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[] Wie Think Tank mit dem Militär interagieren - RAND Perspektive,

How U.S. Think Tanks Interact With The Military =

(The following article by Michael D. Rich, Executive Vice President of
RAND, appeared in the latest issue of "U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda"
to the topic: "The Role of Think Tanks in U.S. Foreign Policy." =

By Michael D. Rich
Executive Vice President, RAND

(Think tanks that work with defense and intelligence agencies once
exclusively on regional and functional topics, but these organizations
now also being called upon to help the military address the new
of terrorism and homeland security, says RAND Executive Vice President
Michael D. Rich.  RAND researchers, who have been studying terrorism for
more than 30 years, are now helping decision-makers develop a
comprehensive analytical approach to defending against terrorist attacks
and, at the same time, they are doing an increasing amount of research
other issues for governments around the world.)

>From the beginnings of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), think tanks=

have worked closely with both the civilian and military leadership on a
wide range of issues, from new technologies to military planning and
operations, to help better protect American interests from ever-evolving

Like the DOD civilian leadership, the uniformed military services
high-quality, objective research on geopolitical trends and the
implications of different foreign policy options.  Among other things,
such research is necessary for realistic scenarios to guide planning and
program evaluations, and to develop an understanding of probable
constraints on operational flexibility.

To their credit, the military services and the Office of the Secretary
Defense (OSD) have used and nurtured a large array of sources for that
research, ranging from small institutes, such as the Center for
and International Studies (CSIS) and the Lexington Institute, funded
primarily with corporate or individual donations, to larger policy
research organizations such as the Institute for Defense Analyses under
contract to the DOD.  The oldest and largest of these research
organizations is RAND, which was established with private capital as a
non-profit corporation in 1948.  About half of RAND's current work deals
with national defense while the rests deals with a wide range of
policy issues.

RAND operates three DOD-sponsored, federally funded research and
development centers (FFRDCs).  FFRDCs are research programs operated by
private non-profit (non-commercial) organizations under long-term
contracts.  They develop and maintain essential expertise and
important to their sponsors and operate in the public interest, free
real or perceived conflicts of interest.

RAND's creation enabled the Air Force to retain and extend the
considerable civilian scientific contributions during World War II.  As
part of a larger program of research on air power at RAND, the Air Force
seeded the development of a path-breaking analytical effort aimed at
understanding the Soviet Union.  Some of RAND's research addressed the
development of Soviet strategy, doctrine, and military systems.  The Air
Force also requested analyses of the Soviet economy, foreign policy,
science and technology programs, among many other topics.

RAND's pioneering work was so new that it required the translation of
large amounts of fundamental Soviet writings and the creation or
refinement of numerous analytical methods that became standard
the research community, including the interviewing of =E9migr=E9s whose
distrust of government officials made them otherwise inaccessible.

Soon the Air Force, and then the Office of the Secretary of Defense,
turned to RAND for research on China, Eastern Europe, Japan, Southeast
Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Western Europe.  Although
smaller in scale than the analyses of the Soviet Union, these studies
provided the Air Force -- and through RAND's widely-disseminated
reports, the rest of the U.S. government and the public -- with an
independent body of research on a broad range of topics.  These included
economic strength, military capabilities, insurgencies, hegemonic
intentions, and leadership succession possibilities in many nations and
regions around the world.

Over time, RAND developed complementary lines of research for the Army,
well as for other federal clients such as the intelligence community.
And the DOD steadily increased the number and diversity of its external
sources of research, also using others in the growing world of "think
tanks" such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Enterprise
Institute, and the Brookings Institution.

RAND's federally funded research and development centers have a special
role in helping to meet the research and analysis needs of their DOD
sponsors.  The FFRDCs are: Project AIR FORCE; the Army's Arroyo Center;
and the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI), which primarily
the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the defense
agencies.  Each of these centers conducts a broad, integrated program of
research that addresses emerging security needs and their implications
the sponsoring organizations; the development of new strategies,
doctrines, tactics, and concepts of operations; the application of new
technologies; and issues related to logistics, manpower, training,
personnel, health care, and systems acquisition.

For each FFRDC, RAND commits to developing and maintaining a set of
specified "core capabilities."  This is all done with close familiarity
with the structure, doctrine, operations, and personalities of the
sponsoring organizations.  Indeed, one of the strengths of FFRDCs,
operated by RAND or other non-profit entities, is their stability and
long-term, strategic, and close-in relationship with their military or

The research agenda-setting process is an iterative one that begins with
the development of a long-term research plan that is revised annually.
Continuous discussions between RAND research leaders and general
or civilians of comparable rank enable RAND to develop an annual
program of individual studies, which is then approved by a high-level
advisory board.  In the case of Project AIR FORCE and the Arroyo Center,
the advisory boards are chaired by the services' vice chiefs of staff;
the case of NDRI, the chair is the principal deputy under secretary of
defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics.  Individual studies
are typically commissioned by one or more senior officers or officials,
who help shape the scope, phasing, and timetable of the research --
providing comments, suggestions, and critiques along the way.

