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.

  • Lt. Col. Scott Morley, commander of the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, administers the oath of enlistment to 40 future soldiers, August 26, 2018, at Chase Field, photo by Mike Scheck/U.S. Army

    Essay

    Army Enlistment Waivers in the Age of Legal Marijuana

    Oct 27, 2021

    Army recruits with a history of marijuana use can ask for a waiver like those who have diabetes or insomnia. They are just as likely as others to complete their first term and make sergeant, and are less likely to leave the Army for health or performance reasons.

  • Paramilitary soldiers walk past the Pakistan Parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan, April 10, 2015, photo by Faisal Mahmood/Reuters

    Commentary

    Negotiating with TTP—A Different Perspective

    Oct 27, 2021

    America's withdrawal and the Taliban's swift return to power in Afghanistan could be a primary force in shaping the trajectory of the continuing armed struggle with Pakistan's Taliban. It may be time for Islamabad to consider whether to renew efforts aimed at reaching a political settlement.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (R) and Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne (L) participate in the inaugural Quad leaders meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. President Joe Biden, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in a virtual meeting in Sydney, Australia, March 13, 2021, photo by Dean Lewins/Reuters

    Commentary

    What to Expect When You're Expecting So Much from the Quad

    In March, the leaders of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia met virtually for their first Quadrilateral Security Dialogue group meeting. What are the goals of the Quad? What tangibly can or will the Quad do and what does it look like in practice?

    Mar 31, 2021

  • The modern creative communication and internet network connect in smart city, photo by Blue Planet Studio/AdobeStock

    Multimedia

    U.S.-Japan Alliance Conference: Advancing Cooperation on Defense and Strategic Technology

    In its ongoing U.S.-Japan Alliance conference series, RAND hosted two virtual events in February 2021 to tackle important topics facing the United States and Japan.

    Mar 31, 2021

  • The Sodium Guidestar at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Starfire Optical Range resides on a 6,240 foot hilltop at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, photo by U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Third Offset Fostered Real Intellectual Change Within DoD

    In 2014, U.S. defense leaders began promoting the Third Offset, a strategy centered on the potential of technology to offset Chinese and Russian advances. Its core principles were adopted by the 2018 National Defense Strategy. DoD started to look at security problems in a new light and develop closer ties with Silicon Valley.

    Mar 31, 2021

  • A Special Tactics Airman surveys a target following close air support training during RED FLAG-Alaska 18-3 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, August 16, 2018, photo by Tech. Sgt. Sandra Welch/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Geographic Barriers to Behavioral Health Care May Put Remote Service Members at Risk

    Remote service members with PTSD, depression, or substance use disorder face challenges accessing high-quality behavioral health care through the Military Health System. They see primary care and private-sector providers for such care and are less likely to receive psychotherapy.

    Mar 31, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Streamlining Cost Estimation for Large Department of Defense Organizations

    Researchers created a prototype tool using data from the Full Cost of Manpower model to help manpower decisionmakers produce consistent and repeatable cost estimations to understand the budget implications of alternative total force mixes.

    Mar 31, 2021

  • Stranded ship Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, after it ran aground, in the Suez Canal, March 28, 2021, photo by Suez Canal Authority/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Suez Grounding Was an Accident. The Next Blocked Chokepoint Might Not Be

    The recent spectacle of a hulking container ship wedged into the Suez Canal is a reminder of how vulnerable maritime transportation is to blocked chokepoints. The fragility of maritime lifelines may encourage the use of this tactic in future conflict.

    Mar 30, 2021

  • People walk at a street market in Sanaa, Yemen, February 5, 2021, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

    Commentary

    Congressional Options to Advance Peace in Yemen

    An enduring peace in Yemen will require addressing Yemen's most immediate needs while working to develop its economic, political, and security institutions. U.S. lawmakers have the tools to help shape this effort and could help end the conflict and bring stability to Yemen.

    Mar 29, 2021

  • A hand with megaphone spreading social media news on Coronavirus infection, photo by Feodora Chiosea/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Towards an AI-Based Counter-Disinformation Framework

    Artificial intelligence is being used to develop sophisticated malign information on social media. But AI also provides opportunities to strengthen responses to these threats and can foster wider resilience to disinformation.

    Mar 29, 2021

  • Multimedia

    Multimedia

    Reimagining U.S. Strategy in the Middle East Panel Discussion

    The start of a new U.S. administration offers an opportunity to rethink some of the fundamental premises underlying American policymaking in the Middle East.

