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.

  • An M1075 palletized load system truck and an M915 line-haul tractor are equipped with add-on kits that transform the vehicles to be fully autonomous, photo by Bruce Huffman/U.S. Army

    Report

    How the Army Could Use Automated Driving Technology

    Feb 5, 2020

    Fully automated convoys are not yet feasible, but U.S. Army R&D communities have been testing automated truck concepts in which manned and unmanned vehicles perform cooperatively in convoy operations. What are potential benefits and risks in deploying this technology over the next five years?

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 19, 2019, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Report

    What Provokes Putin's Russia?

    Jan 29, 2020

    Even with an understanding of what Russia considers to be redlines, predicting its reactions is challenging. An analysis of past instances of Russian escalation—and instances when redlines were crossed but Russia did not respond—offers guidance for U.S. and NATO deterrence efforts.

Explore National Security and Terrorism

  • Artificial intelligence concept, photo by kentoh/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Military Deception: AI's Killer App?

    Contrary to the promise that AI would deliver an omniscient view of everything happening in the battlespace—the goal of U.S. military planners for decades—it now appears that technologies of misdirection are winning. Military deception, in short, could prove to be AI’s killer app.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Illustration of a robot analyzing a database of personnel, image by OstapenkoOlena/Getty Images

    Report

    Big Data Could Improve Military Recruiting

    DoD and the U.S. military services have had some success with data-enabled outreach and recruiting. But they could benefit from expanding their adoption of private-sector approaches. For example, recruiters could better target prospects through the use of personally identifiable information and third-party data.

    Oct 22, 2019

  • A convoy of U.S. vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, in Erbil, Iraq October 21, 2019, photo by Azad Lashkari/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Syrian Withdrawal: Where Things Stand

    Without an orderly process for its national security decisions, the Trump administration has defaulted to the worst option regarding Syria. The sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces has left an opening for Russia to exploit. It also left the Kurds, a U.S. partner, to fend off a Turkish assault.

    Oct 21, 2019

  • A convoy of U.S. vehicles after withdrawing from northern Syria, on the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq, October 21, 2019, photo by Ari Jalal/Reuters

    Commentary

    How the U.S. Withdrawal from Syria Provides a Boost to ISIS

    President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria could provide the ISIS terrorist group with the time and space to regrow its organization and extend its networks throughout the Middle East. The longer-term strategic effects of the decision could reverberate in the region for years to come.

    Oct 21, 2019

  • Report

    Evaluating Future Trends in Support of the Air Force Strategic Environment Assessment: Discussion and Results from a Structured Workshop

    This report presents plausible futures based on nine trends in the categories of Geopolitical, Military & Warfare, and Human & Workforce to assist Air Force strategic planning in developing the Air Force Strategic Environment Assessment.

    Oct 21, 2019

  • A Turkish army howitzer is positioned near the Turkish-Syrian border in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 17, 2019, photo by Murad Sezer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Indecision in Washington Compounded the Kurds' Dilemma

    Core qualities of statesmanship and statecraft have been notably lacking in charting the U.S. administration's Syria end game. This has compounded the unavoidable costs of withdrawal with charges of betrayal and a retreat under fire.

    Oct 18, 2019

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on June 21, 2019, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S. Economic War on China Weakens Nuclear North Korea, Too

    An effective way to bend North Korea toward denuclearization may be exerting consistent and targeted pressure on China. Diminishing Beijing's relevance isn't a cure-all. But it could pierce Kim's illusion of invincibility and place him in a bind to make some concessions.

    Oct 18, 2019

  • Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the death anniversary of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in Tehran, Iran, June 4, 2017, photo by TIMA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iran, the Unitary State

    Current and future U.S. policy toward Iran must begin with the premise that the Islamic Republic is the sum of its parts and that to try to empower moderates or disempower hard-liners is naive. Rather, Washington should strive to deal with Iran as it is, not as Washington wishes it were.

    Oct 18, 2019

  • A solider using an RQ-11B Raven, a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle, in 2006, photo by SFC Michael Guillory/U.S. Army

    Report

    Could Autonomous Drones Make Blood Deliveries?

    Blood must be transported and stored in a certain way, and it has a finite shelf life. Unmanned systems offer flexibility in chaotic or uncertain environments. Could autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles make the military's blood supply network more resilient?

