Foreign Relations

Featured

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.

  • Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, France's President Francois Hollande, and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko at peace talks in Minsk, February 11, 2015, photo by Grigory Dukor/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Next European Flashpoints

    Feb 17, 2015

    The West's most pressing task is to help Ukraine defend itself and survive economic catastrophe. But the West also needs a broader strategy to discourage future Russian coercion of neighbors, help them protect themselves, and counter President Vladimir Putin's false narrative about Western intentions and lack of political will.

  • Army and police officers loyal to the Iran-backed Houthi movement shout slogans as they take part in a demonstration to show support in Sanaa, January 23, 2015, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

    Commentary

    Relax, Iran Is Not Taking Over the Middle East

    Feb 11, 2015

    Nuclear negotiations should not be held hostage to all of the things Iran may be doing right or wrong. The conflicts in the Middle East are much more complex than “Iran on the march” theories would have us believe.

Explore International Affairs

  • A man walking in the financial district of Pudong in downtown Shanghai

    Commentary

    The U.S.-China Crossover

    According to the IMF, the U.S. and Chinese GDPs in 2015 are $18.4 trillion and $11.1 trillion, respectively. Current and impending conditions in both economies suggest that the estimates of when China will surpass the U.S. are likely premature, and by a substantial margin.

    Mar 20, 2015

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union, as campaign billboards rotate in Tel Aviv, March 9, 2015

    Commentary

    New Israeli Government, New Position on Iran?

    With elections taking place in Israel today, would a change of leadership lead to a fundamentally different Israeli stance on a nuclear deal? You'd think the answer was easy. But it's not.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • An AV-8B Harrier jet aircraft prepares to land aboard the USS Essex in the Philippine Sea

    Commentary

    China and America's Coming Battle for Southeast Asia

    Although China and the United States are both in a position to influence the process of ASEAN integration, ultimately it will be up to the Association itself to cement internal cohesion, achieve centrality, and thereby remain a relevant player in the emerging Asian order.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • Fighters from the Tuareg separatist rebel group MNLA take shade under a tree in the desert near Tabankort, February 13, 2015

    Commentary

    Mali's Peace Accord Offers Little More Than an Opportunity

    The good news is that Mali's latest attempt at peace presents a real opportunity. The bad news is that all the reasons that previous agreements failed are still present.

    Mar 11, 2015

  • An Imam recites verses from the Koran through a megaphone in an effort to 'heal' patients with mental health problems in Mogadishu, Somalia

    Commentary

    Mental Health Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

    Depression is the leading cause of disability throughout the world and is especially prevalent among low-income African countries, where 75 percent of the people who suffer from mental illness do not have easy access to the mental health care they need.

    Mar 10, 2015

  • After a year of political upheaval and a war in the East, Ukrainians are facing poverty, with prices rising sharply, the currency crumbling, and a nearly bankrupt state

    Commentary

    For Ukraine, the Battle to Bolster a Crashing Economy Is as Dire as Combat in the East

    Ukraine's struggle to keep afloat economically has been daunting, as its parliament has fallen into disarray and failed to enact major economic reforms. Ukrainian lawmakers could help by dealing better with the national budget but their recent deliberations inspired little public confidence.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Competition and Collaboration in Space Between the U.S., China, and Australia: Woomera to WGS and the Impact of Changing U.S. National Space Security Policy

    Australian space activities have been reinvigorated, but remain underfunded. China's space activities remain vigorous, but largely unilateral. Given U.S. policy changes, opportunities for cooperation and collaboration among all three have improved.

    Mar 5, 2015

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko (2nd L) attend a signing ceremony during a session of the Supreme State Council of the Union State at the Kremlin in Moscow, March 3, 2015

    Commentary

    Europe Must Spend More on Arms to Deter Putin

    Demonstrations in Greece and elsewhere suggest that the European public may have little sympathy for governments not devoting most efforts to domestic discontent and foreign indebtedness. But the longtime downward trends in European defense spending matter now that Russia has chosen to flex its military might, diminished though it may be.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Journal Article

    The Misunderstood Lessons of Bosnia for Syria

    The 1992 to 1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been highly influential as an analogy for understanding intervention in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, and most recently in Syria.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Government health workers administering blood tests for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 2014

    Report

    Mitigating the Impact of Ebola in Potential Hot Zones

    The experiences of African countries that successfully contained Ebola early can be informative for government officials, international organizations, and aid agencies seeking to capture the underlying factors that affect countries' resilience to such outbreaks and can help them prepare for high-risk scenarios.

