cost and Necessity of Nuclear Modernization

    The United States has fielded a Triad of air-, sea-, and land-based nuclear delivery systems since the 1950s. Major components are nearing the end of their service lives, raising the question of whether to extend or replace them. Meanwhile, Russia and China continue to modernize, diversify, and expand their nuclear arsenals.

    Jan 3, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Assessing the Readiness of Contractor-Provided Space Operations Capabilities

    There are a significant number of private contractors performing space operations functions and tasks for the Air Force. This report examines how the Air Force evaluates its ability to deliver space operations capabilities provided by contractors.

    Jan 3, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Establishing Feeder-Designation Relationships with Colleges and Universities to Increase Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Air Force Officer Accessions

    This Perspective presents conceptual design considerations for implementing a feeder system as an enhanced marketing and outreach program to assist the U.S. Air Force with increasing racial and ethnic diversity in officer accessions.

    Dec 30, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    How Effective Are Blinding Concepts and Practices to Promote Equity in the Department of the Air Force?

    The authors discuss the scholarly literature on the efficacy of blinding strategies, how these insights apply to Department of the Air Force (DAF) goals, and possible steps for the DAF to advance its goal of a more equitable and inclusive workforce.

    Dec 30, 2021

  • Tool

    Tool

    Getting to Outcomes® Handbook for U.S. Air and Space Force Community Action Planning

    Getting To Outcomes helps Air and Space Force Community Action Teams develop a Community Action Plan. The Handbook includes guidance and tools. The Resource Guide provides links and tips. The Workbook contains blank versions of the tools.

    Dec 28, 2021

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 16, 2021, photo by North Atlantic Treaty Organization/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Commentary

    Russia May Underestimate Ukraine and NATO

    Moscow has unveiled outlandish security demands that sound aggressive and suggest that it may underestimate both NATO and Ukraine. Kremlin leaders might consider instead seeking a stable European security architecture that protects Russia's interests while also allowing for a vibrant and sovereign Ukraine.

    Dec 27, 2021

  • Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during the National Day celebration in Taipei, Taiwan, October 10, 2021, photo by Ann Wang/Reuters

    Commentary

    Taiwan Would Be Better Off Alone

    Relinquishing diplomatic partners could free Taiwan from an unwinnable competition with China and refocus attention on what really matters: reducing China's coercive power by strengthening relationships with powers that can truly help.

    Dec 23, 2021

  • Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2021

    As another extraordinary year draws to a close, we continue to believe that objective, nonpartisan research and analysis has a key role to play in navigating what continues to be a difficult time. Here are the 10 research projects that resonated most with rand.org readers in 2021.

    Dec 22, 2021

  • Jacqueline Burns, bottom right, with Ambassador Donald Booth, at an Internally Displaced Person camp in Darfur, Sudan, in 2016, over a map of Sudan, photo courtesy of Jacqueline Burns; images by oxygen and JeanUrsula/Getty Images; design by Chara Williams/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    Helping People Affected by Conflict: Q&A with Jacqueline Burns

    From the Air Force to Africa to RAND, Jacqueline Burns resolved to help people whose lives have been torn apart by conflict or disaster. As a senior policy analyst she wants to be a part of finding better solutions to the complex questions of peace and security.

    Dec 22, 2021