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.

  • Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard wait to parade the colors at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. during a Concert on the Avenue, June 11, 2019, photo by MC Paul L. Archer/U.S. Navy

    Report

    Diversity Can Enhance Military Effectiveness

    Embracing diversity in the military could bring significant operational and strategic advantages. For example, diversity is important in developing effective, ethical, and trustworthy AI systems. How can the UK and U.S. armed forces remove barriers to inclusion and attract more diverse workforces?

    Aug 23, 2022

  • Kim Jong-un watches a military parade in Pyongyang to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean People's Revolutionary Army in this image released by KCNA on April 26, 2022, photo by EyePress News via Reuters

    Report

    The Risks of North Korean Weapons of Mass Destruction

    In addition to its nuclear weapons, North Korea has amassed chemical, biological, and electromagnetic pulse weapons. It has also created an active cyber hacker force. What can the United States and South Korea do to deter and, if necessary, counter these threats?

    Aug 29, 2022

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • A man prays at a memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, May 19, 2022photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Commentary

    States Have Leading Role to Play in Preventing Mass Shootings

    As the United States grapples with how to prevent mass shootings, state governments might be best positioned to take the lead on long-term, sustainable efforts that prevent targeted violence.

    Jun 13, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Is the National Nuclear Enterprise Workforce Postured to Modernize the Triad? Insights and Options from a Quick-turn Assessment

    This report presents the results of a quick-turn, 90-day assessment of the health of the national nuclear enterprise workforce, with a specific focus on federal personnel in the acquisition and the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

    Jun 13, 2022

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2021

    This Annual Report illustrates the depth, breadth, and responsiveness of the studies that RAND Arroyo Center conducted for the Army in 2021.

    Jun 10, 2022

  • A young programmer working late at night, photo by gorodenkoff/Getty Images

    Report

    Comparing the Organizational Cultures of the Department of Defense and Silicon Valley

    The U.S. Department of Defense seeks to work more effectively with Silicon Valley in order to better leverage artificial intelligence technology. What cultural differences might complicate DoD-Silicon Valley collaboration? And in what areas is there common ground?

    Jun 9, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Resources: Financial Management Programming Evaluation

    The authors examined how the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has programmed its resources, focusing on the reasons for changes over time and the results of the changes.

    Jun 8, 2022

  • Illustration of network connections over Earth, image by Anton Balazh/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Russia's Information Warfare with the West

    Popular portrayals of the Russian disinformation machine imply an organized and well-resourced operation, but evidence suggests that it is neither. Nonetheless, Russian social media activity can be harmful to U.S. interests and is likely to evolve.

    Jun 7, 2022

  • Social media network over a world map, composite image by denisismagilov and Piotr Krzeslak/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Map of Online Violent Extremist Rhetoric Can Inform Counter-Efforts

    An analysis of White identity terrorism and racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism discourse on social media finds that this content is largely created and fueled by users in the United States. A national strategy to counter these threats is needed.

    Jun 7, 2022

  • U.S. President Joe Biden holds a virtual meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss Russia's war with Ukraine from the White House in Washington D.C., April 11, 2022, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    Modi's Multipolar Moment Has Arrived

    Russia's war in Ukraine has benefited India as great powers are competing more vigorously for New Delhi's affection, particularly the United States and China. India has also prevented its Russia policy from spoiling partnerships with key European and Indo-Pacific partners. These trends, if sustained, will contribute to India's rise to great-power status and in turn, shift the global system toward even greater multipolarity.

    Jun 6, 2022

  • Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram from 2009 to 2021, speaks in an unknown location in Nigeria in this still image from a video obtained on January 15, 2018, handout from Sahara Reporters via Reuters

    Report

    How to Reduce Violent Nonstate Actors' Abilities to Adapt

    Violent nonstate actors—terrorist groups, drug trafficking organizations, and others—pose durable and direct threats to U.S. security interests. Why are they so capable of adapting to changes in their environments, and how might the Army detect and mitigate such adaptations before they occur?

    Jun 6, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen partially obscured by decorations at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 4, 2021, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Return of 'Don’t Poke the Bear'

    Some argue that, in order to avoid antagonizing Russia, the West should call for Ukraine to back down and move toward a negotiated peace. But this strategy comes with its own set of consequences.

