Russia maintains it will use military force only defensively, when other options have failed. But this is the doctrine of a state that sees a lot to defend against, even as its interests expand globally. The danger is Moscow's view of threats everywhere may prove self-fulfilling.
Jan 15, 2015 | The Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog
The ruble's fragility presents an opportunity for American and European diplomats to offer Putin a deal that de-escalates the war in Ukraine, provides Russia sanctions relief, and revitalizes Moscow's economic ties with the West.
Dec 30, 2014 | The New York Times
The conflict in Ukraine calls for capable diplomacy, open channels of communication, and clear strategies. At least the latter two appear to be absent, but they can be developed in time. Ending the conflict, however, calls for clear mutual intent to solve problems, build trust, and move forward. That may prove even more elusive.
Sep 8, 2014 | U.S. News & World Report
An international initiative that does not appear to emanate from NATO or the EU could help bring Russia to the table, in part by accepting that Moscow, too, has a role. An international peacekeeping force could open the way for a negotiated end to the conflict.
Aug 20, 2014 | CNN
What Russia seeks from its adventure is status, importance and free reign in its neighborhood, for a start. If sanctions and other responses are short-lived, Moscow will feel victorious, and possibly emboldened to future aggression.
Mar 26, 2014 | U.S. News & World Report
Ultimately, the door to improved relations, following the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, should be left open. No iron curtain should be allowed to settle over Europe.
Mar 5, 2014 | CNN
As Russia continues to define its interests globally, including in the Middle East and in Asia, we can all be on the watch for new opportunities for both coordination and conflict between Moscow and Washington.
Jan 7, 2014 | Voice of America Russian Service
Few, if any, think that the amnesties just announced are a sea change in Russian domestic policy. Some speculate that they are an effort to dampen criticism of Russian human rights abuses, especially the anti-gay law, as Russia gears up for the Sochi Olympics this February.
Dec 23, 2013 | The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
While some see Ukraine choosing between European-style democracy and economic, political, and cultural backwardness in Russia's shadow, the fact is that Ukraine faces a difficult and murky path in any direction. The country is in dire financial straits, needing billions in loans to avoid bankruptcy.
Dec 19, 2013 | U.S. News & World Report
The deal the United States and Russia struck to get rid of Syria's chemical weaponry is neither a sign of a sea change in relations nor a victory for one party over the other, writes Olga Oliker. It is, however, something of a testament to diplomacy on both sides.
Sep 23, 2013 | The RAND Blog
There are increasing reports suggesting that President Obama will soon take military action against the Syrian government, perhaps targeting its chemical weapons facilities. Several RAND experts spoke with us about the latest developments.
Aug 30, 2013
Are U.S. officials deluded about the prospects for cooperation with a country that is fundamentally determined to undermine its goals? No, writes Olga Oliker. In fact, they are pursuing a rational approach towards a state that shares U.S. interests in some key areas, even as it fundamentally disagrees in others.
Jul 22, 2013 | CNN
One doesn't need a clear link to a global terror group to carry out an attack; one needs only the resources, the means and an Internet connection. But the global nature of these communities and their online links also create openings police can exploit.
May 6, 2013 | Chicago Tribune
By ignoring the country's real needs in favor of prestige-focused military spending Putin seems to run the risk of exacerbating public discontent rather than reassuring Russians of their global importance, writes Olga Oliker.
Oct 31, 2012 | RAND.org
Afghanistan will fail if it does not have a central government with enough strength, support, and willpower to maintain control of the bulk of its forces, writes Olga Oliker.
Oct 18, 2012 | U.S. News & World Report
The global attention drawn by Pussy Riot shows what is possible in an interconnected world, writes Olga Oliker. Opposition movements in Russia and elsewhere may take note and think about how to better harness such possibilities in the future.
Aug 20, 2012 | CNN
A normalized Georgia-Russia relationship remains in Georgia's, Russia's, and America's interest. Going forward, the U.S. can play a role by calibrating its own interaction with both states to promote improved relations between them, and avoid exacerbating tensions, writes Olga Oliker.
Aug 9, 2012 | RAND.org and GlobalSecurity.org
Building an Afghanistan Security Force: What the US Experience in Iraq (and the Soviet Experience in Afghanistan) Can Teach Us
Olga Oliker's July 18, 2012 testimony to the House Armed Services Committee on building an Afghanistan security force.
Jul 18, 2012
Although any reports of election irregularity will provide new impetus to opposition movements, even without them there is a growing tide of frustration with a system that repeatedly yields elections without real voter choice, writes Olga Oliker.
Mar 3, 2012 | Business Insider
As observers laud the new START treaty for bringing back a framework that will make substantial U.S. and Russian nuclear reductions possible, they must recognise that lowering numbers is not the same as stripping nuclear weapons of their values, writes Olga Oliker.
Aug 1, 2010 | Europe's World
The Russian government has long highlighted the similarities between Kosovo and South Ossetia.... The two situations, however, while similar on some points, are fundamentally different where it matters: in their implications for the future of international relations, writes Olga Oliker.
Aug 25, 2008 | RFERL.org, the website of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty
Today, tens of thousands of Iraqis are in grave danger, targeted because they have worked with the United States. Many have been murdered. Others have fled their homes because of attacks or threats… Many want to come to America, and we should welcome them, writes Olga Oliker.
Dec 16, 2007 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Published commentary by RAND staff: No Law and No Order, in Parliamentary Brief.
Dec 2, 2006 | Parliamentary Brief
Published commentary by RAND staff: Why America Shouldn't Sever Uzbekistan Ties, appearing in Balitmore Sun.
Sep 6, 2005 | Baltimore Sun
Published commentary by RAND staff.
Oct 20, 2004 | Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service