Diplomacy, the practice of international relations, is an area in which RAND has significant research experience. Among RAND's many experts are former ambassadors whose research and commentary on both long-term efforts and current events shed light on how diplomatic ventures can be integral to national security goals and activities, including traditional military interventions, nuclear arms control, and nation-building efforts.
Ultimately, the door to improved relations, following the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, should be left open. No iron curtain should be allowed to settle over Europe.
Russia's increasingly brazen violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity threatens to undermine the widely accepted principle that international borders are not subject to further revision, a principle that has contributed to a global decline in interstate war in recent decades.
In the face of Russian military advances in Crimea, Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the strife-ravaged Eastern European nation is the kind of high-level diplomatic engagement that is needed to reassure Kiev that the West is on its side.
The situation in Ukraine evokes eerie echoes of the Cold War, not to mention czarist preoccupation with what has come to be called Russia's “near abroad.” The situation is dangerous, and in that circumstance, wishes are not policy. Neither is foot-stomping.
While U.S. diplomat Victoria Nuland’s words about how the European Union is handling the Ukraine crisis were less than diplomatic, they reflected the deepening reality that Europe does not always do exactly what the United States wants it to.
The Ukrainian crisis has taken a dangerous and deadly turn for the worse with violent clashes between protesters and Interior Ministry troops. The West should move quickly on an aid package conditioned on economic and political reform.
As embattled French president François Hollande prepares for his state visit to Washington next week, defense cooperation is sure to be a bright spot on the agenda — especially when it comes to emerging security challenges in Africa.
Rouhani, while so far effective in Iran's nuclear negotiations, has an uphill battle at home. While the Iranian conservative establishment is likely to support his nuclear policy for now, it is unlikely to concede him the full economic and political agenda he seeks. Not without a fight, anyhow.
The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement would benefit both Ukraine and Russia in many ways, especially in greater trade, social, and cultural exchanges. Ukraine's closer association with the EU would actually increase Russian trade with Ukraine as long as Russia does not impose artificial restrictions.
Sanctions are not a button that can be pushed to strengthen the U.S. position automatically; they must be used in tandem with diplomacy, and a deeper understanding of Iranian, Chinese and Russian motivations.
The ruthless purge of 67-year-old Jang Sung Taek appears to be the culmination of a power struggle that makes 30 year-old Kim Jong Un the undisputed supreme leader of North Korea.
From the perspective of India, not to mention Pakistan and many other nations, the United States expects privileges that it does not grant to others. If the U.S. subjects foreign visitors (particularly diplomats) to the strictest possible interpretation its own laws, it had better be prepared for other nations to do the same.
Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima's decision to grant the permit to build a U.S. Marine Corps airbase on an offshore landfill near the village of Henoko village is being hailed as an important breakthrough in U.S.-Japanese relations. Yet this is wishful thinking, says Stacie L. Pettyjohn.
As Russia continues to define its interests globally, including in the Middle East and in Asia, we can all be on the watch for new opportunities for both coordination and conflict between Moscow and Washington.
The United States doesn't care about a few islands half a world away, but it should care about how China throws its weight around, how it relates to its neighbors, and what it thinks it can get away with.
The current negotiations with Iran designed to eliminate its nuclear weapons capability seem to lack a broader strategic objective: stabilizing the Middle East with a regional balance of power. What does the China experience tell us about prospects for a strategic breakthrough with Iran?
The United States and the EU have a strong stake in keeping open a European option for Ukraine. A reorientation of Ukrainian policy back toward Russia would shift the strategic balance in Europe and have a negative impact on the prospects for democratic change on Europe's eastern periphery.
The American investment in Syria thus far can be accurately described as timid and minimal. The United States can do more to assist the rebels without directly using American military power or sliding into a strategy of escalation.
While many policymakers and analysts focus on who will be the next president of Afghanistan, the more important question may be whether the country's Pashtun, Uzbek, Tajik, Hazara, and other major constituencies will support the 2014 election's outcome.
The real salvation for African states in crisis lies with the emergence of competent, trust-worthy and wise leadership. The emergence of such leaders could worthily honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Until then, in the Central African Republic at least, it is on France.