National Will to Fight: Why Some States Keep Fighting and Others Don’t

National Will to Fight: Why Some States Keep Fighting and Others Don’t. RAND Corporation.  Michael J. McNerney et al. September 20, 2018

 What drives some governments to persevere in war at any price while others choose to stop fighting? It is often less-tangible political and economic variables, rather than raw military power, that ultimately determine national will to fight. In this analysis, the authors explore how these variables strengthen or weaken a government’s determination to conduct sustained military operations, even when the expectation of success decreases or the need for significant political, economic, and military sacrifices increases.

This report is part of a broader RAND Arroyo Center effort to help U.S. leaders better understand and influence will to fight at both the national level and the tactical and operational levels. It presents findings and recommendations based on a wide-ranging literature review, a series of interviews, 15 case studies (including deep dives into conflicts involving the Korean Peninsula and Russia), and reviews of relevant modeling and war-gaming.

The authors propose an exploratory model of 15 variables that can be tailored and applied to a wide set of conflict scenarios and drive a much-needed dialogue among analysts conducting threat assessments, contingency plans, war games, and other efforts that require an evaluation of how future conflicts might unfold. The recommendations should provide insights into how leaders can influence will to fight in both allies and adversaries. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 154 pages].

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A Dozen Facts about Immigration

A Dozen Facts about Immigration. Brookings Institution. Ryan Nunn, Jimmy O’Donnell, and Jay Shambaugh. October 9, 2018

 This document provides a set of economic facts about the role of immigration in the U.S. economy. It updates a document from The Hamilton Project on the same subject (Greenstone and Looney 2010), while introducing additional data and research. The authors describe the patterns of recent immigration (levels, legal status, country of origin, and U.S. state of residence), the characteristics of immigrants (education, occupations, and employment), and the effects of immigration on the economy (economic output, wages, innovation, fiscal resources, and crime). [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 22 pages].

Empowering Young People to Make Their Place: A Case Study of the Marcus Garvey Clubhouse in Brownsville, Brooklyn

Empowering Young People to Make Their Place: A Case Study of the Marcus Garvey Clubhouse in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Urban Institute. Mark Treskon, Sino Esthappan. September 25, 2018

 Key takeaway: Collaborative youth clubhouse changes perceptions of community safety

This report describes how the Marcus Garvey Clubhouse uses arts and culture to revitalize and reimagine community safety in a high crime, low income neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with program participants, program staff, and funders, this case study finds that actively engaging with the needs of youth and empowering them to design and program a community space can foster economic opportunities and enhance perceptions of neighborhood safety. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 32 pages].

Changes in What Teachers Know and Do in the Common Core Era: American Teacher Panel Findings from 2015 to 2017

Changes in What Teachers Know and Do in the Common Core Era: American Teacher Panel Findings from 2015 to 2017. RAND Corporation. Julia H. Kaufman et al. September 27, 2018

 RAND Corporation researchers use data from surveys of the American Teacher Panel in 2015, 2016, and 2017 to provide evidence of change in teachers’ use of instructional materials and knowledge of state standards and standards-aligned practices. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 40 pages].

Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Margo Balboni. September 27, 2018

 Processes of environmental degradation can exacerbate, prolong, and even spark conflicts.  In Iraq and Yemen, where water and cultivable land are becoming scarce, efforts toward rebuilding these countries will need to factor in a changing climate. Despite their importance, environmental issues are often neglected in post-conflict reconstruction processes. Some of the most sweeping risks—environmental and climate crises—are the most likely to be overlooked because they are “threats without enemies.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 12 pages].

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) Risk Adjustment Program: Frequently Asked Questions

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) Risk Adjustment Program: Frequently Asked Questions. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Katherine M. Kehres. October 4, 2018

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  created a permanent risk adjustment program that aims to reduce incentives that insurers may have to avoid enrolling individuals at risk of high health care costs in the private health insurance market. Section 1343 of the ACA established the program, which is designed to assess charges to health plans that have relatively healthier enrollees compared with other health plans in a given state. The program uses collected charges to make payments to other plans in the same state that have relatively sicker enrollees. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers the risk adjustment program as a budget-neutral program, so that payments made are equal to the charges assessed in each state. CMS assesses payments and charges on an annual basis, beginning in the 2014 benefit year. 

 [PDF format, 25 pages].

Optimizing the Maturity Structure of U.S. Treasury Debt: A Model-Based Framework

Optimizing the Maturity Structure of U.S. Treasury Debt: A Model-Based Framework. Brookings Institution. Terry Belton et al. October 10, 2018

 The U.S. Treasury doesn’t decide how much money to borrow each year; that depends on the gap between federal spending and revenues. The Treasury does decide how to borrow – that is, how much short-term and how much long-term and how much in between.  These decisions typically involve a trade-off between minimizing expected costs of borrowing and minimizing fiscal risks. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 40 pages].