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. Airmen take off in an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 30, 2018, photo by Alejandro Pena/U.S. AIr Force

    Commentary

    Force Planning in the New Era of Strategic Competition

    Mar 28, 2020

    If the United States means to take a return to strategic competition seriously, then force planning must evolve beyond the post–Cold War approach. A new framework would let users test their intuition and identify areas of advantage while avoiding the risk of persisting in competitions that impose onerous costs.

  • An empty market after a curfew was imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, March 18, 2020

    Commentary

    Economic Consequences of COVID-19 in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. National Security

    Apr 1, 2020

    The global COVID-19 pandemic will have a dramatic impact on economies across the globe, but the Middle East may be particularly affected given the simultaneous fall in oil prices. The economic consequences of this pandemic are also likely to affect U.S. interests in the region.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to deliver his third State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2020, photo by Doug Mills/Pool via Reuters

    Blog

    State of the Union 2020: Insights from RAND

    The final State of the Union address of President Trump's four-year term may be viewed through the lens of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the evening. But the speech touched on a range of policy challenges that will remain, regardless of how politics play out in 2020.

    Feb 5, 2020

  • Senior Airman Ken McDougall shows Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein the results of code Goldfein wrote during a visit to Project Kessel Run in Boston, Massachusetts, December 6, 2018, photo by Jerry Saslav/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    How to Actually Recruit Talent for the AI Challenge

    In the global race to dominate AI technologies, talent is everything. The Pentagon should consider redesigning its personnel policies to accommodate a much greater degree of speed and permeability in its cyber and AI workforce, regardless of what pay and benefits it offers.

    Feb 5, 2020

  • An M1075 palletized load system truck and an M915 line-haul tractor are equipped with add-on kits that transform the vehicles to be fully autonomous, photo by Bruce Huffman/U.S. Army

    Report

    How the Army Could Use Automated Driving Technology

    Fully automated convoys are not yet feasible, but U.S. Army R&D communities have been testing automated truck concepts in which manned and unmanned vehicles perform cooperatively in convoy operations. What are the potential benefits and risks of deploying this technology over the next five years?

    Feb 5, 2020

  • U.S. Army M1 Abrams tanks perform a strategic convoy maneuver at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, May 2, 2018, photo by Spc. Andrew McNeil/U.S. Army

    Report

    Understanding the Deterrent Impact of U.S. Overseas Forces

    After Russian aggression in Ukraine, and with rising U.S.-China tensions, the question of whether U.S. overseas military presence can enhance deterrence remains central. What does the evidence suggest?

    Feb 4, 2020

  • The West Coast Aerospace Forum provides a rare chance to engage with some of the Air Force's most senior and experienced leaders as well as top civilian national security experts in a setting that encourages debate, discussion, and audience interaction.

    Report

    An Air and Space Force Designed for the Future

    At the fifth annual West Coast Aerospace Forum, some of the Air Force's most senior leaders joined RAND researchers and other top national security experts to discuss important issues related to the future of air and space power.

    Feb 4, 2020

  • Report

    Improving Behavioral Health Care for U.S. Army Personnel: Identifying Predictors of Treatment Outcomes

    This report identifies factors associated with changes in outcomes for soldiers who received Army behavioral health specialty care and provides recommendations to improve care and outcomes for posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

    Feb 3, 2020

  • Spc. Jack Buckwalter, a mental health specialist, provides triage to a soldier during a behavioral health assessment.

    Research Brief

    Improving Behavioral Health Treatment Outcomes for U.S. Army Personnel: Predictors of Treatment Outcomes

    In this brief, RAND researchers, in support of Army efforts to provide the highest-quality behavioral health care possible, identify factors associated with changes in outcomes for soldiers who receive Army behavioral health specialty care.

    Feb 3, 2020

  • Blog

    Community Schools, Brexit, Coronavirus: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the promise of community schools, the costs of uncertainty after Brexit, the coronavirus, and more.

