National Security Research Division

The RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD) conducts research and analysis for the U.S. government, U.S. allies, and private foundations. The division operates the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI), a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC).


  • Countering Russia's Nuclear Threat in Europe

    President Vladimir Putin's announced plan to put nuclear arms in Belarus may pose risks to NATO's nuclear posture. Three decades after the Soviet collapse, some allies might be uneasy about re-energizing NATO's nuclear mission. But others might argue that not responding to Russia's moving forward its nuclear arms could cause the Kremlin to doubt NATO's nuclear credibility.

    Apr 20, 2023

  • How Kim Jong-un's Fears Shape North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Agenda

    North Korea has ramped up the frequency and intensity of its missile launches and other provocations over the last year, continuing its nuclear weapon–buildup while threatening attacks against South Korea and the United States. Why is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un making such excessive investments in his nuclear and weapons programs and dramatically showing off his country's military capabilities?

    Apr 19, 2023

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Latest Publications

  • How China Understands and Assesses Military Balance

    China sees itself as the weaker side in the overall military balance with the United States, largely because it has made only limited progress in the key areas that will define future warfare. Those include informatization and system-of-systems–based operations.

    Mar 1, 2023

  • The View of the Taiwan Strait from the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    In this video from an October 2022 event, experts examine the view of the Taiwan strait from the U.S.-Japan alliance. Presenters with experience in the governance of the United States and Japan considered the Taiwan strait issue from the perspectives of the two countries.

    Feb 20, 2023

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  • The Challenges to Making AUKUS Work

    Senior political scientist Jennifer D. Moroney writes in Security & Defence PLuS that for AUKUS to reach its potential, it will need to overcome barriers in terms of policies, legislation, management structures, and information-sharing practices.

  • Civilian Casualties: Lessons from the Battle for Raqqa

    The United States' emphasis on minimizing civilian harm in Raqqa, Syria, was quite clear and strong up and down the chain of command. But the way in which the U.S. military waged war in Raqqa too often undercut that commitment. The Pentagon asked RAND to find out what happened.

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