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.

  • Soldiers participate in training at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, June 5, 2021, photo by Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh/U.S. Army

    Research Brief

    Should the U.S. Military Be Less Predictable?

    Aug 11, 2021

    The United States might strengthen deterrence by becoming more operationally unpredictable. Several approaches could work to increase adversary uncertainty about how U.S. forces would fight, but there are risks and costs.

  • The east front of the U.S. Capitol seen through a shattered door on January 7, 2021, the day after the riot, photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

    Essay

    Violent Extremism in America: Pathways to Deradicalization

    Sep 8, 2021

    Ideologically inspired violence is a serious threat to U.S. national security. Research on effective strategies to fight it has often failed to engage the people who might know best: those who have lived that life and left it behind. Researchers partnered with antiextremism support groups to change that.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Military Drawdown Could Affect Gains in Service Member Diversity

    Planned, large-scale personnel reductions in the U.S. military could inadvertently reduce gains made in the racial and gender diversity of the force since the 1990s.

    Oct 26, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Needs to Either Boost Defense Funding or Limit Military Commitments

    If policymakers wish to maintain the United States' international commitments, then to bolster deterrence the U.S. should increase its ground forces in Europe, accelerate modernization — especially of air and naval forces — and invest more in training, maintenance, and advanced munitions.

    Oct 19, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Family Is Greatest Factor That Causes Youth to Reject Violent Extremism

    Family influence is more important than peer groups in dampening a young person's propensity toward becoming a terrorist. Policies aimed at undermining radicalization should include teaching parents how to discuss detrimental messages on social media, as well as building programs to strengthen families' influence on youth and ties to communities.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Coalition Against the Islamic State Must Degrade the Group's Finances and Leadership

    Even before 2012, much was known about how the Islamic State financed and organized itself, established territorial control, and responded to airpower. That knowledge offers new insights into the group's weaknesses and guidance for combating it.

    Sep 28, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Faces Gap Between Objectives and Reality in Syria and Iraq

    There is a substantial gap between American national objectives and a realistic appreciation of the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq. These objectives need to be based on frank appraisals of the situation, even if those assessments defy Americans' sense of progress.

    Sep 24, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    China's Military Modernization Increasingly Challenges U.S. Defense Capabilities in Asia

    Although China continues to lag behind the United States in terms of aggregate military hardware and operational skills, it has improved its capabilities relative to those of the U.S. in many critical areas. Moreover, China does not need to catch up fully in order to challenge U.S. ability to conduct effective military operations near the Chinese mainland.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    With Upcoming 2016 Election, Global Power Shifts Will Face the Next U.S. President

    Chaos in the Middle East, Russian intervention, Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, climate change, and a decline in U.S. military readiness have raised questions about how America envisions its role in a turbulent geopolitical environment. Nevertheless, the world is not falling apart and these difficulties are not beyond the United States' ability to manage.

    Jul 23, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Israelis Stand to Gain $120 Billion, Palestinians $50 Billion in Two-State Solution Over Next Decade

    The Israeli economy stands to gain more than $120 billion over the next decade in a two-state solution, a possible resolution of the long-standing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in which the Palestinians gain independence and relations between the Israelis and their neighbors normalize. Palestinians would gain $50 billion, with average per-capita income rising by about 36 percent.

    Jun 8, 2015

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel holds a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Feb. 5, 2015

    News Release

    Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Elected to RAND Board of Trustees

    Chuck Hagel, the only enlisted soldier and Vietnam War veteran to serve as secretary of defense, has been elected to the RAND Board of Trustees. He served as the 24th U.S. Secretary of Defense from February 2013 to February 2015 and as a U.S. senator, representing his home state of Nebraska, from 1997 to 2009.

    May 27, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Coast Guard Sexual Assault, Harassment Less Frequent Than in Most Other U.S. Military Services

    The rate of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the U.S. Coast Guard is significantly lower than in most other U.S. military services.

    May 27, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Complete Results from Major Survey of U.S. Military Sexual Assault, Harassment Released

    In addition to validating the initial findings from the RAND Military Workplace Study published in December 2014, the final results reveal unprecedented detail about the frequency of criminal sexual assault against service members, the nature and context of those assaults, and how they differ for men and women in each branch of service.

    May 1, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    China Not a Threat to U.S. National Security Interests in Africa

    The United States should keep China's activities in Africa in perspective. While commercial competition is almost certain, there is little ground for geopolitical and ideological rivalry. The leaders of the two nations disagree about political norms but both seek stability in Africa.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Sleep Problems Prevalent for Military Members Post-Deployment

    Improving the quality and quantity of U.S. military members' sleep following deployment could help reduce other health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, a lack of consistent and transparent sleep-related policies may impede efforts to promote sleep health among service members.

    Apr 6, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    China's Military Modernization Efforts Fall Short; Significant Weaknesses Remain

    Although the drive by the People's Republic of China to modernize its military has been underway for more than two decades, significant weaknesses remain in two broad categories: institutional and combat capabilities.

    Feb 16, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    New Book About 'Eurojihad' Explores Evolution of Radical Networks Threatening Europe, U.S.

    Europe is central to Islamist terror organizations and the sources of radicalization of these individuals go far deeper than the current situation in Iraq and Syria. European governments are moving beyond policing and security measures by addressing the factors that encourage and facilitate radicalization and recruitment — approaches that might also be of value to the United States.

    Jan 14, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Initial Results from Major Survey of U.S. Military Sexual Assault, Harassment

    The DoD selected RAND to conduct a congressionally-mandated study that estimates the number of U.S. service members who experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or gender discrimination in the past year. Approximately 170,000 service members, or 30 percent of the 560,000 invited, answered questions for the study, one of the largest of its kind.

    Dec 4, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    China and U.S. Can Reduce the Risk of War by Learning from History's Blunders

    The history of wars caused by misjudgments reveals that leaders relied on cognitive models, or simplified representations of their worlds, that were seriously at odds with objective reality. China and the U.S. could learn from historical strategic blunders regarding war and peace, and four examples of decisions that turned out well.

    Dec 2, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    Community-Based Mental Health Providers Need More Preparation to Better Care for Veterans

    Most community-based mental health providers are not well prepared to take care of the special needs of military veterans and their families. A national survey of mental health providers found that few providers met criteria for military cultural competency or used evidence-based approaches to treat problems commonly seen among veterans.

    Nov 12, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    Military Retirement Compensation System Can Be Improved to Cut Costs and Improve Equity

    The U.S. Department of Defense can change its retirement system in ways that will save between $1.8 and $4.4 billion a year, while extending benefits to more veterans and maintaining its attraction as a recruiting tool.

    Nov 12, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    Military Veteran Employment Valued, but Challenges Still Need to Be Addressed

    Businesses report that U.S. military veterans make excellent employees, but companies still experience challenges locating and hiring them, including continuing difficulty understanding the match between military skills and civilian job requirements.

    Nov 10, 2014