International Diplomacy

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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.

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the end of a news conference in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 12, 2014

    Commentary

    U.S.-China Global Warming Deal Could Signal Shift on Climate Change

    Dec 9, 2014

    The U.S.-China agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions represents a significant and welcome shift in the international approach to addressing climate change. For the first time, a large developing country has agreed to limit its greenhouse gas emissions—a crucial step since these countries have become the world’s largest sources.

  • U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner during his first news conference after the midterm elections, Washington, November 6, 2014, photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters

    Report

    The Days After a Deal with Iran: Congress's Role in Implementing a Nuclear Agreement

    Feb 2, 2015

    The president has extensive authority under the law to provide sanctions relief to Iran as part of a comprehensive nuclear agreement. Nevertheless, Congress can take a range of steps to facilitate, hinder, or even block the executive branch's efforts.

Explore International Diplomacy

  • Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, France's President Francois Hollande, and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko at peace talks in Minsk, February 11, 2015

    Commentary

    The Next European Flashpoints

    The West's most pressing task is to help Ukraine defend itself and survive economic catastrophe. But the West also needs a broader strategy to discourage future Russian coercion of neighbors, help them protect themselves, and counter President Vladimir Putin's false narrative about Western intentions and lack of political will.

    Feb 17, 2015

  • Members of the Ukrainian armed forces ride on armoured personnel carriers near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine, February 12, 2015

    Commentary

    RAND Experts Discuss the Options for Ukraine

    A cease-fire agreement could stop the fighting in Ukraine by Sunday. RAND experts William Courtney and Olga Oliker discuss what was accomplished during the summit in Minsk, whether the U.S. should arm Ukraine, and what other options exist for supporting Ukraine.

    Feb 12, 2015

  • Army and police officers loyal to the Iran-backed Houthi movement shout slogans as they take part in a demonstration to show support in Sanaa, January 23, 2015

    Commentary

    Relax, Iran Is Not Taking Over the Middle East

    Nuclear negotiations should not be held hostage to all of the things Iran may be doing right or wrong. The conflicts in the Middle East are much more complex than “Iran on the march” theories would have us believe.

    Feb 11, 2015

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claps during a photo session at a meeting of military and political cadres in this undated photo released by the KCNA, February 2, 2015

    Commentary

    North Korean Charm Offensive: Peace for Our Time?

    Is North Korea really sincere about wanting to negotiate improved relations with South Korea and the United States? Or is it seeking to undermine the strength and sovereignty of its neighbor, just as Germany did before World War II?

    Feb 3, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi wave before their meeting at Hyderabad House, New Delhi, January 25, 2015

    Commentary

    U.S.-India Relations: Will the Obama-Modi Personal Chemistry Suffice?

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India has generated generally positive reactions from analysts. These judgments will be reinforced if the leaders' current chemistry changes Indo-U.S. policy for the better.

    Feb 3, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the gardens of Hyderabad House in New Delhi, January 25, 2015

    Commentary

    The Afterparade: No Breakthroughs — and That's Just Fine

    President Obama's visit to India last week was hailed in many quarters as a landmark event, perhaps signaling a new era of cooperation. In reality, the concrete takeaways were quite modest: there was no breakthrough on climate change, trade, or civil nuclear liability. But the trip should nonetheless be judged a success.

    Feb 2, 2015

  • Report

    The Days After a Deal with Iran: Implications for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

    One of a series of RAND Perspectives on what the Middle East and U.S. policy might look like in "the days after a deal" with Iran, this Perspective examines a deal's implications for the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

    Feb 2, 2015

  • Report

    The Days After a Deal with Iran: Implications for the Air Force

    This Perspective examines the choices the United States will confront in its policies toward Iran and its regional partners in the event that a final nuclear agreement is reached.

    Feb 2, 2015

  • U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner during his first news conference after the midterm elections, Washington, November 6, 2014

    Report

    The Days After a Deal with Iran: Congress's Role in Implementing a Nuclear Agreement

    The president has extensive authority under the law to provide sanctions relief to Iran as part of a comprehensive nuclear agreement. Nevertheless, Congress can take a range of steps to facilitate, hinder, or even block the executive branch's efforts.

