Global Security Environment

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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.

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  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening of the Army-2015 international military forum in Kubinka, Russia, June 16, 2015

    Commentary

    The Baltic Balance: How to Reduce the Chances of War in Europe

    Recent announcements of increased U.S. military support in the Baltics are a positive step in addressing a major new challenge to European security.

    Jul 2, 2015

  • Senior Colonel Yang Yujun holds a copy of the annual white paper on China's military strategy, Beijing, China, May 26, 2015

    Commentary

    What to Make of the White Paper on China's Military Strategy

    Reflecting critical developments under the Xi administration, China's recent “Military Strategy” white paper signals a turn toward a potentially more coercive phase of China's rise.

    Jun 27, 2015

  • The USS Fort Worth conducts patrols in international waters of the South China Sea, near the Spratly Islands

    Commentary

    Why the United States Needs an Active Denial Strategy for Asia

    The evolving balance of power will require adjustments to U.S. strategy. Making those adjustments will help ensure that the U.S.-China relationship, now merely tense, doesn't escalate to hostile.

    Jun 8, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Deterring Without Dominance: Discouraging Chinese Adventurism Under Austerity

    Active denial would make the U.S. position in Asia more resilient.

    Jun 3, 2015

  • Paul Cornish at the 2015 WSIS forum

    Multimedia

    WSIS 2015 Interview

    RAND Europe research group director Paul Cornish attended the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland, 25-29 May 2015. In this video he summarizes his role in the Dialogue on Building Trust in Cyberspace, at the interpersonal as well as commercial level. He says his talk emphasized the role of the sovereign state in building trust and establishing bilateral and multilateral relationships.

    May 29, 2015

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) and Colonel-General Oleg Salyukov (R) in Moscow, May 9, 2015

    Commentary

    Will Putin Gamble All on a Broader Ukraine Invasion?

    If the Kremlin is contemplating further action in Ukraine, it faces a tough choice. The decision could have an enduring impact on Russia's fortunes.

    May 26, 2015

  • U.S. Army Soldiers walk through a market in Ebnkathwer, Iraq, March 3, 2010

    Commentary

    Land Power and a Third Offset Through a Wide-Angle Lens

    The so-called “third offset” is intended to guide U.S. defense strategy. The right way to view it is as part of a comprehensive vision for competitive advantage, one in which land power, often minimized in offset analyses, can play a central role.

    May 21, 2015

  • A Chinese Coast Guard vessel in the South China Sea maneuvers to block a Philippine supply ship with members of the media aboard, March 29, 2014

    Commentary

    China's Island-Building Stirs Fears, but Creates Openings for the United States

    News of proposed Navy patrols nearby disputed islands claimed by China suggests that the United States is toughening its response to Beijing's assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    May 18, 2015

  • LNG tanker on a Spanish river

    Project

    Examining the Possible Consequences of a Deliberate Attack on Tankers

    Maritime terrorism and piracy pose a security threat to tanker transportation around the world. The European Commission (DG MOVE) has commissioned RAND Europe to lead a study on the possible consequences of a deliberate attack against liquefied natural gas, oil and chemical tankers. The study considers a range of potential threat scenarios and seeks to inform discussion on effective mitigation strategies in the face of these threats.

    May 13, 2015

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif

    Essay

    Nuclear Negotiations with Iran: Looking Ahead

    As world leaders work to piece together a nuclear deal with Iran, RAND experts asked, What would change on the day after a final deal? Their analysis helps clarify what a nuclear deal would mean for the United States, the region, and the world.

    May 4, 2015

  • A Malian soldier speaks with Tuareg men in the village of Tashek, outside Timbuktu, July 27, 2013

    Report

    Achieving Peace in Northern Mali

    What will it take to build durable peace in northern Mali? Successes and failures from past peace agreements can inform future efforts. There are also lessons to be gleaned from the stability of Niger, Mali's neighbor.

    May 1, 2015

  • Journal Article

    From Firearms to Weapon Systems: Challenges and Implications of Modular Design for Marking, Record-Keeping, and Tracing

    This paper provides an overview of the key elements related to the development of modular designs for small arms and highlights the challenges that such designs pose to the effective implementation of the ITI and the Firearms Protocol.

    May 1, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Techno-polymers in Firearms Manufacturing: Challenges and Implications for Marking, Record-Keeping, and Tracing

    This paper provides an overview of the key elements related to the use of industrial polymers in arms manufacturing, highlighting the challenges that such materials pose to the effective implementation of the ITI and the Firearms Protocol.

    May 1, 2015

  • Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi observe a guard of honour at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, April 29, 2015

    Commentary

    Seduced by a Strongman?

    It is not true that domestic politics can be quarantined from foreign policy. In fact, Egypt's domestic and foreign policies are becoming more entangled by the day. And that bleed-over should raise concerns.

    Apr 30, 2015

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to speak as he returns to Number 10 Downing Street on March 30, 2015

    Commentary

    Letter from London

    There is evidence of decisiveness and clarity in the UK's foreign policy outlook. Yet there is also ambivalence, partly explained by preelection domestic politics, some aspects of which challenge the very notion of the UK as a unitary foreign policy actor.

    Apr 21, 2015

  • People welcome U.S. Army soldiers during a military exercise in Harrachov, Czech Republic

    Report

    The Ukrainian Crisis and European Security

    If the Department of Defense is tasked with helping NATO build a more robust deterrence and defense posture in Eastern Europe, the U.S. Army and Air Force will need to revisit planning assumptions that have minimized U.S. military commitments to that region since the end of the Cold War.

    Apr 2, 2015

  • An Iraqi soldier rides in an armoured vehicle in Salahuddin province, Iraq, March 4, 2015, where Islamic State militants set fire to oil wells in the Ajil field east of the city of Tikrit to try to hinder aerial attacks aimed at driving them from the oilfield

    Commentary

    Oil Bonanza: Good News for the World

    World oil prices have fallen by more than 40 percent since June 2014 and over the next several years prices are more likely to fall than to rise. The global economy will benefit hugely from this shift, and it's possible that global security will also benefit from lower oil prices.

    Mar 31, 2015

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius talk after Hammond's statement about recent negotiations over Iran's nuclear program in London on March 21, 2015

    Commentary

    Grounds for Cautious Optimism on an Iran Nuclear Deal

    Sufficient information is available to be optimistic about the characteristics of the framework accord anticipated by the end of this month. Many Americans might be surprised to learn what has already been accomplished under the interim agreement that laid the groundwork for the comprehensive deal now being negotiated.

    Mar 26, 2015

  • t-call-experts-hr

    Multimedia

    Call with the Experts: Update on Iran Nuclear Negotiations

    In this excerpt from an exclusive RAND Policy Circle Call, RAND experts discuss the latest developments in a nuclear deal with Iran.

    Mar 26, 2015

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a news conference during a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, February 5, 2015

    Report

    NATO Needs a Comprehensive Strategy for Russia

    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.

    Mar 25, 2015