National Security Organizations

  • Multimedia

    Limiting Regret and Deterring Russian Aggression in the Baltic States

    Testimonies presented before the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces on March 1, 2017.

    Mar 1, 2017

  • U.S. Air Force captain shakes hands with an Afghanistan National Army warehouse supervisor as they discuss storage and distribution for equipment and supplies in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 26, 2017

    Commentary

    Acquisition in Transition

    The DoD acquisition system is complex and ever-changing. It requires a trained and active workforce that has the support of Congress. Allowing some of the reforms to take place in a measured fashion would be a wise choice for the new administration and Congress.

    Feb 21, 2017

  • Retired General John Kelly arrives to testify before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, January 10, 2017

    Commentary

    Kelly as DHS Chief Should Focus on Improving Employee Morale

    Building the morale of the Department of Homeland Security workforce should be a priority of the incoming leadership team. Strong communication with career employees, team building, and demonstrating respect for work that has already been done is needed.

    Jan 13, 2017

  • At a public event at the LBJ Presidential Library, the CIA released over 2,500 previously classified President's Daily Briefs from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, September 16, 2015

    Commentary

    Adapting the President's Daily Brief to Trump

    President-elect Trump is receiving President Obama's version of the daily briefing; it has yet to be tailored to his preferences, to which every president is entitled. The intelligence community should seek to adapt the briefing to maximize its interest and relevance to the president-elect.

    Jan 6, 2017

  • A 155 mm artillery tube enters a heat treatment furnace at Watervliet Arsenal to improve the microstructure and hardness of the steel

    Commentary

    Uncertainty Ahead: Defense Technology and Acquisition Trends in 2017

    The change in administration, coupled with the new management structure being imposed by Congress on the Department of Defense's acquisition enterprise is creating a shifting and unpredictable landscape for 2017.

    Jan 3, 2017

  • President Barack Obama meets with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, September 10, 2014

    Commentary

    Presidential Policy Directive 1: Forming the NSC

    If precedent holds, the National Security Council will be defined in the first policy directive that President Trump signs in the early weeks of his administration. Several important questions should be considered.

    Dec 5, 2016

  • NSC Senior Director Maren Brooks, journalist Malcolm Gladwell, and Amb. Charles Ries at RAND's Politics Aside event in Santa Monica, November 12, 2016

    Blog

    Making National Security Decisions

    In a crisis, there's a tendency in government to add more people to address the problem, but doing so often slows decisionmaking. It's easier to invent something new rather than require the agency to fix problems in the existing structure.

    Nov 15, 2016

  • Soldiers conduct cyberspace operations during a training rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, January 24, 2016

    Commentary

    The Pentagon's New Chief Innovation Officer Should Tread Lightly

    The innovation efforts taking place in the Department of Defense are exciting and have much potential. But installing a chief innovation officer with centralized authority who may become just another bureaucratic player among many could spoil those efforts.

    Nov 3, 2016

  • The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower approaches the Friendship Bridge as it transits the Suez Canal, July 8, 2016

    Commentary

    Egypt's Suez Canal: An Attenuated Lifeline

    The U.S. Navy has enjoyed the luxury of being able to transit the Suez Canal without hindrance for decades. However, the risk of losing access — perhaps quickly and unexpectedly — should inform Navy strategic and operational planning.

    Sep 14, 2016

  • Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara visits Fort Bragg, North Carolina in October 1961

    Commentary

    In Defense of Defense Analysis

    Rather than characterize Robert McNamara's legacy as one of inefficiency, his economic, quantitative analysis of military problems should be portrayed as an innovative, if flawed, first adoption of more sophisticated methods for defense analysis.

    Sep 2, 2016

  • U.S. Army Capt. Jennifer Peace poses near her home in Spanaway, Washington, August 28, 2015

    Essay

    Transgender Troops: Fit to Serve

    The Pentagon's decision to open the ranks to transgender service members was informed by months of RAND research into the costs and numbers involved.

    Aug 18, 2016

  • U.S. Marines with their Georgian counterparts preparing for NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, March 24, 2015

    Commentary

    How Defense Choices Affect Military Readiness

    Because the United States cannot afford to prioritize and defend against every possible threat or contingency, it must accept risk with each decision it makes. And the more adaptive the adversary, the more likely it will confound readiness investments made previously to confront it.

    Aug 10, 2016

  • News Release

    News Release

    Commercial Airlines May Siphon Pilots From U.S. Air Force, Creating Shortage of Military Aviators

    The commercial airline industry will continue hiring more pilots to replace its aging workforce, causing more U.S. Air Force aviators to leave the service. Pilot pay is increasing in the commercial sector while Air Force aviator and retention pay are now discretionary programs under DoD guidelines.

    Jul 12, 2016

  • Kalashnikov assault rifle with ammunition

    Commentary

    A Brief History of the Assault Rifle

    The assault rifle is a class of weapon that emerged in the middle of the last century to meet the needs of combat soldiers on the modern battlefield, where the level of violence had reached such heights that an entirely new way of fighting had emerged.

    Jun 30, 2016

  • News Release

    News Release

    Impact of Transgender Personnel on Readiness and Health Care Costs in the U.S. Military Likely to Be Small

    The U.S. Department of Defense has been reviewing its policy that bans transgender personnel from serving openly. If transgender people were allowed to serve openly, the number would likely be a small fraction of the total force and have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs.

    Jun 30, 2016

  • U.S. troops train Afghan soldiers to operate equipment in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, January 2014

    Commentary

    Don't Learn the Wrong Lessons from Rapid Acquisition

    Rapid acquisition practices that worked during recent wars may not easily translate to peacetime endeavors. Enthusiasm for rapid acquisition must be tempered by an understanding of the circumstances that made it work and the downsides that were accepted in wartime.

    Jun 23, 2016

  • News Release

    News Release

    Centrally Assisted Telecare for Military Members with PTSD/Depression Shows Improved Results

    Military members who visited a primary care clinic while suffering from PTSD and depression reported fewer symptoms and better mental health functioning a year after enrolling in a treatment program that included specially trained care managers and telephone therapy options.

    Jun 13, 2016

  • U.S. soldiers maneuver using concealment at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California

    Commentary

    Presence vs. Warfighting: A Looming Dilemma in Defense Planning

    Presence involves global military deployments to counter potential aggressors, reassure allies, underwrite extended deterrence, build partner capacity, and more. It is now as important, in terms of its stabilizing and deterrent effect, as warfighting capabilities. Yet U.S. force posture falls short.

    Apr 26, 2016

  • U.S. Army paratroopers jump from a C-17 Globemaster III over the Juliet Drop Zone in Pordenone, Italy, June 12, 2013

    Commentary

    Reimagining and Modernizing U.S. Airborne Forces for the 21st Century

    Many of the challenges the U.S. will face in the coming years across the range of military operations could be deep inland and require rapid response. Airborne forcible entry — with reimagined and modernized airborne forces — would offer decisionmakers options in crises that they do not possess today.

    Apr 20, 2016

  • Transportation soldiers and civilian harbormasters move cargo containers onto awaiting vessels in a training exercise at Joint Base Langley-Eustis

    Commentary

    Ten Years After the Safe Port Act, Are America's Ports Secure?

    The economic importance and visibility of America's ports make them attractive terrorism targets. Port security has improved, but many of the threats that motivated the Safe Ports Act in 2006 remain, and new dangers have emerged, including cyber threats.

    Apr 6, 2016