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.
The term "Global War on Terror" is now out of favor in the government lexicon, and new drug czar Gil Kerlikowske wants to end the use of the phrase "War on Drugs." It's not that opposing terrorism or drugs is no longer important, or that operations will be substantially changed. But how we talk about things matters, writes Christopher Paul.
All told, since 2001, the United States has spent about $12 billion to help Pakistan. Yet last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared Pakistan a "mortal threat" to international security. Washington needs to strike a far better bargain for its billions, writes C. Christine Fair.
When Defense Secretary Gates announced that he was dismissing Gen. McKiernan as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and replacing him with Lt. Gen. McChrystal, he signaled his support for an intellectual movement that in a few short years has come to dominate military thinking in Washington, writes Celeste Ward.
Drug-related violence in Mexico has more than doubled over the past 18 months, with a sharp increase in crimes that can only be understood as atrocities. The executions, assassinations, and decapitations may all seem wanton and senseless. But this violence actually has a purpose, write Benjamin Bahney and Agnes Gereben Schaefer.
For every good reason, the Obama Administration is devoting enormous thought to Pakistan. In my judgment, the evolving situation in Pakistan is potentially the most dangerous international situation since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, writes Robert Blackwill.
Does the provision of private security contractors provide a viable solution to the growing problem of piracy off the Horn of Africa? Quite apart from the high cost — a robust security operation can run as much as $21,000 a day — employing security contractors poses problems on several fronts, writes Peter Chalk.
Of all the international actors involved in Kosovo right now, the European Union has by far the most at stake. It is also in the strongest position to remedy the situation. Sadly, it is too divided over Kosovo's declaration of independence over a year ago to take effective action, writes Christopher Chivvis.
The recent French and American rescues of hostages held by pirates off the coast of Somalia were necessary and proper. No one believes these actions will end piracy. But unless we impose risks on the pirates—which means taking some risks ourselves—piracy will certainly flourish, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
In the wake of President Obama's recent European trip, hopes for a rejuvenation of transatlantic security cooperation continue to rise. This means resolving some old problems and avoiding new pitfalls, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.
North Korea spent weeks preparing to launch a ballistic missile that could reach the United States. It argued that the launch was intended to put a satellite into orbit. But a space launch vehicle is a ballistic missile used for a modestly different purpose, writes Bruce W. Bennett.
President Obama's visit to Ankara this week highlights Turkey's growing strategic importance to the United States - and a high stakes dilemma for the President and for U.S. strategic interests, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.
As recent events off the Horn of Africa have demonstrated, armed violence at sea is emerging as a growing threat.... Piracy, in particular, threatens the freedom of the seas, increases the cost of international business, endangers political security through corruption, and could trigger a major environmental disaster, write Peter Chalk, Laurence Smallman.
NATO has a useful future. But it will require bridging the gap in perceptions between the U.S. and most of the European allies about what is important for security and what to do about it. Both sides have to start seeing the other's interests and concerns; and the time to make those commitments is at the NATO summit, writes Robert E. Hunter.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described the upcoming high-level conference on Afghanistan at The Hague as a "big-tent meeting, with all the parties who have a stake and an interest in Afghanistan." With the situation in that country growing more precarious by the day, those attending this meeting must also think big, write Karl F. Inderfurth and James Dobbins.
At the upcoming NATO summit in Strasbourg-Kehl, French President Sarkozy is expected to formally announce France's return to NATO's integrated military command, from which President de Gaulle withdrew France in 1966. The full reintegration of France into NATO, if confirmed, will remove an important irritant in U.S.-French relations and open up new possibilities for strengthening U.S.-European cooperation more broadly, writes Stephen Larrabee.
At a major conference in Munich last month, Vice President Joseph Biden underscored the U.S. determination to rebuild strong and productive relations with its European allies. No issue matters more than Afghanistan, writes Robert E. Hunter.
The Obama Administration’s decision to commit another 17,000 troops to Afghanistan is unlikely to have an important effect unless it is part of a broader shift in U.S. and coalition strategy, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Julian Lindley-French.
If the dominant imperative is to stop Iran from getting the bomb, every month counts. Perhaps the simplest -- and certainly the quickest -- way to launch a dialogue with Iran, and the one least likely to play unhelpfully into the upcoming Iranian election, would be to simply stop not talking to Tehran, writes James Dobbins.
The story of how President Obama engineered a grass-roots campaign, mobilizing formerly disengaged U.S. citizens with new media and new technologies, has reached almost mythological proportions. Less well known is the story of similar grass-roots efforts emerging in local communities around the world, write Cherl Benard and Edward O'Connell.
The election of Barack Obama provides an important opportunity to revitalize the trans-Atlantic security partnership. This partnership has served both sides well in the past. But after eight years of deep ideological differences during the Bush administration, it is badly frayed and in need of new leadership and new vision, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Julian Lindley-French.