    Feb 2, 2015

  • Sri Lanka's newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena arrives for his swearing-in ceremony in Colombo, January 9, 2015

    Commentary

    In Sri Lanka, Elections Could Signal New Opportunities

    With the inauguration of President Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka, both the United States and India have an opportunity to influence reconciliation between the country's Tamils and Sinhalese. But if that influence is used unwisely, the result may be the same sort of aggressive Sinhalese nationalism that propelled Mahinda Rajapaksa to power a decade ago.

    Jan 27, 2015

  • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani during a news conference at the 69th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 26, 2014

    Commentary

    Congress Should Delay New Iran Sanctions

    The new Congress is racing to pass legislation that would institute new sanctions on Iran during ongoing nuclear negotiations. This undermines U.S. efforts to peacefully eliminate the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon.

    Jan 23, 2015

  • Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan sign the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in the White House on December 8, 1987

    Commentary

    The Difference Between Negotiation and Appeasement

    Sound diplomacy weighs costs and benefits, based on a hard-nosed evaluation of American interests and values. It makes concessions only in exchange for concrete gains, but it still requires flexibility and willingness to trade, bargain, and make deals, including with adversaries. This is not the same thing as appeasement.

    Jan 22, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015

    Blog

    State of the Union 2015: Clarion Calls on Terrorism, Cyber, Education, and More

    The agenda President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union address can perhaps best be characterized as broad, mirroring the range of diverse and emerging issues facing the U.S. in 2015.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs the Security Council in Moscow's Kremlin, December 26, 2014

    Commentary

    Russia's New Military Doctrine: Same as the Old Doctrine, Mostly

    Russia maintains it will use military force only defensively, when other options have failed. But this is the doctrine of a state that sees a lot to defend against, even as its interests expand globally. The danger is Moscow's view of threats everywhere may prove self-fulfilling.

    Jan 15, 2015

  • Report

    Cultural Security: Evaluating the Power of Culture in International Affairs

    This book will take readers through the concepts and issues surrounding cultural property, cultural currency and cultural power, leaving readers with invaluable insights on the political economy of cultural property.

    Dec 31, 2014

  • A board displays currency exchange rates on a Moscow street, December 29, 2014

    Commentary

    Rapprochement with Russia?

    The ruble's fragility presents an opportunity for American and European diplomats to offer Putin a deal that de-escalates the war in Ukraine, provides Russia sanctions relief, and revitalizes Moscow's economic ties with the West.

    Dec 30, 2014

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, December 18, 2014

    Commentary

    How Russia Can Recover from Its Economic and Strategic Decline

    Few expect that Moscow will cede Crimea or end its opposition to NATO expansion anytime soon. But Russia can still begin to reverse its strategic decline. Expanding opportunities for Russia's people, reforming the economy, and improving relations with neighbors are the way forward.

    Dec 24, 2014

  • A security guard at the entrance of United Artists Theater during the premiere of the film 'The Interview' in Los Angeles, December 11, 2014

    Commentary

    Is the North Korean Regime Out of Control?

    Evidence points to North Korean involvement in the Sony hack. But it's impossible to know if top regime leaders sanctioned the attack or if it was carried out by another part of the government without their knowledge and consent. An unauthorized hack would only add to Kim Jong-un's worry over his regime's instability.

    Dec 23, 2014

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif before a meeting in Vienna November 23, 2014

    Commentary

    An Iran Nuclear Deal Is Still Possible, and Here's Why

    The United States and other world powers returned to the negotiating table this week to try to finalize a nuclear agreement with Iran after announcing a seven-month extension in late November. How did the parties get this far?

    Dec 19, 2014

  • Tool

    A Database of U.S. Security Treaties and Agreements

    The U.S. portfolio of treaties and agreements can offer insights into the distribution and depth of U.S. international commitments, including its military commitments, relationships, capabilities, and vulnerabilities in a given area.

    Dec 17, 2014