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RAND (a contraction of “research and development”) was one of the first organizations to be called a “think tank,” a distinction bestowed by its original client, the U.S. Air Force (then the Army Air Force). As World War II was drawing to a close, it became apparent that complete and permanent peace might not be assured. Discussions among people in the War Department, the Office of Scientific Research and Development, and industry identified a need for a private organization that could connect military planning with research and development decisions, giving birth to the original Project RAND.

Today, RAND's work is much more diverse. Its mission is to help improve policy and decision making through research and analysis, and RAND strives to serve the public interest by ...

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