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RAND conducts a broad array of national security research for the U.S. Department of Defense and allied ministries of defense. RAND's four U.S. federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) explore topics from acquisition and technology to personnel and readiness.

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  • Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers take part in an annual training session near Mount Fuji at Higashifuji training field in Gotemba, west of Tokyo, August 25, 2016

    Commentary

    Giving Japan a Military

    After 70 years, Japan may finally be on the cusp of acquiring its own military. Legally, that is. Prime Minister Abe has proposed a change to Japan's constitution to give legal standing to the Self-Defense Forces, and it's long overdue.

    Jun 20, 2017

  • A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units watches smoke rise after a coalition airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, June 16, 2017

    Commentary

    The Islamic State's Disposable Army

    To leaders of the Islamic State group, murder of its own and collective suicide are keys to its defense strategy. The group targets malcontents and the most suggestible, knowing they are desperate to belong to something and willing to die for it.

    Jun 20, 2017

  • Report

    NATO's Northeastern Flank: Emerging Opportunities for Engagement

    This report examines the impact of renewed tension between NATO and Russia on key allies and partners in central and northeastern Europe to identify how changes in their interests, strategies, and capabilities affect U.S. partnering in the region.

    Jun 20, 2017

  • Chemical experts inspect the site of a suicide truck bomb attack at a petrol station in Hilla, Iraq, November 25, 2016

    Commentary

    Can We Predict Where Terrorists Will Strike Next?

    Terrorism has escalated horizontally, not vertically. Instead of weapons of mass destruction, there has been a proliferation of low-level attacks. The trick will be to predict and prevent new plots.

    Jun 19, 2017

  • Report

    Are Current Military Education Benefits Efficient and Effective for the Services?

    This research takes a mixed-methods approach to examine the effects of military education benefit programs on recruiting and retention-related outcomes, and to assess how the two largest education benefits may work together.

    Jun 19, 2017

  • Dissertation

    Search and Rescue in the Arctic: Is the U.S. Prepared?

    Explores the U.S. capability to handle the Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) Agreement, a landmark treaty that gives the U.S. responsibility for conducting SAR in a slice of territory that surrounds Alaska and stretches to the North Pole.

    Jun 19, 2017

  • Smoke rises from the al-Mishlab district in Raqqa's southeastern outskirts, Syria, June 7, 2017

    Commentary

    When the Caliphate Falls, What Then for U.S. Policy?

    The eventual fall of ISIS-controlled Raqqa will necessitate a review of U.S. policy in Syria. Policymakers can start thinking about the questions it will raise now.

    Jun 16, 2017

  • Report

    Cyber Power Potential of the Army's Reserve Component

    Describes the availability of personnel with cyber skills in the private sector and the number of Army reserve component soldiers available to support the Army's cyber mission needs.

    Jun 15, 2017

  • Soldiers pose for photo during International Maritime and Defense Industry Exposition in Kaohsiung, Taiwan September 16, 2016

    Commentary

    Taiwan's 2017 Quadrennial Defense Review in Context

    Taiwan's 2017 Quadrennial Defense Review is consistent with past reviews on defense strategy, reform of the military service system, and defense budget constraints. It also emphasizes the importance to President Tsai of Taiwan's domestic defense industry and shows uncertainty about U.S. Asia policy.

    Jun 14, 2017

  • Global network and information connection

    Report

    Social Media Analysis Could Support Information Operations

    Social media analysis could provide a window into the perspectives and communications of adversaries and other key audiences. If DoD seeks to expand its capability in this area, it must navigate U.S. law, cultural norms, and other issues.

    Jun 14, 2017

  • Sgt. John Kriesel receives treatment from a therapist while his wife, Katie, comforts him at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, February 9, 2007

    Report

    Improving Support for Military and Veteran Caregivers: A Research Blueprint

    Millions of Americans provide informal care and support to current and former U.S. service members. A new research blueprint could help inform efforts to improve support for these “hidden heroes.”

    Jun 14, 2017

  • Research Brief

    Improving Support for America's Hidden Heroes: A Military Caregiver Research Blueprint

    In this brief, RAND researchers document the construction and elements of a research blueprint to inform future efforts to improve support for military and veteran caregivers.

    Jun 14, 2017

  • Two people holding hands in a comforting manner

    Testimony

    Creating Better Support for Military and Veteran Caregivers

    Caregivers who provide unpaid, informal support to current and former U.S. service members are a key part of America's care for returning warriors. A new research blueprint could help improve support for these "hidden heroes."

    Jun 14, 2017

  • Report

    A New Methodology for Conducting Product Support Business Case Analysis (BCA): With Illustrations from the F-22 Product Support BCA

    This document explains how to apply guidance on project evaluation to product support business case analyses in a way that allows senior Department of Defense decisionmakers to use net present value to compare courses of action.

    Jun 13, 2017

  • Report

    Sustaining the Army's Reserve Components as an Operational Force

    This report identifies emerging policy lessons regarding the use of, and reforms to, the U.S. Army's Reserve Components (RCs) as an operational reserve derived from analyses of their contributions to recent contingency operations.

    Jun 12, 2017

  • Report

    Medical Support to Light Footprint Operations: Why smaller operations require a different approach to medical support

    Traditional military medical support is designed for larger formations and draws on a heavier supporting infrastructure. Recent EU operations have a smaller number of personnel, shorter duration and seek to have a lighter infrastructure footprint.

    Jun 9, 2017

  • War veterans and commanding officers in a military parade celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the truce of the Korean War, in Pyongyang, August 3, 2013

    Commentary

    End the Korean War, Finally

    The North Koreans want a declaration of peace as reassurance that they won't be attacked and as recognition that their country is a sovereign state and legitimate power. A peace agreement is most likely a necessary element to any resolution of the North Korean nuclear challenge.

    Jun 8, 2017

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks at a rocket warhead tip after a simulated test of atmospheric re-entry of a ballistic missile in this undated photo released by the Korean Central News Agency on March 15, 2016

    Blog

    Conversations at RAND: Security Tensions in Northeast Asia

    The increasing tempo of developments in North Korea is of growing concern not only to South Korea but also to the U.S., Japan, and even China. At a RAND event, senior researcher Bruce Bennett discussed how complex the situation is and what options the U.S. has going forward.

    Jun 8, 2017

  • United Nations Mission in South Sudan peacekeepers from Japan assemble a drainage pipe at Tomping camp in Juba, January 7, 2014

    Commentary

    Japan's Mistaken South Sudan Withdrawal

    Being a proactive contributor to peace involves risk if a country is serious about gaining real-world experience. Pulling out of South Sudan deprives Japan's Self-Defense Force of crucial operational experience and sends a confusing message to the United States and the international community.

    Jun 8, 2017

  • Multimedia

    China and North Korea

    Overview of testimony presented by Andrew Scobell before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on June 8, 2017.

    Jun 8, 2017