United States Department of Defense

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  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in discussion with Ted Harshberger, director of RAND Project AIR FORCE

    Multimedia

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper Visits RAND

    Sep 16, 2020

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper visited RAND's Santa Monica headquarters on September 16, 2020. Secretary Esper emphasized the importance of deterring China and the role of the U.S. defense industrial base.

  • The game box cover for Hedgemony, design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation

    Tool

    Hedgemony: A Game of Strategic Choices

    Sep 22, 2020

    In this tabletop military strategy game, players represent the United States, its allies, and its key competitors. They must use “hedging” strategies and decide how to best manage their resources and forces.

Explore United States Department of Defense

  • News Release

    New Game, the First Offered by RAND to Public, Challenges Players to Design Defense Strategies for Uncertain World

    The RAND Corporation has released a boxed version of Hedgemony: A Game of Strategic Choices that researchers originally developed to help the Pentagon craft its capstone guidance document, the 2018 National Defense Strategy. It is the first wargame offered by RAND to the public and carries a $250 price tag.

    Sep 22, 2020

  • A blue die sits atop a rule sheet for Hedgemony during a demonstration of gameplay.

    Multimedia

    Hedgemony: A Game of Strategic Choices

    Hedgemony is a tabletop game designed to challenge players to outline a strategy and then make tough choices as they try to develop, manage, posture, and employ their forces in alignment with their strategies.

    Sep 22, 2020

  • American whistleblower Edward Snowden is seen on a screen as he delivers a speech during the Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, Denmark, June 28 2016, photo by Scanpix Denmark/Mathias Loevgreen Bojesen/via Reuters

    Commentary

    A Snowden Pardon Could Have a Snowball Effect on Protecting National Security Secrets

    If President Trump were to pardon Edward Snowden, then he might encourage vigilante behavior that puts at risk the very sensitive information and operations—meaning American interests and lives—that the U.S. national security system is intended to protect.

    Sep 4, 2020

  • Report

    Strategies for Acquisition Agility: Approaches for Speeding Delivery of Defense Capabilities

    The authors analyze various approaches to speed acquisition of military capabilities and keep pace with evolving threats, assess these approaches' suitability for different conditions and acquisition types, and identify implementation issues.

    Aug 27, 2020

  • Blog

    Preparing for a COVID-19 Election, Hurricane Response, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on preparing for a COVID-19 election, how the pandemic is affecting artists, North Korea's deadly artillery, and more.

    Aug 7, 2020

  • Naval War College President Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, left, views the wargaming hub at the college's Naval Postgraduate School program in Monterey, CA, January 29, 2020, photo by Javier Chagoya/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Wargaming the Department of Defense for Strategic Advantage

    Defense acquisition, personnel, and management systems have long been seen as areas in need of reform, as costs and man-hours continue to increase over the years. Gaming new policies that govern these areas can offer early insights into potential stumbling blocks and provide leaders valuable feedback on decisions before major costs are incurred.

    Aug 3, 2020

  • A U.S. Marine with the 3rd Marine Division moves game pieces during a game of Memoir 44’ on Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan, Dec. 10, 2019

    Commentary

    What Strategic Decisions on the Horizon for the Department of Defense Can Best Be Shaped Through Wargaming?

    The U.S. Marine Corps is not alone in its avid use of wargaming to shape its decisions of the future. The other services are conducting similar efforts with equal rigor and zeal. And as the national deficit grows and budgetary constraints mount, the Department of Defense will most likely increasingly leverage all its analytical tools, including wargaming.

    Aug 3, 2020

  • A group of U.S. NATO Implementation Force (IFOR) soldiers climb off a destroyed Bosnian tank March 16, 1996, that was hit in 1992, at the beginning of the war between Bosnian Moslem and Serbs, photo by Peter Andrews/Reuters

    Report

    Why America Fails in Irregular Warfare

    A memoir drawn from four decades of experience in the U.S. Army explores the strengths and limitations of America's irregular warfare capability. The author, who often saw success at the tactical level only to be followed by strategic muddling and eventual failure, offers ideas on how to develop a world-class way of irregular war.

