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

  • 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

  • Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army Navy patrol at Woody Island, in the Paracel Archipelago, January 29, 2016, photo by China Stringer Network/Reuters

    Commentary

    Taiwan Isn't the Ukraine of the Indo-Pacific. Try Vietnam Instead

    Russia's war in Eastern Europe has prompted Indo-Pacific security watchers to draw comparisons between Ukraine's plight and that of Taiwan with regard to China. But the more-applicable analogy is a different Indo-Pacific country: Vietnam.

    Mar 21, 2022

  • Soldiers from the Rapid Response Forces Division during the NATO exercise GREEN GRIFFIN 21 in Lehnin, Germany, October 4, 2021, U.S. Army photo by Michele Wiencek

    Commentary

    Europe After the Ukraine War

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine has generated a massive backlash that is likely to endure even if the guns fall silent. What are the longer-term implications for Europe, and how will it affect European energy policy, military preparedness, and overall unity?

    Mar 21, 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

  • Military Opener 2

    Multimedia

    Conflict Escalation: How It Works

    RAND senior political scientist Samuel Charap describes two types of conflict escalation and methods for mitigating the broadening of the scope of a conflict.

    Mar 21, 2022

  • Blog

    Keeping Russians Informed, No-Fly Zone Policy, Telehealth: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to ensure Russians have access to accurate news about the war in Ukraine, strategic considerations for keeping a no-fly zone option on the table, treating pain conditions among U.S. service members, and more.

    Mar 18, 2022

  • NATO foreign ministers gather for a meeting following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 4, 2022, photo by Olivier Douliery/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    After Russia's Ukraine Invasion, Seven Assumptions the U.S. and NATO Allies Should Drop

    Given the realizations wrought by the recent invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its NATO allies might reconsider several assumptions and arguments that have limited conventional military deterrence in Europe. Making sure we are ready to defend and thus deter a larger war that must never be fought is critically important.

    Mar 18, 2022

  • Taiwanese soldiers walk down a street in this undated photo posted to Twitter on March 11, 2022 by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, photo courtesy of the Office of the President of Taiwan

    Commentary

    What the Invasion of Ukraine Might Teach Us About a Potential Taiwan Crisis

    Chinese leaders are learning from the conflict in Ukraine, not just by observing Russia's actions, but also the West's response. By also learning from the conflict, the United States, Taiwan, and other like-minded partners can help ensure that Beijing comes away from the current crisis with a greater appreciation of the risks that attacking Taiwan would entail.

    Mar 17, 2022

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a news conference for foreign media in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 12, 2022, photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    What Is Continuity of Government, and Why Does It Matter for Ukraine?

    As Ukraine continues to resist Russian occupation, future-focused planning could help it win a longer-term struggle to protect its legitimate government and deny Russia the political consolidation it seeks. Ensuring the continuity of Ukraine's democratically elected government could be a means of preserving national sovereignty moving forward.

    Mar 17, 2022

  • An empty airport terminal at Sheremetyevo International Airport after Aeroflot suspended most international flights in order to keep leased aircraft from being detained due to sanctions, in Moscow, Russia, March 8, 2022, photo by Artyom Geodakyan/Reuters

    Commentary

    Where Is Business in Russia?

    Businesses in Russia have little hope of making a full recovery and operating normally in the global economy unless the West lifts its extraordinary sanctions. Political and civic engagement may be essential to protect their value and the interests of shareholders and employees.

    Mar 16, 2022

  • President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine delivers a virtual address to Congress in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 16, 2022, photo by Sarahbeth Maney/Pool/Sipa USA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Why It Could Be a Strategic Mistake to Rule Out a No-Fly Zone Policy

    The United States has been willing to entertain many forms of support to Ukraine, but senior administration and congressional leaders have categorically ruled out declaring a no-fly zone over the country. While American policymakers are rightfully hesitant to implement a no-fly zone policy, it could be a strategic mistake to say so in public.

    Mar 16, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Identifying Opportunities to Recruit More Individuals Above the Age of 21 into the U.S. Army

    Older recruits, as a group, score higher on Army qualification tests and are more likely to reenlist and to be promoted. RAND researchers examined the potential for recruiting individuals older than 21 and derived actionable recommendations.

    Mar 16, 2022

  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Lucky Lusterio performs a thoracic spine mobility test on Staff Sgt. Shaniqua Anderson at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, September 21, 2017, photo by Michelle Gigante/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Quality and Safety of Pain Care in the Military Health System

    Pain is the leading cause of disability among active-duty service members. Given its potential impact on well-being and force readiness, providing high-quality treatment is a strategic priority. An assessment of outpatient care for acute and chronic pain, including opioid prescribing, can help the MHS continue to improve care.

    Mar 16, 2022

  • Residents flee from the town of Irpin, Ukraine, after heavy shelling by Russia destroyed the only escape route used by locals, March 6, 2022, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Content

    Russia's War in Ukraine: Insights from RAND

    A vast body of previously published RAND research—as well as real-time insights from RAND experts—sheds light on important issues related to Russia's attack against Ukraine. These include Russia's strategy and military capabilities, the Ukrainian resistance, and how to address the refugee crisis.

    Mar 16, 2022

  • File photo of Yoon Suk-yeol, who was elected president of South Korea on March 9, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Will South Korea's New President Reshape Regional Dynamics?

    Yoon Suk-yeol has been elected president of South Korea. With a tall order to fill at home and abroad, the Yoon administration has the potential to reshape South Korea's future and relationships in the region. The path that he carves for Seoul in the coming weeks and months will be watched with keen interest marked by hopes and apprehension by his neighbors.

    Mar 15, 2022

  • An application that helps Lithuanians to call Russians to discuss the war in Ukraine in an effort to help end the war, in Vilnius, Lithuania, March 9, 2022, photo by Janis Laizans/Reuters

    Commentary

    Keeping Russians Informed About Ukraine Could Help End This War

    Russia has taken increasingly aggressive actions to restrict access of information about the war in Ukraine. Ensuring that the Russian people know the truth about what their government is doing in Ukraine could bring this war to an end soon rather than later.

    Mar 14, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    U.S. Air Force Enlisted Classification and Reclassification: Potential Improvements Using Machine Learning and Optimization Models

    The authors review options for improving processes for classifying and reclassifying enlisted active-duty, non–prior service airmen for initial skills training in the United States Air Force.

    Mar 14, 2022

  • Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans’ Hospital, photo by South Texas VA Health Care System

    Multimedia

    A Conversation with VA Secretary McDonough on the Department's Recommendations to the Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission

    In advance of the release of a nationwide study to inform investments in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care, Secretary Denis R. McDonough discussed VA's current infrastructure, the study methods, and VA's recommendations.

    Mar 14, 2022

  • Private security company owner Wang Haichun takes part in a training session with his employees in Hangzhou, China, March 6, 2018, photo by Tu meifei/Reuters

    Commentary

    China's Security Contractors Have Avoided the Fate of Russia's Military Contractors, So Far

    China's approach to private security contractors is much more limited in scope and effects than Russia's use of private military contractors. But indicators suggest that Chinese planners see benefits in expanding and maturing China's use of private contractors, which creates the potential for dangerous results for China and the rest of the world.

    Mar 11, 2022