International law governs the relationships among nations and international organizations and includes humanitarian, criminal, military, maritime, trade, and environmental laws and treaties such as the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. RAND research has helped to clarify issues of global governance with regard to the environment, counterterrorism and security, piracy, human and drug trafficking, and finance.
The international community has once again defined a global standard of “the wicked” against whom sovereign states have a duty to fight, writes Paul D. Miller. Instead of pirates and cannibals, it is war criminals and genocidaires. This appears to be the implicit argument for military action against Syria.
The United States should propose and pursue an East Asian maritime partnership, inviting to join all states that share its interest in assured access and passage, writes David Gompert.
Even if Japan and China ease the tensions in their dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyus islands, the United States should gird itself for further uncomfortable contingencies in the coming years, writes David Shlapak.
It is possible that at some point, anti-Japan protests could slip beyond the regime's control, and Party leaders worry that mishandling such tensions could affect the regime's legitimacy—and ultimately erode its grip on power, writes Scott Harold.
The global attention drawn by Pussy Riot shows what is possible in an interconnected world, writes Olga Oliker. Opposition movements in Russia and elsewhere may take note and think about how to better harness such possibilities in the future.
The United States has yet to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. As a result, the U.S., the world's leading maritime power, is at a military and economic disadvantage, write Thad W. Allen, Richard L. Armitage, and John J. Hamre.
Containing persistent maritime disorder might be more fruitful and could lay the foundations for a successful transition to better use of the sea once the societal factors—an even longer term problem—have been resolved, writes Laurence Smallman.
Instead of fanning piracy, international businesses need to heed policy. Ransoms in the short term can only lead to more problems in the long term, writes Laurence Smallman.
What has been happening in North Africa this year, in what seems to be the leading edge of a great wind of change sweeping the Arab world, will require the Europeans (along with the U.S. and others) to be deeply and durably engaged there — economically, politically and in humanitarian terms, writes Robert E. Hunter.
As America starts its ninth year at war, more than 32,000 U.S. service members have already been wounded in action in Iraq and about 3,500 in Afghanistan. Will U.S. resolve to strengthen care for wounded Americans be maintained, asks Ralph Masi.
Of all the international actors involved in Kosovo right now, the European Union has by far the most at stake. It is also in the strongest position to remedy the situation. Sadly, it is too divided over Kosovo's declaration of independence over a year ago to take effective action, writes Christopher Chivvis.
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.
Diplomatic wrangling over Kosovo's declaration of independence this week has created a good deal of misunderstanding about the U.N. Security Council Resolution that defines that society's current status and future evolution, writes James Dobbins.
Published commentary by RAND staff: Crafting Terror Strategy, in United Press International.
Published commentary by RAND staff: PThe World Needs a Prefab Constitution in the International Herald Tribune.
Published commentary by RAND staff.
Published commentary by RAND staff.