United States Department of Defense

  • U.S. Marines receive a safety brief before they conduct live-fire drills during Trident Juncture 2015 in Almeria, Spain, October 27, 2015

    Commentary

    Building Interoperability for European Defense

    To make the most out of declining defense budgets, the U.S. needs to engage European forces to build interoperability that would enable joint operations to deter and defeat potential adversaries, even with little advance notice. But building interoperable units has often proved difficult even among the friendliest of nations.

    Nov 9, 2015

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with U.S. Marines during his visit to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad March 24, 2013

    Commentary

    Benghazi: Questions Unasked and Opportunities Missed

    Instead of asking whether a video precipitated the attack or whether Ambassador Stevens should have been in Benghazi on that fateful night, the right question to ask is under what conditions the United States should have a diplomatic presence in high-risk areas.

    Oct 22, 2015

  • Joint service and civilian personnel concentrate on exercise scenarios during "Cyber Guard 2015."

    Testimony

    Perspective on 2015 DoD Cyber Strategy

    The DoD's cyber strategy is aligned with its mission, but there will be challenges to implementation—including building and maintaining a capable workforce, assessing risk across DoD networks and systems, and planning for operations.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • Project

    An Interactive Look at the U.S.-China Military Scorecard

    To advance the public debate, RAND Project AIR FORCE used open, unclassified sources to compile 'The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power.' Use this interactive graphic to explore the operational areas covered in the report.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • Tool

    A Commander's Guide to Hazing Prevention

    This tool provides a short overview of hazing for military commanders and was derived from research documented in Hazing in the U.S. Armed Forces: Recommendations for Hazing Prevention Policy and Practice.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • Recruits watch an anti-hazing presentation in San Diego, California, November 2012

    Report

    Hazing Prevention in the U.S. Armed Forces

    An examination of hazing policy and practices across the U.S. armed services aims to help the Department of Defense build a more systematic approach to hazing prevention and response.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • William LaPlante, assistant secretary of Air Force acquisition, testifies on acquisition reform before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, April 22, 2015

    Commentary

    Apply Principles of Professional Change Management to Acquisition Reform, or Risk Failure

    If Congress enacts substantial changes to acquisition processes as part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, then it has a responsibility to ensure that the DoD has the opportunity and resources to implement proven change management principles to increase the chances for its success.

    Aug 7, 2015

  • U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors as they fly over the Nevada Test and Training Range, Nev., March 3, 2011

    Commentary

    Lessons from a Long History of Acquisition Reform

    Congress and the DoD have a long history of efforts to improve the way weapon systems are acquired. Now, changes to DoD acquisition policies and processes are again being proposed in the House and Senate in an attempt to get needed military capabilities to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines faster and cheaper.

    Jul 17, 2015

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter meets soldiers after delivering remarks on his Force of the Future initiative in Fort Drum, N.Y., March 30, 2015

    Commentary

    A 'Measured Approach' to Managing Military Officers

    Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's “Force of the Future” initiative may mean far-reaching changes in how military personnel are recruited, evaluated, assigned, promoted, retained, separated, and compensated. What is needed is a map that shows potential paths to reach the objectives.

    Jul 15, 2015

  • American soldier video chatting with his family

    Report

    Family Resilience in the Military

    The U.S. Department of Defense has 26 policies related to family resilience, but definitions of the term vary across the services. To facilitate a comprehensive view of family resilience programming, a well-articulated, standard definition of family resilience is needed.

    Jul 10, 2015

  • Report

    Understanding Low Survey Response Rates Among Young U.S. Military Personnel

    A review of major online U.S. military surveys found very low response rates among young enlisted members. The authors explore possible explanations, why such rates might not reflect bias, and what to do before investing to increase participation.

    Jul 9, 2015

  • A Soldier repairs tears on a humvee door using a long-arm sewing machine

    Report

    Tailoring the Acquisition Process in the U.S. Department of Defense

    The research reported here explores tailoring or streamlining in defense acquisition processes to determine whether this policy area would benefit from additional in-depth research.

    Jun 16, 2015

  • Report

    Issues with Access to Acquisition Data and Information in the Department of Defense: Executive Summary

    This report identifies the problems and challenges associated with sharing unclassified information within the U.S. Department of Defense and investigates the role of policies and practices associated with such sharing.

    Jun 12, 2015

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel holds a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Feb. 5, 2015

    News Release

    Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Elected to RAND Board of Trustees

    Chuck Hagel, the only enlisted soldier and Vietnam War veteran to serve as secretary of defense, has been elected to the RAND Board of Trustees. He served as the 24th U.S. Secretary of Defense from February 2013 to February 2015 and as a U.S. senator, representing his home state of Nebraska, from 1997 to 2009.

    May 27, 2015

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brief reporters at the Pentagon on April 16, 2015

    Commentary

    Fixes for Risk Assessment in Defense

    Defense Department approaches to risk management could be improved if they focused on complex strategic judgments — questions on which information is imperfect, dozens of variables interact in nonlinear ways, and human choice and agency generate unpredictable patterns.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • Report

    Assessing and Evaluating Department of Defense Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade: An Annotated Reading List

    To help broaden the expertise of U.S. Department of Defense assessment personnel and stakeholders, RAND produced a reading list for self-study in best assessment practices across a range of sectors.

    Apr 17, 2015

  • A service member and interpreter talk with residents about malaria prevention in Ethiopia

    Report

    DoD Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade

    The U.S. Department of Defense spends more than $250 million per year on efforts to inform, influence, and persuade. How effective (and cost-effective) are they? How well do they support military objectives? How could they be improved?

    Apr 17, 2015

  • A service member talks with a local official during outreach activities in the Philippines

    Report

    Evaluating DoD Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade

    The U.S. Department of Defense has struggled to assess the progress and effectiveness of its efforts to inform, influence, and persuade audiences in support of key national security objectives. Examples of strong assessment practices across sectors—including defense, marketing, public relations, and academia—can help address these challenges.

    Apr 17, 2015

  • A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor flying at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska

    Commentary

    Where Commonality Can Work in a Sixth-Gen Fighter

    The DoD plans to fund a Darpa-Air Force-Navy technology demonstration program aimed at developing critical sixth-generation fighter capabilities. It's a sign that the Pentagon is adopting a cost-effective strategy but it will need to remain vigilant to avoid the pitfalls that have caused previous joint fighter programs to fall short of hoped-for cost savings and to accept unwelcome design compromises.

    Mar 13, 2015

  • U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson speaks at Los Angeles International Airport in California, February 20, 2014

    Commentary

    Go Back to Basics to Reform Homeland Security

    The Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 made the broadest and most sweeping changes to the Pentagon since its establishment in 1947. With the Department of Homeland Security in a similar state just over a decade after its hurried creation, it's time for DHS to have a Goldwater-Nichols of its own.

    Jan 28, 2015