Pardee RAND Blog Posts

Students and faculty of Pardee RAND frequently author blog posts for RAND.org based on their research or expertise; these posts are featured here. Note: clicking on a link will take you to RAND's website.

Student Blog Posts

Here we list the last 10 student-authored blog posts. Visit the Student Blog Posts page for a complete list.

  • Is Iron Dome a Poisoned Chalice? Strategic Risks from Tactical Success

    Nov 29, 2017

    Elizabeth M. Bartels

    While Iron Dome's past success in defending Israel makes it a tempting solution to future challenges, it does have shortcomings. Student Elizabeth Bartels (cohort '15) says this becomes even more serious when considering using the system in Korea, where the threat posed is substantially greater, and the targeted terrain substantially harder to defend.

  • How Hot Is Too Hot? Rising Temperatures and the Workplace

    Nov 16, 2017

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    Climate change is here. Future extreme heat waves are a given and will likely grow in intensity, geographic reach and duration. Student Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort 14) says plans need to be made now to ensure survival of the poorest, to protect outdoor workers and to adapt economic planning to what is increasingly becoming a hotter planet.

  • Adding Shots on Target: Wargaming Beyond the Game

    Oct 9, 2017

    Elizabeth M. Bartels

    Figuring out what the future may look like—and what concepts and technology we should invest in now to prepare—is hard. Student Ellie Bartels (cohort '15) considers how the wargaming community can build a cycle of research to help understand what these paths might be.

  • Doing More with Less: Lessons from Cuba's Health Care System

    High U.S. health care costs do not yield corresponding health outcomes for its citizens. But students Claire O'Hanlon (cohort '13) and Melody Harvey ('12) note that Cuba, for less than a tenth of U.S. costs, has attained comparable outcomes on many indicators, such as life expectancy and infant mortality. Cuba prioritizes primary care and prevention and addresses social determinants of health.

  • Joint Military Exercises Distract from Complex Russia-Belarus Relationship

    Analysts and military leaders have concerns that Russia will use the Zapad 2017 exercise in Belarus as a smokescreen to put personnel and equipment in place, and keep it there. But student Bilyana Lilly (cohort '16) argues that the deep ties and history of cooperation between the two states make the chances of that happening unlikely.

  • Another Casualty of Climate Change: Peace

    Aug 15, 2017

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    Student Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort ' 14) says the connection between human conflict and climate change is no mere coincidence. Drought, temperature and tensions rise in tandem, with the implicit threat of violent conflict not far behind.

  • Getting (Solar) Electricity Pricing Right

    For many U.S. homeowners, an investment in rooftop solar is becoming a cost-competitive alternative to purchasing grid electricity. But student Benjamin Smith (cohort '15) and professors Nick Burger and Aimee Curtright note that, as demand soars, states are struggling to adapt a 20th-century electrical grid to 21st-century supply and demand, leading to confusion and cost uncertainty.

  • A Colombian Survivor's Crusade to Strengthen Punishment for Acid Attacks

    Acid attacks—one of the most extreme forms of violence against women and girls—have devastating, lifelong consequences for survivors. Student Mahlet Woldetsadik (cohort '13) writes that governments can, like Colombia, impose tougher punishments on attackers and support programs to build survivors' self-confidence.

  • Where Are India's Heat Hotspots?

    Poverty, poor sanitation, a precarious water and electricity supply, and limited access to health care make India vulnerable to heat waves. Rural and urban districts could improve their preparedness by developing and targeting local adaptation strategies, writes student Gulrez Azhar (cohort '14).

  • What Street Food Vendors in Uganda Need to Succeed

    Street vendors in Kampala, Uganda, would benefit from infrastructure development, food safety standards, rules of hygiene, and greater focus on healthy products, write student Michele Abbott (cohort '14) and professor Deborah Cohen. The city's growing population also would benefit from increased access to nutritious and affordable foods.

Faculty Blog Posts

Here we list the last 10 faculty-authored blog posts. Visit the Faculty Blog Posts page for a complete list.

  • All for One and One for All: Toward a Coordinated EU Approach on Returnees

    To combat the threat posed by returning fighters, EU intelligence and police agencies will need to coordinate to find potential terrorists before they are able to conduct attacks in Europe. Prof Colin Clarke says the return of dangerous foreign fighters to European soil should be motivation enough for an overarching review of each country’s vulnerabilities.

  • Drones Could Deliver Change to Africa

    Nov 17, 2017

    Shira Efron

    Drones have potential on the African continent to transform urban and rural infrastructure and enhance agricultural productivity, writes professor/alum Shira Efron (cohort '11). But deployment of drones in Africa still faces technological, economic, social, and legal and regulatory challenges.

  • America Is Great at Fighting Terrorism, but Terror Is Alive and Well

    When terrorists adopt a strategy of pure terror, it is challenging to prevent attacks like those seen in Nice, Columbus, London, Barcelona, or New York. Instead, writes Prof Henry Willis, strategies are needed to counter terrorism's ultimate aim, to instill fear, and to remove some of the incentives of those who might be motivated to conduct them.

  • The Looming Pension Crisis

    Nov 8, 2017

    Dan Grunfeld

    California leads the nation in pension underfunding. The state government has $464.4 billion in unfunded liabilities — the difference between resources that will be available in the state's pension fund and what will be owed to retiring employees. Executive Vice Dean Dan Grunfeld explains that, as dire as the problem is now, it could double over the next 12 years.

  • Recovering from a Nuclear Attack on a U.S. City

    Nov 7, 2017

    David A. Shlapak

    Responding after a nuclear attack will require having planned and prepared for problems that are very different than those encountered after hurricanes and earthquakes. U.S. cities are inadequately prepared to handle a disaster of this magnitude, writes Prof David Shlapak.

  • The Long-Term Budget Shortfall and National Security: A Problem the U.S. Should Stop Avoiding

    Bold promises and even actions that balance the budget for the short term should not mask the fact that the U.S. government has failed to face its long-term budget problems. Without changes, writes Prof Howard Shatz, the ability to pay for many functions — including defense — will rely wholly on borrowed money.

  • New York Terror Attack: Can Vehicle Attacks Be Prevented?

    The recent vehicle attack in Manhattan was the deadliest terror attack on New York since 9/11. Preventing every attack is unrealistic, writes Prof Colin Clarke, but with increased vigilance, cooperation with law enforcement, and intelligence sharing, citizens can help mitigate the threat of terrorism.

  • Candy Out of Sight, Out of Mind

    Oct 31, 2017

    Deborah Cohen

    CVS is cutting back on candy at the cash register, making junk food less visible and “healthier” snacks easier to find. Any move that nudges consumers toward healthier choices should be applauded, writes Prof Deborah Cohen, but CVS could take the lead as a retailer and do away with junk food displays by the cash register altogether.

  • Checklist of Best Practices Developed to Guide Development of Suicide Prevention Campaigns

    Is your crisis line’s suicide-prevention communications effort working well enough? What should you be doing differently? Some help is available through a checklist published earlier this year, writes Prof Joie Acosta.

  • The Moderate Face of Al Qaeda

    Al Qaeda in Syria cut ties with its parent organization to portray itself as a legitimate, capable, and independent force in the Syrian civil war. The group appears dedicated to helping Syrians prevail, writes Prof Colin Clarke, and now that ISIS has lost its capital in Raqqa, al Qaeda may be the only group viewed as militarily capable of challenging the Assad regime.