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.

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a news conference during a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, February 5, 2015, photo by Francois Lenoir/Reuters


    NATO Needs a Comprehensive Strategy for Russia

    Mar 25, 2015

    Russia's intervention in Ukraine has shattered the vision of a stable, secure, and economically healthy Europe that's guided NATO and EU policy for two decades. NATO, working closely with the EU, needs to regain the initiative to proactively seek peace and stability in Europe and find a coherent, cohesive way forward.

  • Meeting to discuss Iran nuclear deal at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne March 29, 2015, photo by Brendan Smialowski/Pool/Reuters


    The Days After a Deal with Iran

    Jul 14, 2015

    Now that a nuclear agreement has been struck, what will be the implications for U.S. regional strategy, Iran's own foreign policy orientation, the response from regional partners, the global non-proliferation regime, and the role of Congress in implementation of the agreement?

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  • Afghan security forces sit on top of a vehicle as they patrol outside of Kunduz city, October 1, 2015


    RAND Experts Q&A on the Fighting in Kunduz

    The Taliban battled its way into the center of Kunduz this week, with media reports saying it seized control of the northern Afghanistan city at least for a time. A trio of RAND experts participated in a Q&A on the situation and its significance.

    Oct 2, 2015

  • Citizens of Cochabamba sign cards as part of the Cartas de Mujeres Bolivia campaign


    In Latin America, Breaking the Cycle of Intimate-Partner Abuse One Handwritten Letter at a Time

    Latin America has one of the highest rates of intimate-partner violence in the world, but a series of high-profile cases, including the murder of a journalist by her policeman husband, have propelled intimate-partner violence to the fore of Bolivia's public agenda.

    Sep 30, 2015

  • U.S. Army General receives a mountaintop briefing from American and Afghan Special Forces on Camp Moorehead, Afghanistan


    The U.S. Military: Between a Rock and a Repulsive Place

    There is a reasonable argument that the best route to address pedophilia and other human rights violations by Afghan forces is to remain engaged, and to make U.S. support conditioned upon remediation and accountability, as the Leahy law requires.

    Sep 29, 2015

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    What You Need to Know About the Syrian Refugee Crisis

    The flight of four million Syrians to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan—and now also Europe and beyond—has created the worst refugee crisis in modern history. In this Call with the Experts, Shelly Culbertson and Tom Ling discuss the human dimensions and policy ramifications.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • Investors watch stock information at a brokerage house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, August 25, 2015


    China's Currency

    Much of the worry in the United States and elsewhere about China's currency “manipulation” is overblown because a less restricted yuan would more likely be overvalued than undervalued, thereby adversely affecting Chinese trade and exports.

    Sep 28, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands following a joint news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington September 25, 2015


    Define Acceptable Cyberspace Behavior

    While a U.S.-China cyberspace agreement is a welcome step, it also underscores the greater issues facing the United States and the international community in this largely ungoverned space. A precondition for securing U.S. networks should be the development of an overarching cyber doctrine that defines acceptable behavior and allows the U.S. to defend its networks against threats.

    Sep 27, 2015

  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (C) at the first meeting of the new cabinet in the parliament building in Athens, Greece September 25, 2015


    The Greek Tragedy's Next Act Unfolds

    On regaining the mantle of prime minister, Tsipras should expect little, if any, honeymoon from the Greek electorate, as he faces not just the implementation of austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund and the EU: He must also cope with Greece's part of a European migration crisis of historic proportions.

    Sep 27, 2015

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Boeing in Everett, Washington, September 23, 2015


    The U.S.-China Summit Is More Significant for Xi Jinping Than Obama

    The Xi-Obama summit will provide the opportunity to discuss contentious issues like cybersecurity and the South China Sea, as well as other issues, such as climate change and economic cooperation. For Xi, the visit underscores the tremendous importance of messaging to a Chinese audience the narrative of a continued stable and robust partnership with the country that matters most to China politically and economically.

