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.
By replacing Gen. Stanley McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. President Barack Obama has treated the most recent symptom of his Afghan malaise—an insubordinate, or at least indiscreet, general. He has not, however, addressed the underlying malady, writes James Dobbins.
President Karzai's Washington visit last month was basically a "be-nice-to-Karzai summit." After a period of harsh and direct U.S. criticism this past fall, the air is cleared, but issues remain—corruption in particular, write Cheryl Benard and Elvira Loredo.
NATO's new Strategic Concept will set out ambitious goals and means for the alliance, but it seems likely to paper over the cracks which are beginning to separate U.S. interests and attitudes from those of most of its European allies, writes Robert E. Hunter.
The tragic events on Moscow's Metro system highlight several issues of relevance to an increasing number of countries in the world, writes Lindsay Clutterbuck.
American frustration with Europe's dwindling military capabilities is reaching new heights, as was clear in a recent speech by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the National Defense University, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.
Previous efforts by the international community to stabilize Haiti have met with little or only short-term success. This time, following the earthquake, the U.S. response could actually leverage the response and recovery opportunities into a broader international plan, write Agnes Gereben Schaefer and Anita Chandra.
The latest disaster to befall Haiti creates the opportunity to combine bipartisan accord on Haiti in Washington with keen and perhaps sustained American public interest, writes James Dobbins.
President Obama's decision to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan reflects a nation deeply divided on the war. There are compelling arguments on both sides, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
If the additional troops President Obama has ordered sent to Afghanistan are intended to pursue a "population-centric counterinsurgency" campaign, as described in news reports about General McChrystal's thinking, then this decision is regrettable, writes Celeste Ward Gventer.
In 2007 in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker set a model for civil-military collaboration: They never let daylight show between their positions. General McChrystal and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry have diverged from this model, writes James Dobbins.
The fall of the Berlin Wall retains its status as an epoch-making event in
modern world history, even as it passes from recent into truly historical memory, writes Christopher Chivvis.
Now that Karzai has been declared the election's winner, the breach with Abdullah—the man most responsible for his original rise to power—could have very dangerous consequences. The last thing Karzai, NATO, and the United States can afford is the emergence of a renewed northern alliance, writes James Dobbins.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai begins his second term with his country on the brink of chaos. To establish control, two major elements of reform are necessary, writes Terrence Kelly.
'There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies," observed Winston Churchill in 1945, "and that is fighting without them." It's a truth worth recalling as the Obama administration nears crucial decisions on Afghanistan, write Leo Michel and Robert Hunter.
The discussion of American troop numbers misunderstands the subtle nuances of fighting a war in areas inhabited by fiercely independent Pashtun tribes, whose culture and traditions are under severe threat from the Taliban, writes Seth Jones.
China's challenge in defining the security role it will play in the region and the world in the coming years is to harmonize its own view of its security intentions with that of the outside world, writes Michael Lostumbo.
The revelation of a secret nuclear facility near the holy city of Qom, and the likely existence of other advanced facilities across Iran, makes more urgent the need for a quick solution to the nuclear impasse, writes Alireza Nader.
The increasing importance of the G-20 summits is testimony to the growing role emerging states now play in managing the international economy. But integrating these newcomers into the global community is unlikely to be straightforward or simple, writes Lowell H. Schwartz.
Obama's decision to alter course on missile defense was the right choice. Those who call it a capitulation to Russia are wrong, and it plays into Russia's hands to portray the decision in that manner. But the change of course will have to be complemented with more appropriate initiatives, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.
Critics of the Bush administration missile defense plans for Central Europe have charged that the U.S. would be deploying defenses that did not work against a threat that did not exist. It would also defend countries not threatened by Iran, while leaving Iran's more likely victims entirely uncovered, writes James Dobbins.