As an example, one such study was a multi-year Project AIR FORCE study
Chinese defense modernization and its implications for the Air Force.
Although it was developed against the backdrop of extensive interactions
between RAND and the senior Air Force leadership, the specific contours
the study were worked out with then-Commander of the Pacific Air Forces,
General Michael Ryan, and Air Force Headquarters' Deputy Chief of Staff
for Air and Space Operations, Lieutenant General John Jumper (now Air
Force Chief of Staff).  Both officers, as well as their successors, were
active participants during the course of the analyses.  The research
reached out to numerous others including experienced members of the
Foreign Service and specialists in academia.

Once the study objectives were agreed upon, RAND assembled a disparate
team of researchers under the leadership of Zalmay Khalilzad, a former
senior official in both the Departments of State and Defense who was
at RAND.  Khalilzad is now a member of the National Security Council
and also Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan.  In addition to China
specialists, there were other regional specialists, as well as experts
defense strategy, air power, intelligence, and economics.

The team was augmented by several Air Force officers serving at RAND as
federal executive fellows.  During the course of the research, the study
team reviewed work in progress with an advisory group composed of a wide
variety of current and former senior federal officials in both
and Republican administrations, including former national security
Brent Scowcroft and three former secretaries of defense: Harold Brown,
Frank Carlucci, and William Perry.

This project produced numerous interim briefings to senior Air Force
officers and other DOD officials, and written products, as well as a
report and derivative issue paper that were published and circulated
widely.  In a manner that characterizes much of the research of FFRDCs,
the project involved close and continuing interaction with the Air Force
at all levels.  Most important, the work was of practical value to the
Force senior leadership and was widely read and used elsewhere in the
government and in the region.

Every RAND product undergoes a rigorous quality assurance process and
report was no exception.  In addition to internal peer reviews, the
manuscript was reviewed before publication by I. Lewis Libby, a former
principal deputy secretary of defense and State Department official, and
David Shambaugh, professor of political science and international
relations and director of the China Policy Program at The George
Washington University.

This study is one of several done by RAND's FFRDCs during the past few
years that have examined issues at the heart of U.S.-China relations.
Other FFRDC studies at RAND during the same period examined critical
problems involving such nations as North Korea, Indonesia, India,
Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Colombia.  Each of these studies
on the same RAND strengths as the study on China: a multi-disciplinary
team of researchers, extensive contacts overseas, and close working
relationships with the military sponsor.

The work in and on individual countries has enabled RAND to carry out
detailed analyses of security issues on a regional level in East Asia,
South Asia, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf.  In fact RAND is
an increasing amount of work for governments around the world.  The
pattern of detailed country studies and broader regional analyses has
especially effective in work on Europe.  RAND has a substantial presence
in Europe, with three offices and research programs in both defense and
non-defense fields.  A series of analyses of conventional arms control
using advanced combat models, and of the related question of limits on
power, had substantial influence on the U.S. position and ultimately on
the resulting Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.  Moreover,
of the early thinking about the rationale for alternative paths toward
NATO expansion was done at RAND and other think tanks.

Think tanks are now called upon to contribute to a new challenge: the
emergence of terrorism as a worldwide threat and of homeland security as
national priority of the highest order.  RAND researchers have been
studying terrorism for more than 30 years, and are today helping the
United States government develop a comprehensive analytical approach to
defend against terrorist attacks.  Bigger bombs, better guns, and new
weapons systems alone are not enough to defeat terrorists, who operate
from traditional battlefields.  We also need a better understanding of
terrorists are, how they operate, what motivates them, and what can be
done to stop them from expanding their ranks.  And we need a better
understanding of our nation's vulnerabilities and how to reduce those
vulnerabilities.  RAND's research and analysis is playing an important
role in helping to improve government policy and decision-making in
vital areas.

Since the attacks on America on September 11, 2001, the RAND FFRDCs --
like those of the other FFRDCs operated by other institutions, such as
Center for Naval Analyses, that regularly assist the DOD -- have been
called upon by their sponsors to modify their research agendas.  The
legacy of past work and resulting capabilities, coupled with the
flexibility of the institutional arrangements and close working
relationships between sponsors and researchers, operators, and analysts,
have equipped the FFRDCs for these new dimensions in the nexus of
policy and defense planning.

The "old" issues haven't gone away, of course.  They have simply been
joined and complicated by the more recent ones.  RAND's experts on a
range of national security issues have been helping America's armed
defend the nation for more than 50 years, dealing both with threats that
are now part of history and with threats that will be on tomorrow's

(end byliner)

-- =

Olivier Minkwitz___________________________________________
Dipl. Pol.
HSFK Hessische Stiftung f=FCr Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
PRIF Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
Leimenrode 29 60322 Frankfurt a/M Germany
Tel +49 (0)69 9591 0422  Fax +49 (0)69 5584 81                         pgpKey:0xAD48A592
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