National Security and Terrorism

Featured

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

  • Wrecks of Russian military vehicles on the front line as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, near Kyiv, Ukraine, March 29, 2022, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Will to Fight, Lessons from Ukraine

    In Ukraine, ferocious defense has stalled the invaders. Even if Kyiv falls, continued resistance seems likely. Ukraine has reminded the world that national unity in the face of existential threats, self-reliance strengthened by collective defense, and courage coupled with compassion can help underdog populations resist the mightiest military forces.

    Mar 29, 2022

  • Ukrainian soldiers inspect civilian vehicles they said Russian troops used to create a barrier as they took up a position outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 29, 2022, photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Ukrainian Military Has Defied Expectations. Here Is How U.S. Security Aid Contributed

    Ukraine's military was unprepared and largely ineffective when Russia's military seized Crimea in 2014. By 2022, Ukraine appears to have overcome at least some of the earlier challenges. Did U.S. security assistance make the Ukrainian military more effective?

    Mar 29, 2022

  • Ukrainian Marines take part in multinational Sea Breeze 2021 military exercises involving more than 30 countries near Kherson, Ukraine, July 2, 2021.

    Multimedia

    Armed Resistance in Ukraine

    RAND senior political scientist Stephen J. Flanagan discusses the concept of a state-organized national resistance movement in Ukraine.

    Mar 29, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Impacts of Marine Corps Body Composition and Military Appearance Program (BCMAP) Standards on Individual Outcomes and Talent Management

    Researchers examine how the U.S. Marine Corps' Body Composition and Military Appearance Program and its associated policies drive individual behavior -- namely those related to disordered eating -- of marines and specifically of women and people of color.

    Mar 28, 2022

  • Smoke rises after shelling near Kyiv, Ukraine, March 24, 2022, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia Destroyed Grozny and Aleppo—Is Kyiv Next?

    Russia used a brutal approach in Grozny and Aleppo, and may use a similar approach against Ukraine's cities. But it could be less effective or riskier in Ukraine. Ukraine's determination to resist is strong, and the West is supplying an impressive array of advanced weaponry and intelligence support.

    Mar 28, 2022

  • Blog

    Insights on Russia's War in Ukraine, Global Citizenship, Vaccination Equity: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Russia's war on Ukraine, medication treatment for patients with opioid use disorder, promoting global citizenship in America, and more.

    Mar 25, 2022

  • Radio dial showing shortwave, medium wave, and FM frequencies, photo by Photonavor/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Why the BBC World Service's New Ukrainian Shortwave Service Matters

    Despite its age, shortwave remains an enduring tool in the global fight against disinformation. It can travel vast distances, cannot be hacked, and is notoriously difficult to jam. Perhaps it's time for the United States to consider whether it should follow the BBC's lead in restarting shortwave services to Ukraine and southeastern Russia.

    Mar 25, 2022

  • Marine Corps recruits conduct warm-up stretches to prepare for a fitness test at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, July 11, 2019, photo by Gunnery Sgt. Tyler Hlavac/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    Inequitable Marine Corps Body Composition Policies and Their Effect on Health

    The Marine Corps Body Composition and Military Appearance Program is potentially harming Marines. The Marine Corps should consider pausing the policy while it further examines its effects on individual health and considers developing a new health-focused policy that includes requirements designed to reflect the diversity of the force.

    Mar 25, 2022

  • Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force amphibious rapid deployment unit conducts a drill on Tanegashima Island, November 25, 2021, photo by Kyodo via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Japan's Wake Up Call

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine has drawn concern and comparison to what China may have in mind for Taiwan. Given China's history of provocations, it could behoove Japanese leaders to devote renewed attention to how they would deal with a Taiwan crisis, especially as it could include an attack on Japan.

    Mar 24, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Remote Sensing for Natural Disaster Recovery: Lessons Learned from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico

    We present how remote sensing data was incorporated into the assessment and planning process, focusing on the applications for Puerto Rico's natural resources in the months following the hurricanes.

