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. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on arming Ukraine, after touring a Lockheed Martin weapons factory in Troy, Alabama, May 3, 2022, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Escalation Fixation

    May 6, 2022

    Fears of global nuclear annihilation should have produced a concerted effort by all sides to keep the Ukraine conflict limited. But the focus on escalation—rather than ensuring Russia's defeat—has instead made the international security picture more precarious.

  • Scholars of the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program with Lisa Hallett, cofounder of "wear blue: run to remember," a nonprofit running community that honors the service and sacrifice of the U.S. military, August 2019, photo by Grant Miller/Bush Institute

    Research Brief

    Standards for Delivering High-Quality Care to Veterans with Invisible Wounds

    May 9, 2022

    Depression, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and substance use disorders interfere with veterans' employment, family life, community engagement, and well-being. There are effective treatments but also barriers to accessing them. A set of standards can help identify providers who serve veterans and deliver high-quality care.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 China's economic power is the foundation for its influence. This analysis offers lessons for the United States that can inform its response.

    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

  • Blog

    RAND Art + Data, 'Gray Market Care,' Supply Chains and Cyberattacks: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on RAND's new artist residency program, Art + Data; the prevalence of “gray market care” in the United States; supply chains' cyber problem; and more.

    Jun 25, 2021

  • 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

    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.

    Jun 25, 2021

  • Naval Research Lab Chemical Engineer Katherine Hinnant prepares to test an experimental aqueous film-forming foam to replace firefighting foams containing fluorine at the NRL in Washington, Sept. 23, 2019, photo by Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Manuel Najera/U.S. Department of Defense

    Commentary

    Arming the Department of Defense's Environmental Liabilities Program

    A new U.S. emphasis on sustainable environmental conditions is emerging just as budget pressures are increasing. The DoD could use this as an opportunity to develop a systematic approach to addressing its environmental liabilities.

    Jun 23, 2021

  • The former Colorado National Guard armory in Grand Junction, Colorado, is the new home of the Western Region One Source. The facility will help connect Western Slope service members, veterans, and their families with service providers, photo by Joanne Iglesias/Colorado National Guard

    Report

    An Evaluation of the Military OneSource Call Center in Select Groups of Callers

    Military OneSource operates a call center for military personnel and their family members. The center aims to provide resources and referrals to a variety of support and health services. Are callers satisfied overall with their experiences in using Military OneSource?

    Jun 23, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Persistent Challenges in UK Defence Equipment Acquisition

    This paper identifies underlying and cross-cutting factors that contribute to seemingly intractable challenges in defence equipment acquisition programmes. It also discusses measures that could help address these inefficiencies going forward.

    Jun 23, 2021

  • An Israeli soldier watches as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercept rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, off the southern Israeli coast, May 19, 2021, photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Real Tragedy of Israel's Wars in Gaza

    Israel's strategy in Gaza of repeatedly cutting back Hamas's military capabilities before it gets strong enough to do Israel any serious harm is known as “mowing the grass.” Unfortunately this approach offers no alternative to continued bloodshed.

    Jun 22, 2021

  • U.S. Army paratroopers move to an assembly area at Normandy Drop Zone, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, February 1, 2019, photo by Sgt. Taylor Hoganson/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Military Must Better Understand Sexual Assaults to Combat Them

    Sexual minorities in the U.S. military represent about 12 percent of the active-duty population. But they account for an estimated 43 percent of those who are sexually assaulted. This raises critical questions for the Pentagon as it tries to reduce the 20,000 sexual assaults in the ranks each year.

    Jun 22, 2021

  • North Carolina Air National Guard Airman Staff Sgt. Jay Benton transports equipment with a fork-lift at a warehouse in western North Carolina, June 18, 2020, photo by Sgt. Marcel Pugh/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Military and Defense-Related Supply Chains

    After the Cold War, U.S. logistics planners moved away from a focus on effectiveness to a focus on efficiency in the sense that little is left idle for significant periods and that commodities are delivered at minimum cost. The ability of the system to support the joint force in the event of major conflict is at best untested and could be problematic.

    Jun 22, 2021

  • A Russian Mi-8 military helicopter is seen through a window while flying during a rehearsal for the Navy Day parade in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 21, 2019, photo by Anton Vaganov/Reuters

    Report

    How Would NATO Compete with Russia?

    Western threat perceptions of Russia have risen sharply in recent years, bolstered by its acts of military aggression, political interference, and efforts to expand its global influence. What would be the strengths, weaknesses, and risks for the United States, NATO, and Russia in a large-scale war?

    Jun 22, 2021

  • Blog

    Stress Among U.S. Teachers, Russia's Global Interests, Investing in Equity: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on job-related stress among U.S. public school teachers, Russia's global interests, promoting social equity through infrastructure investments, and more.

    Jun 18, 2021

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Army: Where Cases are Highest and Why

    This research summarizes estimates of sexual assault risk and sexual harassment risk across U.S. Army installations and command, showing variation in these risks across groups of soldiers.

    Jun 18, 2021

  • A man in a subway tunnel wearing gloves and a hoodie, looking at a mobile phone. Photo by Lorado / Getty Images

    Multimedia

    Exiting Extremism: What Binds People to Extremist Groups and How Organizations Help Them Leave

    What leads people to join violent extremist groups? How and why do they exit these groups and stop believing in radical ideologies? This one-hour webinar explores the forces that pull individuals to extremist groups, the binds that keep them connected, and why leaving can be so difficult.

    Jun 18, 2021