Our Research

CNA pioneered the field of operations research and analysis more than 70 years ago and, today, applies its efforts to a broad range of national security, defense, and public interest issues including education, homeland security, and air traffic management. Browse our publication database using the yearly archives link on the left. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Try the site search box in the upper right corner of this page. If you still need help locating a document, please contact us at inquiries@cna.org.

CNA operates on the principle of conducting honest, accurate, usable research to inform the important work of public policy decision makers—a principle that is never compromised. At CNA we:

  • Maintain absolute objectivity. In our investigations, analyses, and findings, we test hypotheses, carefully guard against personal biases and preconceptions, challenge our own findings, and are uninfluenced by what a client would like to hear.
  • Apply imaginative, innovative techniques. We approach every problem with an open mind and go only where the facts lead us.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of issues. We analyze all relevant aspects of an issue and look for results that not only answer questions but inform decision making.
  • Are process driven and results oriented. We carefully maintain rigorous, ethical standards of research and analysis and work aggressively to complete projects on time and within budget.
  • Are open, direct, and clear. We keep clients informed about our procedures and progress – in language that is unambiguous and understandable.

Recent CNA Research

September 16, 2015

This report is the product of a systematic review of published data and research about education in middle Appalachia from 1995 to 2015. Special attention is paid to issues that reflect national and regional priorities: college and career readiness, educator effectiveness, access to and quality of curriculum and instruction, systemic capacity, and health and wellness factors. Overall, the review suggests that education opportunities and outcomes in middle Appalachia are improving.

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August 31, 2015

This paper, which builds from an earlier paper written on covert versus overt provocations for the 6th CNA-KIMS workshop, examines North Korea's provocation and escalation calculus, as well as the timing inherent in its brinksmanship decision-making. It contains information up through the end of May 2015.

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August 14, 2015

CNA convened an executive session on July 9, 2015, the third such session held at CNA since September 2014. This session brought together police leaders, police trainers, government agency leaders, police researchers, and community advocates (several of whom served on the President's Task Force) to engage in a guided discussion on the future of policing in America, with the President's Task Force report as the backdrop.

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August 11, 2015

This study aims to model the landscape of the Marcellus Shale region to predict how it may change in the future in response to the expansion of natural gas extraction, and, in particular, what impact this may have on the Delaware River Basin (DRB). Our approach combined geospatial analysis and statistical modeling to create a probability surface that predicts the most favorable locations for the placement of future wells based on the location of existing wells. Using the probability surface and an estimate of the number of wells that would be needed to fully exploit the shale resource, we estimated the future landscape of development in the Interior Marcellus Shale and DRB. Using affected subwatersheds and counties as study areas, we then investigated potential impacts associated with land cover, water and wastewater management, water quality due to changes in land cover, air emissions, and health risk factors. The results are intended to help decision-makers and the public understand the scale of the potential impacts.

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July 9, 2015

Civil affairs (CA) forces will operate increasingly in the "New Normal" environment, a period of instability and low-level conflict where maintaining persistent engagement with partners and allies will be critical to deterring and managing conflict and unrest. In this new environment, CA forces play a critical role in conflict prevention and in addressing the root causes of conflict. When crises do arise, CA forces can leverage the influence they have built in an area via a minimal footprint approach and blend with crisis response forces where necessary. Highlighting earlier work on civil affairs that CNA has conducted for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, this occasional paper explores challenges and opportunities for the joint CA force to conduct civil-military operations in the "New Normal" and charts a way ahead for the CA community to operate in this new environment.

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