Foreign Affairs


RAND's international affairs research comprises a range of cross-cutting issues, including global economies and trade, space and maritime security, diplomacy, global health and education, nation building, and regional security and stability. RAND also analyzes the policies and effectiveness of international organizations such as the UN, NATO, European Union, and ASEAN.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin watches honor guards during a wreath-laying ceremony near the Kremlin in Moscow, May 9, 2016, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters


    The West Must Do Far More to Keep Putin at Bay

    Aug 27, 2016

    Russia is more willing than the West to use military power, even though it has less of it. The West should reconsider whether its efforts to deter Russian military interference are enough.

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participates in a forum hosted by the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, November 10, 2015, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


    Israel's Iran Policies After the Nuclear Deal

    Aug 29, 2016

    Israel was one of the most vocal opponents of the Iran nuclear talks. But once the nuclear deal became a reality, Israel's attention turned to nonnuclear challenges, particularly Iran's growing role in Syria.

Explore International Affairs

  • Globes on Chicago Museum Campus


    Building a Sustainable International Order

    Experts are assessing challenges to the post-war international order and how U.S. strategy might adapt to today's changing world.

    Oct 19, 2016

  • News Release

    U.S. Interests Abroad Face Steep Challenges

    The United States' interests abroad are facing challenges because the alliances, economic institutions, and political relationships that have made up the international order since the end of World War II are under threat from global upheaval.

    Oct 19, 2016

  • Report

    American Grand Strategy and the Liberal Order: Continuity, Change, and Options for the Future

    This Perspective examines continuity and change in U.S. engagement with the liberal international order over time, outlines four alternatives for a future U.S. approach to grand strategy, and proposes criteria for choosing among these options.

    Oct 19, 2016

  • A globe and marbles balancing


    U.S. Interests Abroad Face Steep Challenges

    Global upheaval is threatening the alliances, economic institutions, and political relationships that have made up the international order since 1945. This is creating challenges for U.S. interests.

    Oct 19, 2016

  • Report

    Building a Sustainable International Order: Summary of the First Workshop in the International Order Project Series

    This conference summary reflects key insights from a January 2016 workshop discussion that informed the next stages of a project titled "Building a Sustainable International Order."

    Oct 19, 2016

  • Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah take down a large portrait of Afghan President Hamid Karzai before a gathering in Kabul July 8, 2014


    Book Review: 'A Kingdom of Their Own: The Family Karzai and the Afghan Disaster'

    Foreign observers of Afghanistan tend to think of former President Hamid Karzai's government as a clan of corrupt thugs, led by a feckless, petulant whiner. Joshua Partlow's book tells the story and explores the question of how much the Karzais were responsible for the deterioration of U.S.-Afghan ties.

    Oct 15, 2016

  • U.S. President Barack Obama gives a thumbs up after his speech at the Rota naval airbase, near Cadiz, Spain, July 10, 2016


    Transatlantic Relations After Obama

    The Obama era will be remembered as the time when America's leadership role in Europe began to shift. Europeans got more freedom of action, but could no longer outsource their foreign and military responsibilities to Washington. Whether Clinton or Trump is elected president, Europe will have to do more.

    Oct 14, 2016

  • A young man in drought conditions in Ethiopia


    The Hot Spots of the World

    Scarcity of food, energy, and water endangers the lives of millions. So RAND created a tool with the potential to help make aid initiatives more effective.

    Oct 13, 2016

  • Sailors and civilians assigned to Arctic Submarine Lab haul ice to be used for potable water during an exercise, March 15, 2016


    Will the Breakdown in U.S.-Russia Cooperation Reach the Arctic?

    Over the last few decades, the U.S. and Russia have often found common ground on Arctic affairs, at least in such areas as search and rescue and environmental integrity. The Arctic has the potential to remain resistant to tensions building elsewhere.

    Oct 12, 2016

  • An Indian army soldier keeps guard from a bunker near the border with Pakistan in Abdullian, southwest of Jammu, September 30, 2016


    Could the Kashmir Standoff Trigger Nuclear War?

    Militants trained in Pakistan have been raiding the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir for over a quarter of a century, but the recent attack was the deadliest in years. A short-term return to peace remains uncertain and the longer term is even harder to predict.

