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.

  • 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

  • Sweden's Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde, Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Finland's Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen pose during a photo call in Stockholm, Sweden, February 2, 2022, photo by Paul Wennerholm/ TT News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    Finland and Sweden Mull NATO Membership

    After decades of military neutrality between NATO and Russia, recent events saw a potential sea-change in how Finland and Sweden consider their role with the NATO alliance. NATO leadership could start planning now so that if Sweden and Finland make the jump to joining the alliance, they can be welcomed in quickly.

    Mar 3, 2022

  • U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 1, 2022, photo by Saul Loeb/Pool via Reuters

    Blog

    State of the Union 2022: Russia's Invasion of Ukraine and Domestic Policy

    In his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden rebuked Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, aimed to turn a page on the pandemic, and covered a wide range of domestic issues, including mental health care, prescription drug prices, and supporting veterans.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Destroyed military vehicles on a street, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in the town of Bucha in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, March 1, 2022, photo by Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Ensuring Russia's War with Ukraine Doesn't Morph into Direct Conflict with NATO

    Russia has launched an unprecedented act of aggression against Ukraine. The United States and its allies must respond forcefully. But as they do, they should take into account the possibility of triggering a spiral of escalation that could lead to the only outcome worse than the invasion of Ukraine itself: a hot war between Russia and NATO.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • 3D printer printing prototypes, photo by kynny/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Military Yet to Fully Leverage Additive Manufacturing

    Additive manufacturing may very well become a critical component of the Defense Department supply chain, but challenges ranging from decentralized approaches among the various services, a lack of standards, limited awareness and know-how among military workforce and leadership, and intellectual property issues could prevent the Pentagon from realizing its potential.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Developing Outcome Measures for the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program

    The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe is a residential program for youth experiencing difficulties in traditional high school. This capstone report describes some of RAND's research and analyses on the ChalleNGe program from late 2017 through mid-2020.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    The Role of Standards in Fostering Capability Evolution: Does Design Matter? Insights from Interoperability Standards

    This report presents the findings of a review of two military standards that have enabled significant interoperability and evolution in warfighting to better understand paths toward successful interface standard design in the military environment.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Global communication network concept network dots surrounding planet earth with focus on America. Information exchange via satellites, illustration by Thomas/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Space Might Be Used Between Now and 2050

    The number of space-related activities conducted by government, military, and commercial actors around the world is increasing. How will the way space is used change? Who will the key actors be? And what can be done to ensure a more future-proof space strategy?

    Mar 2, 2022

  • The Ronald Reagan Strike Group ships conduct an exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships in the South China Sea, August 31, 2018

    Report

    Japan’s Possible Acquisition of Long-Range Land-Attack Missiles and the Implications for the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    The security environment in Northeast Asia is rapidly worsening. How is this situation affecting the debate in Japan over how to deter Chinese coercion? And what role might the U.S.-Japan alliance might play? To better understand these, RAND organized a virtual conference to discuss.

    Mar 1, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Prioritizing Security Cooperation with Highly Capable U.S. Allies: Framing Army-to-Army Partnerships

    In this report, researchers present recommendations for enabling the U.S. Army to better prioritize and coordinate its security cooperation activities with its allies for coalition operations and engagements in third countries.

    Mar 1, 2022

  • Ukrainian service members at a check point after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, February 27, 2022, photo by Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Kind of Resistance Can Ukraine Mount?

    Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has ordered general mobilization, and Ukrainians are already engaging in irregular warfare and preparing for a prolonged resistance. What might a comprehensive Ukrainian resistance entail? What is the potential effectiveness, and what are the risks? What support could the international community provide?

    Feb 28, 2022

  • A photo of a printed circuit board shows a chip with "CHINA" written on it

    Report

    Securing the Microelectronics Supply Chain: Four Policy Issues for the U.S. Department of Defense to Consider

    The authors analyze how the U.S. Department of Defense could mitigate microelectronics supply chain risk. They consider the appropriate mix of policy levers to promote a microelectronics technology ecosystem that is aligned with U.S. strategic goals.

    Feb 28, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Air Force Operational Test and Training Infrastructure: Barriers to Full Implementation

    This report offers stakeholders in Air Force training a framework for discerning the implications of different training infrastructure investments for assessing the readiness of individuals and aircrews.

    Feb 28, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Options for Strengthening All-Source Intelligence: Substantive Change Is Within Reach

    Foreign attacks against the United States occur frequently. The authors propose game-changing ideas to enable intelligence analysts to address long-standing challenges related to the use of open sources, analytic tradecraft, and politicization.

    Feb 28, 2022

  • Temporary shelters inside the Veterans Administration complex in West Los Angeles, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Essay

    The Lives of Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

    The United States pledged in 2009 to end veteran homelessness. The numbers have fallen by nearly half since then, but there are still more than 37,000 veterans living in their cars, in temporary shelters, or in makeshift camps. Researchers followed 26 of them for one year to see how they live and what keeps them on the streets.

    Feb 25, 2022

  • Blog

    Responding to Russia, Sex Trafficking, Anti-Bias Education: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the false choice between responding to Russia or deterring China, how substance use and sex trafficking are connected, providing anti-bias education in U.S. schools, and more.

    Feb 25, 2022

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky chairs an urgent meeting with leadership of the government, and representatives of the defense and economic sectors, in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2022, photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Continuity of Government in Ukraine

    On February 23 Russia launched a war on Ukraine. Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky and its parliament might accelerate steps to ensure the continuity of government, a need made more urgent because of the risk that Kyiv could soon fall.

    Feb 25, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Atomization of Political Violence

    The conclusion that terrorism is likely to persist at low levels does not preclude large-scale attacks. The present tumultuous state of the world and growing domestic extremism could produce dramatic changes in the future trajectory of political violence.

    Feb 25, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Scenarios of Transnational Islamist Terrorism. Trends and Developments: A Fact-Based Threat Assessment

    Some scholars have speculated that the current religious wave of terrorism, epitomized by the global jihadist movement, might finally be starting to ebb. But the movement could very well roar back to life.

    Feb 25, 2022

  • The crew of the CGC Stratton conducts patrols to combat IUU fishing in Fiji's exclusive economic zone with Fijian law enforcement personnel, February 11, 2022, U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the CGC Stratton

    Commentary

    A Timely Opportunity for the U.S. Coast Guard to Teach a Man to Protect His Fish

    The U.S. Coast Guard has made strong statements suggesting it would be increasing its effort to deter illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activity. As it does so, the Coast Guard might also consider enhancing its role as a trainer of other nations.

    Feb 24, 2022

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    Spotlight 2021–2022

    Spotlight 2021-2022 highlights selected RAND Europe projects that address the important issues of our time. It also features research that is poised to make a difference in the coming year.

    Feb 23, 2022