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

January 15, 2016

On December 31, 2015, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) began to execute a major and unprecedented reorganization, the result of many years of study and planning. This paper provides some initial thoughts on the significance of the reorganization, the drivers impelling the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and PLA to move forward, some key features of the reorganization, and some of its basic implications. The paper is based primarily on information placed in the public domain by the CCP and the PLA. It is important to point out that this is the very beginning of what will be a long and complex process. Consequently, there is still much about the reorganization that is not known, is not clear, is not yet being announced, or is not fully understood.

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December 21, 2015

CNA Education is evaluating the Florida College and Career Readiness Initiative (FCCRI) through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The FCCRI is a statewide policy that has required college readiness testing in 11th grade, and then participation in college readiness and success courses in 12th grade for students who did not test as "college-ready."

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December 18, 2015

In March 2015, in Delhi, India, CNA held a game and scenario-planning session in support of the Skoll Global Threats Fund and the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office. During the event, we explored the future effects of climate change as they relate to security around the world. Participants included renowned scientists, security experts, diplomats, and retired military personnel from Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Based on game play and discussions, we identified four major findings: (1) climate change may increase nationalism and policies of internalization in developed countries; (2) large-scale climate-induced migration may impact a country's international policies, economic situation, and defining cultural attributes, changing the way they participate in global commons; (3) competition for limited resources may increase as a source of friction and shape policies and international relations; and (4) climate change technologies are not viewed in the same way by all countries, and there is potential for an emerging disparity between regions over the consensus and control of these technologies. This document gives an overview of the event and discusses why we identified each of these factors as a security risk that could result from climate change.

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December 16, 2015

On September 24, 2015, CNA convened an executive session in Arlington, VA, on "Early Warning Systems: What's New? What's Working?" This session provided criminal justice leaders, policy makers, and researchers with an opportunity to share information and discuss approaches that deepen our understanding of emerging issues in American policing.

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December 1, 2015

As part of its wider efforts to assess the implications of Russia's foreign and national security policy, CNA initiated this study to examine Russia's objectives, policy, and strategic and operational calculus with respect to ethnic Russian, Russian-speaking, and other potentially sympathetic populations residing in other former Soviet states. This is a quick-response, three-month effort designed to stimulate public discourse around Russia's efforts to use these communities, which Moscow defines as compatriots, to further its policy goals. The study highlights several important implications that U.S. policy-makers may consider in formulating policy toward Russia and the countries in which these compatriot populations reside.

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