    Sep 24, 2015

  • Iraqi volunteers fix weapons for the Hashid Shaabi militia at a shop on the outskirts of Basra, June 16, 2015


    The United States Faces a Gap Between Objectives and Reality in Syria and Iraq

    There is a large gap between U.S. objectives and a realistic appreciation of the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Frank appraisals of the situation in the region must inform U.S. objectives, even if such assessments defy Americans' sense of progress.

    Sep 24, 2015

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    U.S. Faces Gap Between Objectives and Reality in Syria and Iraq

    There is a substantial gap between American national objectives and a realistic appreciation of the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq. These objectives need to be based on frank appraisals of the situation, even if those assessments defy Americans' sense of progress.

    Sep 24, 2015

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan arrive at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, September 22, 2015


    Xi's Visit Exposes Mismatch in U.S and Chinese Expectations

    Chinese President Xi Jinping's U.S. visit this week appears to face serious headwinds. Contrasting U.S. and Chinese priorities will likely lead to disappointment on both sides.

    Sep 23, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and China's President Xi Jinping listen to national anthems during a ceremony in Beijing, November 12, 2014


    Nuclear Weapons Should Be on the U.S.-China Summit Agenda

    At the impending U.S.-China summit, it would make sense for Obama to put on the table official discussions of strategic nuclear issues between U.S. and Chinese government or military representatives.

    Sep 23, 2015

  • U.S. soldiers show an Estonian soldier how the mortar system operates during a call for fire live exercise in Estonia, Aug. 7, 2015


    Building the Army We Will Need

    Failure to correctly estimate the number of soldiers needed or to provide adequate resources to the U.S. Army can lead to a failure of U.S. strategy and subsequent regret. Policymakers should plan and resource a larger ground force to meet the commitments that the United States has made.

    Sep 23, 2015

  • HIV test at Pomerini in Tanzania


    New Partnerships for Improving Global Health Research

    Partnerships between public and private organizations have become a powerful mechanism for addressing longer-term and structural challenges faced by developing countries that have a high burden of poverty-related diseases.

    Sep 22, 2015

  • Russian nesting dolls bearing the faces of Russian leaders are displayed in a souvenir shop near Sochi, February 21, 2014


    What Explains Russia's Annexation of Crimea?

    Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is consistent with historical Russian (and Soviet) thinking about security interests and foreign policy. But these patterns are only a starting point for understanding recent events.

    Sep 22, 2015

  • Syrian refugees walk towards a crossing point at Greece's border with Macedonia, September 8, 2015


    Syrian Refugees: All You Need to Know

    The world can only absorb so many millions of refugees. The civil war in Syria demands a political solution facilitated by international leadership that will bring stability and enable refugees to return to home.

    Sep 17, 2015

  • Rigging equipment is pictured in a field outside of Sweetwater, Texas, June 4, 2015


    Why Selling Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Is a Bad Idea

    Some lawmakers are proposing a sell-off of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to finance highway and bridge work. This is a shortsighted strategy.

    Sep 15, 2015

  • Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army march during a training session for a military parade, Beijing, September 1, 2015


    China's Military Modernization: Eric Heginbotham and Michael Chase in Conversation

    Two RAND experts discuss their recent assessments of Chinese military modernization and its implications for U.S. interests in Asia.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy recruits march during a parade in Qingdao, Shandong province, December 5, 2013


    China's Military Modernization Increasingly Challenges U.S. Defense Capabilities in Asia

    Although China continues to lag behind the United States in terms of aggregate military hardware and operational skills, it has improved its capabilities relative to those of the U.S. in many critical areas. Moreover, China does not need to catch up fully in order to challenge U.S. ability to conduct effective military operations near the Chinese mainland.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) addresses a rally against the Iran nuclear deal at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC, September 9, 2015


    Congress Should Monitor Iran Deal, Not Keep Trying to Kill It

    If Iranian compliance with the nuclear accord is Congress's goal, then legislators should focus on ensuring that the deal is effectively implemented.

    Sep 12, 2015