International Diplomacy

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.

  • European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wait for the start of talks in Vienna April 9, 2014

    Blog

    Too Important to Fail

    Preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state would contribute to global security, and especially to the security and stability of the Middle East, but these are not the only considerations at hand.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin welcomes China's President Xi Jinping before the first working session of the G20 Summit in near St. Petersburg, Sept. 5, 2013

    Blog

    Why Ukraine Crisis Has China in a Bind

    As much as China may wish to lean on Russia should Beijing find itself at odds with the United States, Xi seeks a new type of great power relationship with the United States that calls for mutual respect, no confrontation, and cooperation.

    Apr 16, 2014

  • People rally against the annexation of Crimea by Russia, in Odessa, Ukraine. The banner with a portrait of Putin reads:

    Blog

    Will Putin Fall Victim to One of History's Classic Blunders?

    Russia's annexation of Crimea is proving costly. If Putin thought seizing Crimea would make the rest of Eastern Europe deferential to Moscow, the opposite is occurring, as anti-Russian/pro-NATO sentiment surges throughout the region.

    Apr 15, 2014

  • People in Sevastopol, Ukraine watch a broadcast of Russian President Putin's address to the Federal Assembly

    Event

    Russia: What Happened? What's Next?

    At an April 9, 2014 Issues in Focus program, Olga Oliker will discuss the implications of the continuing standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

    Apr 9, 2014

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office

    Blog

    The Foreign Policy Essay: Evangelicals, Israel, and U.S. Foreign Policy

    The religiously grounded pro-Israel viewpoint distorts American policy towards Israel with an unhelpful inflexibility and exaggerates the political importance of the country (indeed, the whole region) to the United States, says Paul Miller.

    Mar 19, 2014

  • News Release

    Chinese Engagement in Africa Is a Two-Way Dynamic

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, relations between China and Africa are a vibrant two-way dynamic in which Chinese leaders adapt to feedback from the continent.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • Research Brief

    China in Africa: Implications of a Deepening Relationship

    Discusses China's engagement with African countries, including what each side wants from these relationships, how Africans view China's involvement and how China has reacted to that, and whether the United States and China are competing in Africa.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, displaying on Monday what Israel said were seized Iranian-supplied missiles bound for militants in Gaza. He called on the West not to be fooled by Tehran's diplomatic outreach over its nuclear program.

    Blog

    Iran Deal: Will Israel Play Spoiler?

    Israel will not embrace an agreement that is likely to leave in place some limited Iranian nuclear enrichment and infrastructure, but it nonetheless will not likely derail a deal with actions like a military strike.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • Blog

    I Predicted Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

    The Russian military intervention caught many foreign policy analysts by surprise. Articles explaining why Russia wouldn't intervene ran in Foreign Affairs, Time, and the New York Times; and even the intelligence community was caught off guard. Events have proven them wrong.

    Mar 10, 2014

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting

    Blog

    Does Putin Want a New Cold War?

    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.

    Mar 5, 2014

  • A Russian serviceman stands on duty near a map of the Crimea region near the city of Kerch March 4, 2014. President Vladimir Putin ordered troops involved in a military exercise in western Russia back to base on Tuesday in an announcement that appeared intended to ease East-West tension over fears of war in Ukraine.

    Blog

    Ukraine and the Death of Territorial Integrity

    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.

    Mar 5, 2014

  • Ukrainian servicemen carry flags as they leave Belbek airport in the Crimea region March 4, 2014. A column of unarmed Ukrainian servicemen arrived at the base for negotiations with Russian troops on Tuesday.

    Blog

    RAND Experts: Diplomacy Is the Best Course in Ukraine

    Western concern over the crisis in Ukraine intensified with Russian military advances into Crimea. With Russian President Putin defending the incursion and Secretary of State Kerry on the ground in Kiev, RAND experts say a diplomatic solution is the only viable option.

    Mar 4, 2014

  • People protest outside an EU emergency foreign ministers meeting in Brussels

    Blog

    Where Is Ukraine Headed?

    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.

    Mar 4, 2014

  • U.S.Secretary of State John Kerry stands beside a barricade at the Shrine of the Fallen in Kiev, Ukraine March 4, 2014

    Blog

    4 Ways the U.S. Can Do More for Ukraine

    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.

    Mar 4, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Lessons for a Negotiated Settlement in Afghanistan — If History Serves as a Guide

    Historical insurgencies that ended in settlement after a stalemate have generally followed a seven-step path. A master narrative distilled from these cases could help guide and assess the progress toward a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland addresses a news conference at the U.S. embassy in Kiev

    Blog

    Why Transatlantic Ties Are So Complicated

    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.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • Anti-government protesters stand behind burning barricades in Kiev's Independence Square February 19, 2014

    Blog

    How the West Can Help End the Violence in Ukraine

    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.

    Feb 19, 2014

  • Report

    From Stalemate to Settlement: Lessons for Afghanistan from Historical Insurgencies That Have Been Resolved Through Negotiations

    Historical insurgencies that ended in settlement after a stalemate have generally followed a seven-step path. A master narrative distilled from these cases could help guide and assess the progress toward a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

    Feb 10, 2014

  • Blog

    The End of Freedom Fries

    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.

    Feb 7, 2014

  • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani smiles during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum

    Blog

    Can Rouhani Break Through?

    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.

    Feb 6, 2014