    Mar 23, 2022

  • Spc. Kiana Malbas, an automated logistical specialist, performs a two-mile run during a diagnostic Army Combat Fitness Test in Los Angeles, California, July 17, 2021, photo by SFC Christopher Oposnow/U.S. Army

    Report

    Evidence to Support New Army Combat Fitness Test Is Incomplete

    The U.S. Army has a new fitness test for the first time in 40 years. A review finds that more evidence is needed to prove that all six test events adequately predict performance on combat tasks and that combat standards are a necessary metric for all Army jobs. Women, National Guard troops, and others are passing the test at lower rates.

    Mar 23, 2022

  • News Release

    News Release

    More Evidence Needed to Support Performance Goals of Current Army Combat Fitness Test; Women, Other Groups Pass the ...

    As the U.S. Army rolls out its Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), more evidence is needed to prove that all six test events adequately predict performance on combat tasks or reduce injury risks and that combat task performance is a necessary metric for all Army jobs.

    Mar 23, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Optimizing the Role of Military Behavioral Health Technicians: A Survey of Behavioral Health Technicians and Mental Health Providers

    RAND researchers surveyed military behavioral health technicians (BHTs) and licensed mental health providers about BHTs' contributions, training and supervision, and job satisfaction, as well as barriers to integrating them into clinical practice.

    Mar 22, 2022

  • Sgt. Dasuni Nelson, a behavioral health technician assigned to 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade behavioral health team, assists Spc. Autumn Corban, a combat medic with 239th Military Police Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade, as she writes down reasons of gratitude for another U.S. Army Soldier.

    Research Brief

    Behavioral Health Technicians: Extending the Reach of Military Behavioral Health Care

    Behavioral health technicians are enlisted service members who work alongside licensed mental health providers. They serve as care extenders, helping the Military Health System improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its behavioral health care.

    Mar 22, 2022

  • Rescuers work next to a building damaged by Russian air strikes in central Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 14, 2022, photo by Vitalii Hnidyi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Duty Bound to Disaster: Beware the Imperative in Foreign Policymaking

    Appeals for bolder action in Ukraine will understandably only grow more intense as the appalling humanitarian toll mounts. But imperative-driven action almost always leads countries astray—and in the days and weeks ahead, it will be critical for the United States to stay alert for its symptoms.

    Mar 22, 2022

  • A woman from Ukraine listens to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's speech on a phone, at a refugee shelter after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 28, 2022, photo by Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Will to Fight in the Age of Social Media

    Social media messaging has played a decisive role in strengthening Ukraine's will to fight—arguably the single most important factor in war—against Russia.

    Mar 22, 2022

  • An artist rendering of the future Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, illustration by U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Making AUKUS Work

    In September 2021, President Biden announced the creation of AUKUS, a trilateral, experimental arrangement among the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom focused on defense technology. The barriers to success are numerous but the partnership could offer significant opportunities.

    Mar 22, 2022

  • A biohazard warning symbol and social media icons over a city, images by petrovv and soulcld/Getty Images; design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Social Media Can Provide Insights About Chemical Weapons Incidents

    Social media can be collected instantly, can tap into a massive pool of observers, and is remotely accessible. Researchers developed a new approach for analyzing social media data to derive insights about chemical incidents. They used chemical weapons employment in Syria as a test case.

    Mar 21, 2022

  • U.S. Marine Corps High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems with 3d Battalion, 12th Marines, 3d Marine Division simulate live-fire missions during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland, Australia, July 15, 2021. TS21 supports the U.S. National Defense Strategy by enhancing our ability to protect the homeland and provide combat-credible forces to address the full range of potential security concerns in the Indo-Pacific, photo by Lance Cpl. Ujian Gosun/U.S. Marine Corps

    Report

    Establishing a Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise for Australia

    Australia's 2020 Defence Strategic Update calls for increased weapon inventories across the Australian Defence Force. How can Australia's creation of a Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise be informed by comparable international case studies?

    Mar 21, 2022

  • mage grab from handout footage released by the Russia Ministry of Defense allegedly shows Russian soldiers holding weapons allegedly taken from the Ukrainian army weapon depot in the Kherson region, Ukraine, March 16, 2022, photo by EyePress News via Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Problems with Military Professionalization

    Even if Russia manages to take control of the territory of Ukraine, the Russian military's underlying problems with professionalization may handicap these occupiers in their efforts to maintain control over that country for the long-term.

    Mar 21, 2022