    Jan 31, 2020

  • Members of the Western Approaches Tactical Unit prepare for a wargame in Derby House, Liverpool, UK, March 18, 1945, photo by Parnall, C H (Lt)/Imperial War Museums © IWM (A 27823)

    Commentary

    Book Review: 'A Game of Birds and Wolves' by Simon Parkin

    In A Game of Birds and Wolves, journalist Simon Parkin reports on a long overlooked piece of World War II's Battle of the Atlantic. Captain Gilbert Roberts enlisted the Women's Royal Naval Service to build and run a game modeling a two-sided tactical fight between British escorts and German U-boats.

    Jan 30, 2020

  • Engineer showing apprentice how to use drill in factory

    Research Brief

    Understanding skills gaps in the European defence sector

    This study developed an overview of the existing and future defence-skills landscape in the EU, identifying and analysing the skills gaps and assessing the causes of these gaps.

    Jan 30, 2020

  • Icebergs and ice in the Arctic Sea, photo by Explora_2005/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Today's Arctic Diplomacy Can't Handle Tomorrow's Problems

    The international structures that have helped address many Arctic problems through negotiation and cooperation are insufficient for the military and security challenges brought on by climate change. A new forum is needed to address military and security issues in the region.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 19, 2019, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Report

    What Provokes Putin's Russia?

    Even with an understanding of what Russia considers to be redlines, predicting its reactions is challenging. An analysis of past instances of Russian escalation—and instances when redlines were crossed but Russia did not respond—offers guidance for U.S. and NATO deterrence efforts.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Evaluating Public Awareness Campaigns to Promote Military and Veteran Mental Health

    This brief describes the results of an interim evaluation that examined the scope, content, and dissemination of mental health public awareness campaigns. RAND researchers conducted a comprehensive evaluation of four such efforts.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Real Warriors Campaign: Findings and Recommendations

    This brief is one in a series examining mental health public awareness campaigns' messages, consistency of messaging in their materials, and tools used to deliver content to audiences. This brief discusses materials from the Real Warrior Campaign.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Veterans Crisis Line: Findings and Recommendations

    This brief is one in a series examining mental health public awareness campaigns' messages, consistency of messaging in their materials, and tools used to deliver content to audiences. This brief discusses materials from the Veterans Crisis Line.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Recovery Month: Findings and Recommendations

    This brief is one in a series examining mental health public awareness campaigns' messages, consistency of messaging in their materials, and tools used to deliver content to audiences. This brief discusses materials from Recovery Month.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Make the Connection: Findings and Recommendations

    This brief is one in a series examining mental health public awareness campaigns' messages, consistency of messaging in their materials, and tools used to deliver content to audiences. This brief discusses materials from the Make the Connection.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • usa, dog tag, memorial, veterans, day, tags, july 4th, american, wood, wooden, military, army, dog, flag, red, blue, tag, honor, states, patriotic, america, chain, background, veteran, freedom, patriot, holiday, courage, patriotism

    Report

    Cross-Agency Evaluation of DoD, VA, and HHS Mental Health Public Awareness Campaigns: Analysis of Campaign Scope, Content, and Reach

    This report evaluates efforts by four public awareness campaigns to overcome negative perceptions and promote awareness of mental health disorders and their treatment, with a focus on military and veteran populations.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • British and European Union flags in a cloudy sky, photo by themotioncloud/Getty Images

    Report

    Further Trade Uncertainty Due to Brexit Could Cost UK Billions

    The UK's official departure from the EU only ends the first phase of trade uncertainty related to Brexit. Costs to the UK economy are likely to continue during the UK–EU renegotiation period and will increase over time. By the end of 2020, UK GDP could decrease by $5.5 billion (£4.4bn).

    Jan 28, 2020

  • A projectile is fired during North Korea's missile tests in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Japan's North Korea Challenge in 2020

    North Korea began 2020 by announcing a shift toward a more hard-line foreign policy approach. While this is bad news for all countries in the region, it is particularly unwelcome for Japan.

    Jan 27, 2020