    Mar 29, 2021

  • One soldier comforts a depressed soldier, photo by A1C Kathryn R.C. Reaves/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Perceived Retaliation Against Military Sexual Assault Victims

    Fear of retaliation is often identified as a barrier to reporting sexual assault in the military. To improve the likelihood that victims will choose to engage in response services after an assault, it is critical to understand and mitigate the consequences they face, including the risk of retaliation.

    Mar 29, 2021

  • People are silhouetted as they hold mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a binary code and a Russian flag, in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 29, 2014, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Report

    PSAs Might Prevent Foreign Disinformation from Taking Hold

    Tests with focus groups suggest that Americans are vulnerable to Russian-made memes. The participants responded positively to a public service announcement about foreign election interference, especially after they learned that they had just viewed content from Russia designed to breed dissension.

    Mar 29, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    The U.S.-Japan Alliance and Rapid Change on the Korean Peninsula: Proceedings from a Pair of Conferences

    Few areas of the world are more geostrategically important to the United States and Japan than the Korean Peninsula. These conference proceedings explore how changes on the Korean Peninsula are seen by observers in Japan and the United States.

    Mar 26, 2021

  • Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Christiansen, a member of the Para-Commandos, U.S. Special Operations Command’s parachute team, jumps out of an HC-130J Combat King II aircraft over Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 15, 2019, photo by Air Force Airman 1st Class Dwane Young/U.S. Department of Defense

    Testimony

    Special Operations Forces Culture and Climate

    What the nation asks of its special operations forces shapes who they are and what they do. Two decades of counterterrorism focus have led to an unbalanced and overused force. How can policymakers and military leaders rebalance the force to meet changing demands and address systemic issues such as its lack of diversity?

    Mar 26, 2021

  • Finger hovering over an illuminated button with a radiation warning sign, photo by davidhills/Getty Images

    Multimedia

    RAND Remote: A Disarming Mission, A RAND Conversation with William Perry and Tom Collina

    In this RAND Remote conversation, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Tom Collina, director of policy at Ploughshares Fund, discuss nuclear executive authority and topics covered in their book, The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump.

    Mar 25, 2021

  • Hawaiian Electric contractors deliver six 159-ton generators to the 50-megawatt power plant being constructed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, July 20, 2017, photo courtesy of Hawaiian Electric Company via U.S. Defense Department

    Commentary

    The Pentagon Could Help Improve Resilience of the U.S. Electric Grid

    The resilience and robustness of the U.S. electric grid needs to be improved, especially given the likely increased occurrence and magnitude of natural disasters due to climate change. This is where government entities that operate large facilities in the United States, such as the Department of Defense, can potentially play a role.

    Mar 25, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Independent Evaluation of the Transportation Working Capital Fund: Assessment and Recommendations to Improve Effectiveness and Efficiency

    The authors assess the financial viability and current structure of the Transportation Working Capital Fund, which funds U.S. Transportation Command operations, and recommend ways to restructure the fund to improve its effectiveness and efficiency.

    Mar 25, 2021

  • People standing in front of a Twitter logo, photo illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

    Report

    Pro-Ukraine Activists on Twitter Can Help Counter Russian Influence

    Many pro-Ukraine activists surveyed on Twitter support the United States and the European Union and oppose Russia and its influence on Ukraine. They have used Twitter—and other social media and offline channels—to help counter Russian influence. Half said they would be open to receiving social media training.

    Mar 24, 2021

  • Voices From the Middle East

    Multimedia

    Voices From the Middle East

    Shira Efron, coauthor of the RAND study Alternatives in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, describes several surprising findings from the report.

    Mar 23, 2021

  • Disaster Survivor Assistance Team (DSAT) members assess damage in the area following Hurricane Laura. Photo by Dominick Del Vecchio / FEMA

    Brochure

    Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center: 2019–2020 Annual Report

    To support the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) across its missions, the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC). This is the center's 2019-2020 annual report.

    Mar 22, 2021

  • U.S. Soldiers with the 46th Military Police Company, Michigan National Guard, at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., February 25, 2021, photo by 2nd Lt. Ashley Goodwin/U.S. Army National Guard

    Commentary

    The National Guard Can Do It, but That Doesn't Mean It's a Good Idea

    Should the National Guard provide an enduring quick reaction force for Washington, D.C., as apparently recommended in a recent report to Congress? Policymakers might ask themselves whether using the National Guard for this mission is actually the best solution.

    Mar 19, 2021