    Jun 3, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Programs for Care System Transitions in Mental Health: A Systematic Review

    The authors synthesize evidence from studies of interventions that facilitate transitions between health care systems, such as the transition from the Military Health System (MHS) to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

    Jun 3, 2022

  • Multimedia

    The Growing Role of Europe in Asia: Connecting the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific

    Key U.S. allies in Europe have been deepening defense cooperation with regional partners in the Indo-Pacific region. A November 2021 RAND Corporation event hosted experts to discuss the growing role of Europe in Asia.

    Jun 2, 2022

  • A Ukrainian service member walks in a trench near the front line in the Donetsk Region, Ukraine, May 29, 2022, photo by Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Ukraine's Best Chance for Peace

    In late March, Ukrainian diplomats introduced an innovative framework for a deal that could provide a pathway out of the war. There are powerful obstacles to achieving an agreement based on the framework, but so far it is the most plausible pathway identified to a sustainable peace for Ukraine.

    Jun 1, 2022

  • Law enforcement officers stand near the site of a shooting at a gun store in Metairie, Louisiana, February 20, 2021, photo by Catherine Koppel/Reuters

    Tool

    Mass Attacks Defense Toolkit

    RAND researchers created this tool to advance efforts to prevent and reduce intentional, interpersonal firearm violence and public mass attacks in the United States.

    May 31, 2022

  • A collage of the COVID-19 virus, armed terror groups, and a biological response team

    Report

    Implications of the Pandemic for Terrorist Interest in Biological Weapons

    Some policymakers and analysts have expressed concern that weaknesses in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic will motivate terrorists to seek biological weapons. While the prospect of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda pursuing biological weapons is not zero, it is unlikely, given the difficulties involved and the availability of simpler alternatives.

    May 31, 2022

  • Blog

    Gun Policy, China and Taiwan, Russian Propaganda: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on reducing America's unacceptably high rates of gun violence, what would happen if China “quarantines” Taiwan, and Russia's “firehose of falsehood.”

    May 27, 2022

  • (l-r) Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese, U.S. President Joe Biden, Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi pose for photos at the entrance hall of the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2022, photo by Zhang Xiaoyu/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Invasion of Ukraine May Harden U.S. Indo-Pacific Allies

    The effects of Russia's war against Ukraine stretch worldwide as countries watch Ukraine's unfolding tragedy to glean possible lessons for their own security. Understanding how Australia and Japan are perceiving the conflict could be critical for allied strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.

    May 26, 2022

  • A Taliban leader Mullah Baradar Akhund hosted reception for a group of ambassadors to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on October 1, 2021, photo by EyePress via Reuters

    Report

    U.S. Policy Toward the Taliban: Engage, Isolate, or Oppose?

    With the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan and a growing humanitarian crisis, the United States faces several policy options. While isolation is the usual response to an unwelcome regime change, engagement offers the only prospect to advance U.S. interests in the country, mainly counterterrorism and humanitarian relief.

    May 26, 2022

  • Jessica Cecil listens as Mark Thompson speaks at the RAND Europe Council of Advisors meeting in London, UK, May 6, 2022, video still from RAND Europe Council of Advisors meeting

    Blog

    Combating Disinformation by Bolstering Truth and Trust

    For Jessica Cecil, founder and former head of the Trusted News Initiative, today feels a bit like the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire, in which agreed-upon facts endure in only a few isolated places of elite discussion and there is no common language of politics. She spoke about the need for governments, companies, news organizations, and relevant civil society groups to work together to combat disinformation at a meeting of RAND Europe's Council of Advisors.

    May 24, 2022

  • Mark Thompson discusses disinformation at the RAND Europe Council of Advisors meeting in London, UK, May 6, 2022, video still from RAND Europe Council of Advisors meeting

    Blog

    Russia Will Struggle to Sustain Its Disinformation Machine, Former New York Times/BBC Chief Tells RAND Europe

    As former head of the New York Times and the BBC, Mark Thompson has tackled disinformation on both sides of the Atlantic. One of his big takeaways: It's not as easy as you might think to sustain a successful disinformation campaign.

    May 24, 2022