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.

  • 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

    Jan 3, 2022

    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.

  • Multimedia

    Combating Extremism in the U.S. Military

    Dec 10, 2021

    RAND military sociologist Marek N. Posard describes the threat of extremism in the U.S. military, the ways in which extremism develops, and strategies the military could use to combat extremism.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • Houthi fighters during a gathering of Houthi loyalists on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen, July 8, 2020, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

    Report

    Understanding the Iran Threat Network

    The Iran Threat Network is a formidable force of tens of thousands of fighters from non-Iranian, nonstate proxy and partner groups. How does this network factor into Tehran's political and military strategy?

    Apr 14, 2021

  • A New Vision for the Middle East

    Multimedia

    A New Vision for the Middle East

    Dalia Dassa Kaye and Linda Robinson discuss their study, Reimagining U.S. Strategy in the Middle East, which explores fundamental questions, such as whether and how the United States should engage the region.

    Apr 13, 2021

  • Social networking service, streaming video, communication network, photo by metamorworks/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Intelligence Community's Deadly Bias Toward Classified Sources

    Even when relevant data is publicly available, U.S. intelligence analysts are not including it in their analytic products during their routine course of business. This willful ignorance of publicly available information is hurting U.S. national security.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft return after a long-range raid from Combined Arms Training Center, Camp Fuji, Japan to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Nov. 4, 2016, photo by Sergeant Major Michael Cato/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    The United States Considers Reinforcing Its 'Pacific Sanctuary'

    Soon after he took office, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered a posture review to ensure that the U.S. global footprint is the right size to support U.S. strategy. Japan's continued importance to U.S. strategy and Tokyo's increased willingness to be more proactive in the security domain mean that Japan could see an uptick in U.S. military presence after this review is complete.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Japan's Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi at a joint press conference in Tokyo, March 16, 2021, photo by Yomiuri Shimbun/Reuters

    Commentary

    Biden Puts Japan at the Center of U.S. Policy in Asia

    Addressing the Chinese threat in the Indo-Pacific requires working with allies and partners. So far, Japan appears to be one of the priority relationships for the Biden administration.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • Call with the Experts: The North Korean Nuclear Threat

    Multimedia

    The North Korean Nuclear Threat

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, Jeffrey Hiday, director of Media Relations at RAND, is joined by Bruce Bennett, RAND adjunct international/defense researcher, Bruce Bechtol, professor of political science at Angelo State University, and Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, for a discussion about the North Korean nuclear threat.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • North Korea displays what appears to be its largest intercontinental ballistic missile during a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers' Party, October 10, 2020, photo by KCNA

    Report

    Countering the Risks of North Korean Nuclear Weapons

    There is a growing gap between North Korea's nuclear weapon threat and South Korean and U.S. capabilities to defeat it. Because these capabilities will take years to develop, attention should be focused on where the threat could be in the mid to late 2020s and strategy options that could be employed to counter it.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Examining Career and Technical Education in National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Programs

    The authors examined career and technical education opportunities for participants in the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program, a residential, quasi-military program for youth ages 16-18 who are experiencing difficulty in traditional high school.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • Army Contracting Command-New Jersey's Maj. Bonny Dylewski and Capt. Reginald Gholston take part in the contingency contracting administration services mission training Oct. 29, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    Army Analytic Capabilities

    The U.S. Army faces two analytical and management challenges because its data are locked away in siloed databases and it lacks access to modern analytical tools. Is there a simple and effective way to overcome these challenges?

    Apr 12, 2021

  • Blog

    Trust in the CDC, Teaching Students with Disabilities, Russian Mercenaries: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses declining trust in the CDC, insights from educators about teaching students with disabilities, Russian mercenaries, and more.

    Apr 9, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Tailoring Medical Standards for Air Force Personnel

    To serve in the U.S. military, individuals must meet medical standards to ensure that they are fit to serve. The authors explore the implications to U.S. Air Force culture of tailoring such standards to expand or limit the pool of qualified personnel.

    Apr 8, 2021

  • A man holds an assault rifle as Proud Boys gather in support of Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse and Aaron 'Jay' Danielson in Portland, Oregon, September 26, 2020, photo by Alex Milan Tracy/Reuters

    Commentary

    Don't Muddy the Objectives on Fighting Domestic Extremism

    The U.S. Capitol attack on January 6 has fueled momentum for new approaches and laws to counter attacks by domestic violent extremists. It will be crucial for policymakers to reckon with what new laws and law enforcement can achieve, and what they can get wrong.

    Apr 7, 2021

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the Prime Minister's office in Tokyo, Japan, March 16, 2021, photo by Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Japan-U.S. Summit and Cooperation with South Korea

    The Biden administration's goal of renewed Japan–South Korea–U.S. trilateralism is laudable and promising, but substantial obstacles remain. The passage of time alone is not going to strengthen ties between South Korea and Japan. Washington may have to play a leading role if it wants to see relations between Seoul and Tokyo improve.

    Apr 6, 2021

  • A silhouette of a jogger couple in sunrise, photo by LSOphoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto.

    Report

    A Review of the Air Force Fitness Assessment

    This report presents an overview of research relevant to U.S. Air Force fitness assessment components to ensure readiness of personnel, support the National Defense Strategy, and promote a culture of health and well-being across the U.S. Air Force.

    Apr 6, 2021

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Improving Behavioral Health Care for Remote Service Members: Three Key Priorities

    Service members who are geographically remote from a military treatment facility may face unique challenges accessing high-quality behavioral health care. RAND research identified three key priority areas for the U.S. Department of Defense.

    Apr 5, 2021

  • Blog

    Understanding Violent Extremism, 'Blockships,' VMT Fee: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on firsthand accounts of violent extremism, lessons from the recent blockage in the Suez Canal, and if a federal Vehicle Miles Travel fee could replace the gas tax.

    Apr 2, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    Interviews with Former Extremists Reveal Multiple Paths to Developing Extreme Ideologies; Rejection of Extremism Often ...

    People who radicalize to extremist ideologies often are triggered by negative life events or exposure to propaganda, and those who escape from extreme groups frequently are aided by an individual or group that intervenes to help them reject the philosophy.

    Apr 2, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Forecasts and Decisions: A Commentary on Lustick and Tetlock 2021

    This article is a commentary on a paper by Lustick and Tetlock (2021), on forecasting, decisionmaking, and the intelligence community.

    Apr 2, 2021

  • Male veteran talks to loan officer at a bank, along with his father, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Announcement

    $10 Million Gift from Epstein Family Foundation Establishes RAND Veterans Policy Research Institute

    The nonprofit RAND Corporation has launched the RAND Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute to generate creative strategies and interventions to address issues facing veterans and military families.

    Apr 1, 2021

  • Light catches the security fence around the U.S. Capitol, erected in the wake of the January 6th attack but now scheduled to be removed, in Washington, D.C., March 15, 2021, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Report

    Violent Extremism in America: Firsthand Accounts

    The January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol emphasized the need for more research to inform violent extremism prevention and deradicalization strategies. Interviews with former extremists and their family members shed light on what leads people to join—and later leave—extremist groups.

    Apr 1, 2021