    Feb 23, 2015

  • Mural at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe

    Project

    The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative's Capacity Building Activities in East Africa

    The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) helps to bridge the gap between scientific and technological potential and the needs of low income populations in low and middle income countries. RAND Europe is evaluating its capacity-building activities - including training, advocacy and broader community engagement activities - in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.

    Feb 23, 2015

  • High-resolution 3D rendering of bacteria under a scanning microscope

    Commentary

    Ringing the Alarm Bell for Antimicrobial Resistance

    The increase in the number of bacterial and viral infections that are resistant to antimicrobial drugs poses a growing global health threat. Recent economic modeling demonstrates the enormous potential costs of these "superbugs."

    Feb 20, 2015

  • An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft takes off from Joint Base Balad, Iraq

    Commentary

    Armed Drone Myth 2: It's Counterproductive to Develop International Norms

    The challenge in establishing international norms for armed drones will be to define rules that preserve the rights of countries to use them in legitimate ways against legitimate threats (senior al Qaeda or Islamic State terrorists) while constraining illegitimate uses (political dissidents).

    Feb 18, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Preparing for the Introduction of Hospital Autonomy in Laos: An Assessment of Current Situation and Suggestions for Policy-Making

    The purpose of this study is to assess the status quo of hospital governance in Laos and propose policy suggestions for hospital autonomy in the country.

    Feb 18, 2015

  • Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, France's President Francois Hollande, and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko at peace talks in Minsk, February 11, 2015

    Commentary

    The Next European Flashpoints

    The West's most pressing task is to help Ukraine defend itself and survive economic catastrophe. But the West also needs a broader strategy to discourage future Russian coercion of neighbors, help them protect themselves, and counter President Vladimir Putin's false narrative about Western intentions and lack of political will.

    Feb 17, 2015

  • News Release

    China's Military Modernization Efforts Fall Short; Significant Weaknesses Remain

    Although the drive by the People's Republic of China to modernize its military has been underway for more than two decades, significant weaknesses remain in two broad categories: institutional and combat capabilities.

    Feb 16, 2015

  • A health worker demonstrates putting on protective gear in a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Sierra Leone, December 18, 2014

    Report

    Learning While Doing: Applying Lessons Learned During Public Health Emergencies

    Response efforts to the 2014 Ebola outbreak highlighted both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers have created a tool that may help inform and guide ongoing efforts in the midst of similar public health emergencies, rather than after the fact.

    Feb 13, 2015

  • Chinese airborne troops parachute in an amphibious landing drill during the Sino-Russian 'Peace Mission 2005' joint military exercise, held in China's Shandong Peninsula in 2005

    Report

    China's Incomplete Military Transformation

    The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is keenly aware of its many weaknesses and is vigorously striving to correct them. Although it is only natural to focus on the PLA's growing capabilities, understanding its weaknesses — and its self-assessments — is no less important.

    Feb 13, 2015

  • Members of the Ukrainian armed forces ride on armoured personnel carriers near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine, February 12, 2015

    Commentary

    RAND Experts Discuss the Options for Ukraine

    A cease-fire agreement could stop the fighting in Ukraine by Sunday. RAND experts William Courtney and Olga Oliker discuss what was accomplished during the summit in Minsk, whether the U.S. should arm Ukraine, and what other options exist for supporting Ukraine.

    Feb 12, 2015

  • Silhouette of soldier

    Testimony

    The Growing Strategic Threat of Radical Islamist Ideology

    The threat posed by ISIS is expanding through the Middle East, North Africa, and other areas of the world. While that threat is portrayed as terrorism, a greater danger is ideology tied to extremism and violence.

    Feb 12, 2015