RAND research addresses the challenges of developing, managing, and protecting energy, transportation, water, communications, and other critical infrastructure throughout the world.
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.
Mississippi can work to find smart ways to address the chronic social and economic problems that have plagued the state for decades — now, not in some far-flung future, writes Melissa Flournoy.
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.
Celestial real estate is increasingly popular. All in all more than 900 satellites, along with tens of thousands of bits of man-made space detritus, jockey for elbow room overhead. The result: a growing threat our atmosphere will soon become so crowded with floating junk as to become almost unusable, write Caroline Reilly and Peter D. Zimmerman.
The lawlessness along the mexican
border has gone way beyond a
local crime wave: there has been
a dramatic increase in armed robberies, not by lone gunmen but by heavily armed gangs. Kidnappings and homicides are way up—and not just murders but beheadings.... It is starting to look like a terrorist campaign, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
President Obama's infrastructure plan doesn't yet carry a price tag. We only know that it will be big.... The trick is how it will be done. It will not be enough to simply rebuild and repair critical infrastructure systems. We need to reinvent the systems themselves, writes Martin Wachs.
In his campaign, President-elect Barack Obama pledged to rebuild the Gulf Coast — one of the country's most wounded, yet economically strategic, regions. To keep this laudable promise, he will need to make a sustained commitment not only to a national disaster recovery plan, but also a comprehensive economic development strategy for the Gulf Coast, writes Melissa Flournoy.
The economic slowdown threatens to put a crimp in ambitious efforts to balance preservation, transportation improvements and development in western Riverside County. It doesn't have to. Actually, it presents an opportunity, writes Lloyd Dixon.
The international community is at something of a loss as to how to respond to the increasingly audacious nature of piracy off the Horn of Africa.... What's needed is a less dramatic and more nuanced approach, one with a greater focus on the land-based violence in Somalia, home of the pirates, writes Peter Chalk.
Too often we talk only about the ongoing challenges facing education, health care, transportation and economic development across the Gulf South — Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.... We need to determine new ways to work together across state lines to focus on solutions that will benefit the entire region, writes Melissa Flournoy.
The military surge in Iraq has created conditions favorable for long-term stability. Now a new approach to economic reconstruction is needed to sustain the hard-fought military gains, write Clare Lockhart and Joseph Konzelmann.
Tornado deaths and injuries are the predictable result of poorly conceived construction patterns that threaten to reverse the benefits that have resulted from advanced storm warning and forecasting capabilities, writes Charles Meade.
Instead of the complicated "cap-and-trade" system to reduce carbon emissions proposed in current congressional legislation, a tax on carbon dioxide refunded directly to individuals would cut emissions while cushioning the impact on the pocketbooks of American families, write Keith Crane and James Bartis.
The congestion charge on motorists in central London… has brought substantial benefits to those who live and work in London — whether they drive or take mass transit — and it could do the same in traffic-clogged cities in the United States, writes Cameron Munro.
RFID Security in the Workplace: Perk or Privacy?, in the Security World International.
Published commentary by RAND staff: Green But Unsafe, in Wall Street Journal, Europe Edition.
Published commentary by RAND staff: Steer a Smarter Course Than Specific Mileage Goals, in the Detroit Free Press.
Published commentary by RAND staff: C. Asia's Great Game, in United Press International.
Published commentary by RAND staff: Central Asia's Other 'Turkmenbashis', in Project Syndicate--an association that distributes commentaries to 291 newspapers in 115 countries.