    Oct 18, 2019

  • Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah wave Hezbollah and Lebanese flags at a rally marking the 10th anniversary of the end of Hezbollah's 2006 war with Israel, in Bint Jbeil, Lebanon August 13, 2016, photo by AZIZ TAHER/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iran's Proxies Are More Powerful Than Ever

    The Trump administration has pursued a so-called maximum pressure strategy designed to alter the course of Iran's foreign and security policies, which relies heavily on sanctions to change Iranian behavior. Financial sanctions are an important part of any counterterrorism strategy. But they aren't enough.

    Oct 16, 2019

  • Running 3d wireframe man in an abstract environment, photo by imaginima/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Embrace Open-Source Military Research to Win the AI Competition

    Unless the Pentagon embraces a more open approach to artificial intelligence, it will be left behind. Private sector innovation in this space is too fast. But what are the risks of disseminating potentially sensitive AI technology? And what should not be disclosed?

    Oct 16, 2019

  • uturistic soldiers wearing virtual reality goggles, photo by Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images

    Report

    Next-Generation Wargaming for the U.S. Marine Corps

    The U.S. Marine Corps has an opportunity to adopt wargaming best practices, tools, and approaches from other sources and adapt them to suit its needs. What courses of action should the Marine Corps take toward building its next-generation wargaming concept?

    Oct 16, 2019

  • Report

    Reflections on the Future of Warfare and Implications for Personnel Policies of the U.S. Department of Defense

    This Perspective summarizes and synthesizes material from a workshop addressing how U.S. Department of Defense personnel policies may evolve to address future warfare environments, which are expected to be heavily influenced by advanced technologies.

    Oct 16, 2019

  • Senior Airman Rajonda Davis (left), 59th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, discusses concerns with Capt. Abby Fields, 59th Medical Operations Squadron psychologist, during a mock Behavioral Health Optimization Program visit at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Iinuma/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    Review of Behavioral Health Technician Training, Policies, and Practice Identifies New Opportunities

    Behavioral health technicians are trained to be an essential part of the mental health clinical team, serving as provider extenders who work alongside and support licensed mental health providers. What are the factors that affect these roles? And how can the Military Health System most effectively incorporate them into mental health care settings?

    Oct 15, 2019

  • Cadets from Class 18-2 at the Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy work on assignments during one of their classes in Pierce, Idaho on Sept. 10, 2018, photo by Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur/U.S. Air National Guard

    Report

    National Guard Youth ChalleNGe: Program Progress in 2017–2018

    This report documents the progress of participants in the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program in 2017-2018. ChalleNGe is a residential, quasi-military program for youth ages 16-18 who are experiencing difficulty in traditional high school.

    Oct 15, 2019

  • Journal Article

    With Small Power, Comes Great Responsibility: Lessons Learned from an Evaluation of Veteran and Military Mental Health Public Awareness Campaigns

    This study was conducted to determine the feasibility of conducting a cost-benefit evaluation of federally-funded media campaigns encouraging mental health help-seeking among United States military personnel and veterans.

    Oct 15, 2019

  • Sgt. Angie Novoa, a warehouse chief with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, organizes a shelf in her warehouse on Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Oct. 28, 2016, photo by Cpl. Alexander Mitchell/U.S. Marine Corps

    Report

    Right-Sizing Marine Corps Intermediate Supply Units: A Staffing Model and Proposed Process Improvements

    The authors present a methodology to determine optimal personnel capacity for Marine Corps intermediate-level supply accounts and other measures to help these accounts work more effectively and efficiently to meet supported units' needs.

    Oct 14, 2019

  • Report

    Literature on Personnel Vetting Processes and Procedures: Annotated Selected Bibliography

    To help inform the U.S. government in its efforts to improve the vetting processes for public trust and national security positions and protect its assets and information, the authors assembled a selected bibliography of relevant literature.

    Oct 14, 2019

  • Panelists at the Roberta Wohlstetter Forum on National Security in Arlington, Virginia, October 24, 2018, photo by Grace Evans and Khorshied Samad/RAND Corporation

    Commentary

    Stop Calling Us 'Women Experts'

    To get to a place where a woman's expertise is valued as implicitly as a man's, women must be freed of the baggage of being “women scholars” and “women policymakers.” Instead, women must be given that most significant form of respect: Just call us experts.

    Oct 11, 2019

  • Blog

    Virtual Societal Warfare, Iran, Opioids: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the risk of virtual societal welfare, Iran's domestic debates, federal policy options for supervised consumption sites, and more.

    Oct 11, 2019