Warfare and Military Operations

Featured

RAND researchers examine military and national security issues across a broad spectrum — from political dissent and military training to tactical operations and reconstruction efforts — and take a long-term, global perspective. Terrorism, types of warfare, and international intervention are among the many topics RAND explores.

  • Italian air force F-35 and Eurofighter Typhoons fly in formation over Italy during a training mission, courtesy photo, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa

    Report

    European Contributions to NATO's Future Combat Airpower

    Oct 22, 2020

    European air forces currently have limited capabilities for defending allies in high-intensity conflict. However, Europe's airpower is trending in the right direction, especially with the introduction of fifth-generation aircraft.

  • A Delta IV rocket successfully launches the Global Positioning System IIF-5 satellite from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, February 20, 2014, photo by Ben Cooper/United Launch Alliance

    Research Brief

    What Will the Future of Warfare Look Like?

    May 11, 2020

    Poor predictions about wars stem from failing to think holistically about the factors that drive changes in the global environment and their implications for warfare. Geopolitical, economic, military, space, nuclear, cyber, and other trends will shape the contours of conflict through 2030.

Explore Warfare and Military Operations

  • Blog

    COVID-19 Demographic Trends, Vaccinating 'High-Contact' People, the Iran Threat Network: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the pandemic is shaping demographic trends, targeting vaccines to "high-contact" people, the Iran Threat Network, and more.

    Apr 16, 2021

  • European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora and Iranian Deputy at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araghchi wait for the start of a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria April 6, 2021

    Commentary

    The Biden Administration Will Find It Difficult to Contain Israel and Iran's Escalating Tensions

    Iranian officials are blaming Israel and vowing revenge for a major blackout that damaged centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear research facility. The attack is likely to complicate nuclear diplomacy, further erode trust between Tehran and Washington, and may only incentivize Iran to advance its program. What does this mean for the nascent nuclear talks in Vienna?

    Apr 14, 2021

  • North Korea displays what appears to be its largest intercontinental ballistic missile during a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers' Party, October 10, 2020, photo by KCNA

    Report

    Countering the Risks of North Korean Nuclear Weapons

    There is a growing gap between North Korea's nuclear weapon threat and South Korean and U.S. capabilities to defeat it. Because these capabilities will take years to develop, attention should be focused on where the threat could be in the mid to late 2020s and strategy options that could be employed to counter it.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • A man holds an assault rifle as Proud Boys gather in support of Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse and Aaron 'Jay' Danielson in Portland, Oregon, September 26, 2020, photo by Alex Milan Tracy/Reuters

    Commentary

    Don't Muddy the Objectives on Fighting Domestic Extremism

    The U.S. Capitol attack on January 6 has fueled momentum for new approaches and laws to counter attacks by domestic violent extremists. It will be crucial for policymakers to reckon with what new laws and law enforcement can achieve, and what they can get wrong.

    Apr 7, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    Interviews with Former Extremists Reveal Multiple Paths to Developing Extreme Ideologies; Rejection of Extremism Often ...

    People who radicalize to extremist ideologies often are triggered by negative life events or exposure to propaganda, and those who escape from extreme groups frequently are aided by an individual or group that intervenes to help them reject the philosophy.

    Apr 2, 2021

  • Blog

    Understanding Violent Extremism, 'Blockships,' VMT Fee: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on firsthand accounts of violent extremism, lessons from the recent blockage in the Suez Canal, and if a federal Vehicle Miles Travel fee could replace the gas tax.

    Apr 2, 2021

  • Light catches the security fence around the U.S. Capitol, erected in the wake of the January 6th attack but now scheduled to be removed, in Washington, D.C., March 15, 2021, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Report

    Violent Extremism in America: Firsthand Accounts

    The January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol emphasized the need for more research to inform violent extremism prevention and deradicalization strategies. Interviews with former extremists and their family members shed light on what leads people to join—and later leave—extremist groups.

    Apr 1, 2021

  • The Sodium Guidestar at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Starfire Optical Range resides on a 6,240 foot hilltop at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, photo by U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Third Offset Fostered Real Intellectual Change Within DoD

    In 2014, U.S. defense leaders began promoting the Third Offset, a strategy centered on the potential of technology to offset Chinese and Russian advances. Its core principles were adopted by the 2018 National Defense Strategy. DoD started to look at security problems in a new light and develop closer ties with Silicon Valley.