    Jul 29, 2020

  • Mature Black women working on a computer at home, photo by Goodboy Picture Company/Getty Images

    Commentary

    National Security and Workplace Flexibility Aren't Incompatible After All

    For years, the U.S. Defense Department dismissed workplace flexibility as being incompatible with national security. But during the pandemic, flexibility became a matter of survival for all employers, including Defense. The question now is whether it will keep recent adaptations or go back to its rigid ways.

    Jul 17, 2020

  • Detroit police line up next to an armored vehicle following a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Detroit, Michigan, June 1, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Reform Military Gear Transfers to Police

    Police officers equipped like soldiers have appeared on the streets of American cities amid recent protests over George Floyd's killing. How should lawmakers reform a program that makes use of excess equipment and is popular with police departments, but that also raises substantial concerns about the militarization of policing?

    Jul 13, 2020

  • China's flag superimposed over a computer chip, illustration by IvancoVlad/Getty Images

    Report

    What If China Becomes the World Leader in AI Innovation?

    Artificial intelligence technologies may become critical force multipliers in future armed conflicts. China has prioritized AI to enhance its national competitiveness and security. If its plan is successful, China will achieve a substantial military advantage over the United States and its allies by 2030.

    Jul 8, 2020

  • An Airman with the 238th Air Support Operations Squadron prepares for a close air support exercise during Southern Strike 2020 at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, MS, February 3, 2020, photo by Staff Sgt. Izabella Workman/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    Book Review: 'The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare' by Christian Brose

    As the Pentagon and commercial technologists continue to explore the potential of commercial technologies for the military and work towards greater adoption, they may wish to focus not only on lowering bureaucratic barriers but also on managing expectations about what technologies will be most beneficial and how they will be used.

    Jul 2, 2020

  • Report

    Benchmarking Data Use and Analytics in Large, Complex Private-Sector Organizations: Implications for Department of Defense Acquisition

    This report examines how the private sector addresses data governance and analytics to inform how the Department of Defense can develop and apply advanced analytics to acquisition challenges.

    Jun 4, 2020

  • Senior Airman Luis Perfino and Senior Airman Dane Haugbom, 940th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs, walk a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot through a preflight inspection Jan. 17, 2019, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., photo by Senior Airman Tristan D. Viglianco/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Strengthening Total Force Culture and Facilitating Cross-Component Integration in the U.S. Military

    While all U.S. military services have strived to achieve greater total force integration and a stronger total force culture across their active and reserve components, significant impediments limit the achievement of these objectives. What policies can foster cross-component integration?

    May 28, 2020

  • Report

    Building a Broader Evidence Base for Defense Acquisition Policymaking

    This report summarizes the case for a broader evidence base for defense acquisition policymaking. It also describes a prototype policy game focused on Middle-Tier Acquisition that researchers developed to enrich the available evidence base.

    May 19, 2020

  • Woman walking through airport with luggage and an image of bombed Syrian city superimposed on the background, photos by Drazen_/Getty Images and fly_and_dive/Adobe Stock

    Essay

    Civilians Returning from War Zones Need More Support

    Deployed civilians often work alongside the military in combat zones or other high-stress, high-risk areas. But when they return, their experience is much different. They come home to support that is often incomplete and insufficient, and sometimes entirely nonexistent.

    May 18, 2020

  • The Pentago, in Arlington, VA, photo by Stocktrek Images/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Be Wary of Proposals for Less Defense Budget Transparency

    The Pentagon has asked Congress to end the requirement that it make public an unclassified version of the Future Years Defense Program—the department's budget plans for at least the next five years. Although some information needs to be classified, the value of transparency for public debate and oversight in a democracy outweighs the marginal intelligence gains to U.S. adversaries.

    Apr 29, 2020

  • Half the cover of the 2018 National Defense Strategy

    Brochure

    Supporting the National Defense Strategy

    This document describes RAND's contributions to shaping the 2018 National Defense Strategy and ongoing contributions to Defense Department efforts to create the forces, posture, and operating concepts needed to achieve the goals of the strategy.

    Apr 27, 2020