Global Security Environment


Global security includes military and diplomatic measures that nations and international organizations such as the United Nations and NATO take to ensure mutual safety and security. RAND provides analyses that help policymakers understand political, military, and economic trends around the world; the sources of potential regional conflict; and emerging threats to the global security environment.

Explore Global Security

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • A chlorine-tinged cloud of smoke rises from a bomb detonated by Iraqi army and Shi'ite fighters in the town of al-Alam in Salahuddin province, March 10, 2015


    ISIS Plus Chemical Weapons Does Not Equal Apocalypse

    The renewed use of chemical weapons on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria is a dangerous regional phenomenon, not an imminent global threat.

    Sep 11, 2015

  • The costs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict


    The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    What are the net costs and benefits to Israelis and Palestinians if the current impasse endures over the next ten years, relative to several alternative trajectories that the conflict could take?

    Sep 8, 2015

  • Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army stand in formation ahead of a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Beijing, September 3, 2015


    China's Military Parade Highlights Its New Strategic Capabilities

    China's elaborate military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II showcased some of the People's Liberation Army's newest high-tech weapons.

    Sep 3, 2015

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Iran nuclear agreement in Washington, July 28, 2015


    The Only Iran Deal Alternative Worth Considering

    Now is the time for Washington to prove its leadership and implement the Iran nuclear deal. The alternative is a major diplomatic defeat for America and an unrestricted Iranian nuclear program.

    Aug 30, 2015

  • Afghan National Army soldiers, advised and assisted by NATO Train, Advise, Assist Command, conduct a fire support mission in Zabul province, Afghanistan


    In Afghanistan, the Glass Is Still Better Seen as Half Full: A Response to Gary Owen

    While things are certainly not “great” in Afghanistan, there are more reasons for hope than many had expected to see by this point in the transition from a large U.S. presence to a greatly reduced one.

    Aug 24, 2015

  • Afghan officials in Pakistan August 13, 2015 discussing reviving suspended peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, days after Taliban attacks killed dozens of people in Kabul


    Afghanistan, Choose Your Enemies Wisely

    The Taliban's new leadership may be the last decent opportunity for a political solution to the conflict. Without a solution, the Islamic State could make Afghanistan the next Iraq or Syria.

    Aug 24, 2015

  • Iran flag above Tehran skyline


    A Better Deal for Iran

    It is critical for lawmakers to understand there will be serious consequences for rejecting the Iran deal. And those consequences look a lot worse for the United States and its partners than for Iran.

    Aug 24, 2015

  • Report

    RAND Review: September-October 2015

    This issue of RAND Review reports on the staggering costs of dementia in the United States; the most critical global choices and challenges the next U.S. president will likely face; tips to protect the health of kids heading back to school; and more.

    Aug 21, 2015

  • U.S. and Spanish Marines signal acknowledgement


    A Building Partner Capacity Assessment Framework: Tracking Inputs, Outputs, Outcomes, Disrupters, and Workarounds

    This report presents a framework intended to help with planning for building partner capacity events, monitoring progress while the effort is in progress, and assessing results.

    Aug 21, 2015

  • Nepalese soldiers unload aid and relief supplies from a UH-1Y Venom in the Kavrepalanchowk District, May 11, 2015


    What Works Best When Building Partner Capacity in Challenging Contexts

    When forced to build partner capacity in challenging contexts, what can the United States do to maximize the prospects for success?

    Aug 21, 2015

  • A woman grieves near the grave of a relative who was a victim of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, at the Potocari Memorial Center and Cemetery, Bosnia and Herzegovina


    20 Years Later, the Lessons of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    U.S. intervention in Bosnia ended the fighting, bought time for a political solution to be reached, and halted the humanitarian crisis. But 20 years later, the prospects for lasting peace and a true multiethnic society to emerge in Bosnia are not encouraging.

    Aug 19, 2015