    Mar 31, 2021

  • Stranded ship Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, after it ran aground, in the Suez Canal, March 28, 2021, photo by Suez Canal Authority/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Suez Grounding Was an Accident. The Next Blocked Chokepoint Might Not Be

    The recent spectacle of a hulking container ship wedged into the Suez Canal is a reminder of how vulnerable maritime transportation is to blocked chokepoints. The fragility of maritime lifelines may encourage the use of this tactic in future conflict.

    Mar 30, 2021

  • People are silhouetted as they hold mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a binary code and a Russian flag, in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 29, 2014, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Report

    PSAs Might Prevent Foreign Disinformation from Taking Hold

    Tests with focus groups suggest that Americans are vulnerable to Russian-made memes. The participants responded positively to a public service announcement about foreign election interference, especially after they learned that they had just viewed content from Russia designed to breed dissension.

    Mar 29, 2021

  • People walk at a street market in Sanaa, Yemen, February 5, 2021, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

    Commentary

    Congressional Options to Advance Peace in Yemen

    An enduring peace in Yemen will require addressing Yemen's most immediate needs while working to develop its economic, political, and security institutions. U.S. lawmakers have the tools to help shape this effort and could help end the conflict and bring stability to Yemen.

    Mar 29, 2021

  • A hand with megaphone spreading social media news on Coronavirus infection, photo by Feodora Chiosea/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Towards an AI-Based Counter-Disinformation Framework

    Artificial intelligence is being used to develop sophisticated malign information on social media. But AI also provides opportunities to strengthen responses to these threats and can foster wider resilience to disinformation.

    Mar 29, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    The U.S.-Japan Alliance and Rapid Change on the Korean Peninsula: Proceedings from a Pair of Conferences

    Few areas of the world are more geostrategically important to the United States and Japan than the Korean Peninsula. These conference proceedings explore how changes on the Korean Peninsula are seen by observers in Japan and the United States.

    Mar 26, 2021

  • Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Christiansen, a member of the Para-Commandos, U.S. Special Operations Command’s parachute team, jumps out of an HC-130J Combat King II aircraft over Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 15, 2019.Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Christiansen, a member of the Para-Commandos, U.S. Special Operations Command’s parachute team, jumps out of an HC-130J Combat King II aircraft over Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 15, 2019, photo by Air Force Airman 1st Class Dwane Young/U.S. Department of Defense

    Testimony

    Special Operations Forces Culture and Climate

    What the nation asks of its special operations forces shapes who they are and what they do. Two decades of counterterrorism focus have led to an unbalanced and overused force. How can policymakers and military leaders rebalance the force to meet changing demands and address systemic issues such as its lack of diversity?

    Mar 26, 2021

  • Finger hovering over an illuminated button with a radiation warning sign, photo by davidhills/Getty Images

    Multimedia

    RAND Remote: A Disarming Mission, A RAND Conversation with William Perry and Tom Collina

    In this RAND Remote conversation, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Tom Collina, director of policy at Ploughshares Fund, discuss nuclear executive authority and topics covered in their book, The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump.

    Mar 25, 2021

  • People standing in front of a Twitter logo, photo illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

    Report

    Pro-Ukraine Activists on Twitter Can Help Counter Russian Influence

    Many pro-Ukraine activists surveyed on Twitter support the United States and the European Union and oppose Russia and its influence on Ukraine. They have used Twitter—and other social media and offline channels—to help counter Russian influence. Half said they would be open to receiving social media training.

    Mar 24, 2021

  • Voices From the Middle East

    Multimedia

    Voices From the Middle East

    Shira Efron, coauthor of the RAND study Alternatives in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, describes several surprising findings from the report.

    Mar 23, 2021

  • U.S. Soldiers with the 46th Military Police Company, Michigan National Guard, at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., February 25, 2021, photo by 2nd Lt. Ashley Goodwin/U.S. Army National Guard

    Commentary

    The National Guard Can Do It, but That Doesn't Mean It's a Good Idea

    Should the National Guard provide an enduring quick reaction force for Washington, D.C., as apparently recommended in a recent report to Congress? Policymakers might ask themselves whether using the National Guard for this mission is actually the best solution.

    Mar 19, 2021

  • Blog

    Game Theory to Help the Vaccine Rollout, Abraham Accords, Telehealth: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how game theory can help the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, potential economic benefits of the Abraham Accords, telemedicine use during the pandemic, and more.

    Mar 19, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Command and Control of U.S. Air Force Combat Support in a High-End Fight

    This report describes new concepts for U.S. Air Force combat support command and control while under persistent multi-domain attack during a high-end fight, specifically to support maneuver and functioning in a communications degraded environment.

    Mar 16, 2021