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.

  • Supporters of Donald Trump scale a wall as they storm the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Commentary

    Domestic Violent Extremists Will Be Harder to Combat Than Homegrown Jihadists

    Feb 1, 2021

    The beliefs driving today's domestic extremists are deeply rooted in American history and society. For this and several other reasons, shutting them down will prove far more difficult than combating homegrown jihadists.

  • Two Air Force F-22 Raptors fly over Syria, February 2, 2018, while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, photo by Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott/Air National Guard

    Report

    Airpower Was Indispensable to Defeating ISIS

    Feb 5, 2021

    Some argue that airpower could have been applied more vigorously in Operation Inherent Resolve to have more quickly defeated ISIS. Airpower was essential, but ground forces led by Iraqi and Syrian partners were needed to destroy the Islamic State as a territorial entity.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • A line chart indicating a decline, with a government building in the background, images by Naypong Studio/Adobe Stock; design by Pete Soriano

    Report

    The Drivers of Institutional Trust and Distrust

    Trust in the government, news media, and other institutions has declined in the past two decades. What factors might explain this decline? And what else do we need to learn in order to begin rebuilding public trust?

    Nov 17, 2020

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: November-December 2020

    Features explore the challenge of delivering effective treatments for veterans with co-occuring disorders; teachers, students, and the importance of civic responsibility in present-day America; and teaching and learning in the age of COVID-19.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Monetary and Nonmonetary Compensation for High-Value U.S. Department of Defense Civilian Skill Sets

    Motivated by concern that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) will struggle to recruit and retain civilian talent for the U.S. Space Force, the authors compared DoD and private-sector monetary and nonmonetary compensation for high-value skill sets.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • Blog

    Veterans Day, Psychedelic Drug Policy, Family Caregivers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses supporting veterans with mental health and substance use disorders, changes to psychedelic drug policy, the vital role of family caregivers, and more.

    Nov 13, 2020

  • The Royal Australian Navy vessel Her Majesty's Australian Ship Adelaide (III) is escorted by a small boat upon arrival for a goodwill visit in Metro Manila, Philippines, October 10, 2017, photo by Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

    Testimony

    Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Capability

    During the past decade, Australia has used research to understand the cost, benefits, and challenges of national shipbuilding strategies and decisions. What recent developments should Australia's policymakers consider when planning naval ship programs?

    Nov 12, 2020

  • An F-22 Raptor conducts a combat air patrol mission over an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, September 13, 2019, photo by MSgt. Russ Scalf/U.S. Air Force

    Research Brief

    Who Has More Influence in the Indo-Pacific, the United States or China?

    Neither the United States nor China is clearly winning the competition for influence in the Indo-Pacific region as a whole. China has more economic influence, and the United States has more diplomatic and military sway. But partners generally value economic development over security concerns.

    Nov 12, 2020

  • The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey transits the Pacific Ocean while participating in Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC)

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Study Overview and Conclusions

    The authors define U.S.-China competition for influence and assess competition in nine countries across the Indo-Pacific to gain insight into how the United States could work more effectively with allies and partners in Southeast Asia and beyond.

    Nov 12, 2020

  • A U.S. pilot stands next to a member of the Republic of Singapore Air Force

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Singapore

    In this report, the authors assess the impact of the changes in China's strategic behavior and U.S.-China relations over the past decade on Singapore in terms of its security policies and relationships in the Indo-Pacific region.

    Nov 12, 2020

  • A U.S. sailor demonstrates patching a pipe leak during a damage control exchange during naval exchange activity Vietnam.

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Vietnam

    This report explores Vietnam's perspective on rising U.S.-China competition by evaluating how Vietnam is responding to U.S. and Chinese influence in diplomatic and political, economic, and security and military domains.

    Nov 12, 2020

  • A U.S. pilot (right) gives a thumbs up to a Japanese pilot (left)

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Japan

    This report assesses the prospects for deepening U.S.-Japan cooperation and coordination in Southeast Asia through 2030 to compete with China and identifies Japan's interests, initiatives, and areas of strength in the region.

    Nov 12, 2020

  • Members of an Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron monitor patients during an aero-medical evacuation mission from Balad Air Base, Iraq, to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, February 25, 2007, photo by MSgt. Scott Reed/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    How Military Medical Care Has Evolved

    How America cares for its war casualties—those physically or mentally wounded in combat—is a high priority. From the Korean War to recent conflicts in the Middle East, there have been dramatic changes in the care that these casualties receive in the field and in hospitals, in the care given to disabled veterans and their dependents, and in who provides that care.

    Nov 11, 2020

  • A person playing Hedgemony, a tabletop military strategy game developed by RAND, photo by Evan Banks/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    Now You Can Play RAND Games at Home

    RAND is famous for its Pentagon wargames. Now the public can play defense analyst, too. In RAND's new game, Hedgemony, players create a military strategy to allocate troops and resources and hedge against the unknown.

    Nov 10, 2020

  • The 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, color guard marches off Tower Barracks parade field after a battalion reenlistment ceremony at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Dec. 28, 2018, photo by Sgt. Jamar Marcel Pugh/U.S. Army National Guard

    Brochure

    RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2020

    This Annual Report illustrates the depth, breadth, and responsiveness of the studies that RAND Arroyo Center conducted for the Army in fiscal year 2020.

    Nov 10, 2020

  • Sign that says Fort Bragg, Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    How to Protect Army Installations from Emerging Threats

    Emerging technologies such as drones, 5G communications, smart city systems, and the use of social media disinformation by adversaries all pose potential threats to U.S. Army bases. A new framework can help assess possible solutions and the resources required to defend against these threats.

    Nov 10, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Unlocking NATO's Amphibious Potential: Lessons from the Past, Insights for the Future

    Researchers analyze the past, present, and future employment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's amphibious forces, highlight ongoing initiatives, and identify several efforts that should be pursued to advance its amphibious capabilities.

    Nov 9, 2020

  • Terri Tanielian waits for a House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing to begin in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, photo by Grace Evans/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    A Voice for Veterans on Capitol Hill: Q&A with Terri Tanielian

    Terri Tanielian, a senior behavioral scientist at RAND and an internationally recognized expert on military and veteran health, spent six months as a fellow with the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. She helped the committee develop a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy.

    Nov 6, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    National Guard Youth ChalleNGe: Program Progress in 2018–2019

    In the fourth annual report on the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe, a residential, quasi-military program for youth struggling in traditional high school, researchers provide information on participants who entered the program in 2018.

    Nov 6, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Lessons from Maritime Narcotics Interdiction: Interdiction in the Maritime Source, Transit, and Arrival Zones of the Western Hemisphere

    Sharing information with foreign partners and regional, local, and private actors has been proven to be absolutely critical to success in combating any transnational threat and preventing illegal activities from threatening the homeland and allies.

    Nov 5, 2020

  • Dan Smee deployed in Mosul, Iraq, photo courtesy of Dan Smee

    Essay

    There's Help for Veterans with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

    Many post-9/11 veterans who have PTSD or depression also struggle with substance use. There are clinically proven treatments to help break the cycle of the co-occurring disorders, but the VA and other facilities need guidance on how to expand and enhance treatment opportunities for these veterans.

    Nov 4, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    South Korea: Capable Now, Questions for the Future

    South Korea is a capable US military ally. It faces a substantial military threat from North Korea, especially North Korea's WMD. South Korea's demographics are shrinking its military, challenging South Korea's ability to defend itself in the future.

    Nov 3, 2020