    Oct 10, 2016

  • U.S. President Barack Obama chairs the closing session of the Nuclear Security Summit, focusing on the Counter-ISIL campaign, in Washington, April 1, 2016


    Protect Nuclear Nonproliferation Norms

    Strong and viable global nuclear nonproliferation norms should remain a cornerstone of U.S. security now and into the future. Friends and allies must continue to have confidence in the U.S. strategic nuclear guarantees.

    Oct 9, 2016

  • The sun sets over Aleppo, Syria as seen from the rebel-held part of the city, October 5, 2016


    Only the U.S. Can Save Syrians

    Washington must act soon to raise the costs of Syrian and Russian killing in Aleppo. Otherwise, the quarter-million people who live there could be in danger, and the Kremlin might think that it can mount further challenges to the West.

    Oct 6, 2016

  • The White House Situation Room in the basement of the West Wing of the White House is seen during a tour in Washington, DC, May 18, 2007


    National Security Primers for the Next Administration

    The next U.S. administration will face security threats from China, Russia, ISIL, North Korea, and cyberspace. How can officials turn these challenges into opportunities?

    Oct 6, 2016

  • President Richard M. Nixon meeting in the Oval Office with Vice President Gerald R. Ford, Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, and Chief of Staff Alexander Haig, 1973


    The World Has Passed the Old Grand Strategies By

    The international order is in the midst of an epochal shift, and a new administration will have to rethink basic organizing concepts for America's role in the world. The truth about grand strategy today is that the United States badly needs new options.

    Oct 5, 2016

  • Young Chinese faithful shelter from the sun as Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, May 22, 2016


    Taiwan Should Not Worry About the Vatican

    Concerns are growing in Taipei over whether the Holy See intends to switch its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. Beijing could be entertaining Vatican requests not out of genuine interest in reestablishing relations, but to put Taiwan on edge.

    Oct 5, 2016

  • LED map of the continental United States


    Election 2016: The Domestic Issues

    RAND offers a unique take on the big domestic issues facing America: research that is independent, reliable, and rigorously nonpartisan.

    Oct 3, 2016

  • Russian servicemen on Russian T-90A main battle tanks before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade, with the Moscow International Business Center also known as Moskva-City in the background, May 5, 2016


    Russia's Determination to Revise the Post-Cold War Order

    As long as political will for military measures to contain and deter Russian aggression remains limited, sustaining sanctions against Russia remains the only option to deal with a nation that is determined to revise the post-Cold War political and economic settlement in Europe in its favor.

    Sep 30, 2016

  • Iraqi soldiers fire a rocket toward Islamic State militants on the outskirts of the Makhmour south of Mosul, Iraq, March 25, 2016


    How to Roll Back ISIL and Other Terrorist Threats

    ISIL is the most active group among Salafi-jihadists, waging a wide campaign. Defeating the group will require moving it from a quasi-state to an insurgency to a suppressed movement that controls little or no territory or population.

    Sep 30, 2016

  • An image of the China Scorecard, a ranking of U.S. and Chinese military capabilities


    America and China: Rivalry and Partnership

    Under President Xi Jinping, China is modernizing its military and growing more assertive both regionally and globally. But while Chinese leaders will not shy away from confrontation with the United States or its regional neighbors, they also believe that to maintain stability and prosperity, they have no choice but to get along with the United States. Thus, the United States faces an acute strategic dilemma: a U.S.-China relationship characterized by a complex mix of competition and cooperation & and plagued by mutual suspicion and distrust. For example, how should the nation react to Chinese maritime territorial claims? Over-reaction risks escalation while under-reaction risks emboldening China, which could mistake U.S. moderation for weakness or declining commitment to the Asia-Pacific.

    Sep 30, 2016

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference near the United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 22, 2016


    Whoever Wins the Presidency, the Next Big International Crisis Will Come from Iran

    The next U.S. president is likely to meet many international crises after taking office, and Iran may be one of the most challenging. The continuing climate of repression, the next Iranian presidential election, and Khamenei's eventual demise may provide some important opportunities for him or her.

    Sep 29, 2016