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As a military alliance with roots in the Cold War, NATO's strategy and purpose have had to shift since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. RAND has assisted U.S. and European defense establishments by recommending expansion strategies; analyzing activities in the Balkans and Afghanistan, areas outside NATO's traditional focus; and advising decisionmakers on issues critical to NATO's mission and the interests of its member nations.

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  • A soldier from the Ukrainian self-defense battalion "Azov" stands guard at a checkpoint in the southern coastal town of Mariupol, September 8, 2014

    Blog

    The Damage Already Done in Ukraine

    The conflict in Ukraine calls for capable diplomacy, open channels of communication, and clear strategies. At least the latter two appear to be absent, but they can be developed in time. Ending the conflict, however, calls for clear mutual intent to solve problems, build trust, and move forward.

    Sep 8, 2014

  • A Pro-Russian separatist stands near the damaged war memorial at Savur-Mohyla, east of the city of Donetsk, Ukraine

    Blog

    A Dispatch from the Ukrainian Front

    If Putin sought advice about what NATO is thinking, his Russian Western Front Military commander might say that given its current political indecisiveness and lack of military readiness, NATO lacks the capability to launch a credible intervention, but they should watch for changes in the alliance posture.

    Sep 5, 2014

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, in Minsk, August 26, 2014

    Blog

    A Diplomatic Solution for Ukraine

    Despite uncertainty about Russian military plans and the outcome of Ukrainian operations against pro-Russian separatists, it's not too soon to consider how to lay the foundations for a negotiated solution. If Moscow were unwilling to reach a fair settlement, the West would have options to increase its leverage.

    Aug 27, 2014

  • NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during an interview with Reuters at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, August 11, 2014

    Blog

    NATO's Crucial Summit

    President Obama can take action now to ensure the September NATO summit in Wales underscores transatlantic resolve and capability in the face of Russian aggression and provide the strong, decisive U.S. leadership NATO needs in this time of crisis.

    Aug 15, 2014

  • A woman walks out of the office of the Moscow Exchange in Moscow, August 1, 2014

    Blog

    Step It Up, Europe

    Despite the latest sanctions on Russia, the European Union will need to do more to achieve its objectives in Ukraine. In addition to much tougher economic sanctions, NATO could help Ukrainians by providing military assistance, weapons, training, and intelligence, and deploying air and naval forces closer to the conflict.

    Aug 6, 2014

  • A convoy of hearses bearing the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 leaves Eindhoven airport in the Netherlands, July 24, 2014

    Blog

    A Missile's Deadly Message

    Putin's stubbornness on Ukraine has attracted international scorn, threatened Russia's already shaky economy, and focused NATO on countering potential Russian aggression. It's also sparked anti-Russian and pro-NATO sentiments in Central and Eastern Europe. The tragic loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 only intensifies these sentiments.

    Jul 25, 2014

  • t-call-experts-hr

    Multimedia

    Media Conference Call on Russia, Ukraine, and NATO’s Challenges

    RAND foreign policy experts Charles Ries, Olga Oliker and Christopher Chivvis hosted a news media conference call to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine and Russia, and the challenges facing NATO countries during the crisis. Media relations officer Joe Dougherty moderated the call.

    May 1, 2014

  • People rally against the annexation of Crimea by Russia, in Odessa, Ukraine. The banner with a portrait of Putin reads: "Will not let aggressor to our house."

    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 14, 2014

  • Joint Multinational Training Command

    Blog

    Russia Is Outmanned and Outgunned

    Yes, the United States has many fewer forces in Europe than it did in 1989. But Russia has none, its allies have all switched sides, and its military is but a shadow of what it was 25 years ago.

    Apr 10, 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?

    What are the implications of the continuing standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine? Olga Oliker will discuss the latest unfolding events in the region and how cooperation on other global and regional issues could be affected.

    Apr 9, 2014

  • The Joint Multinational Training Command regularly trains U.S. and multi-national soldiers, during sophisticated and complex mission rehearsal exercises throughout Europe

    Blog

    Pentagon's Reliance on Europe Is 'Wishful Thinking'

    There needs to be more frank and precise thinking about the kind of support allies are able and willing to provide. Counting on Europeans even just to pull as much weight as they have in the past is an increasingly doubtful proposition.

    Apr 9, 2014

  • French soldiers take up positions outside Markala, Mali, January 19, 2013

    Blog

    NATO Needs a Southern Strategy

    If NATO wants to avoid strategic irrelevance, it needs to give increasing attention to the threats from the Middle East and North Africa region. A southern strategy should draw on recent experience, such as NATO's intervention in Libya and the successful operation in Mali.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • Mexican migrants migrants clamber atop a freight train bound for the U.S.-Mexican border

    Report

    RAND Review Examines Immigration, Defense Policies, the ACA, and Correctional Education

    Stories in RAND's flagship journal discuss U.S. and Mexican immigration and labor reforms; British, French, and German defense policies in the face of austerity; seven ramifications of the Affordable Care Act; and the cost-effectiveness of correctional education programs.

    Nov 26, 2013

  • British Army soldiers, marking completion of their tour of duty in Afghanistan, parade in York, England, on May 24, 2013.

    Periodical

    Allied Fronts: European Armies Approach Austerity in Instructive Ways

    The British, French, and German armies are well in advance of the Americans in weighing competing priorities in light of what they assess to be the future face of war, making their judgments useful points of reference for U.S. and NATO planners grappling with their own cuts.

    Nov 26, 2013

  • toppling_qaddafi_cover

    Report

    Toppling Qaddafi: Libya and the Limits of Liberal Intervention

    Toppling Qaddafi is a carefully researched, highly readable look at the role of the United States and NATO in Libya's war of liberation and its lessons for future military interventions. This book recounts the story of how the United States and its European allies went to war against Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, why they won the war, and what the implications for NATO, Europe, and Libya will be.

    Nov 25, 2013

  • Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan addresses a news conference after his release on October 10

    Blog

    Libya Needs Outside Help to Avoid Perpetual War

    If steps are not taken to get control of security, there is little hope for Libya's future. Qaddafi's fateful warning that Libya would become a “Somalia on the Mediterranean” without him could come true. The investment that NATO and its partners made in toppling Qaddafi would then be almost entirely wasted.

    Oct 11, 2013

  • Norway's newly elected prime minister Erna Solberg

    Blog

    Could Norway Be Key to a Future Syria Strike?

    If Syrian acceptance of the Russia-backed plan that is supposed to see it give up its chemical weapons turns out to be a stalling tactic — as many believe it is — support for strikes from allies like Norway will be all the more important to the White House, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Sep 26, 2013

  • three NATO soldiers on a range

    Content

    Potential Savings by Integrating Land Force Personnel across EU Member States

    Matt Bassford, director of the RAND Europe Defence & Security team, was at the Brussels press launch of a report from the Bertelsmann Stiftung: The European Added Value of EU Spending. Bassford and RAND Europe colleagues contributed a major case study to the report, on the potential savings from integrating land force personnel across EU Member States

    Jul 11, 2013

  • Firewall lock on mainboard

    Periodical

    Cybersecurity Strategies Raise Hopes of International Cooperation

    Instead of relying on or establishing new permanent overseas bases, the United States should increasingly focus on developing access agreements with host nations.

    Jul 11, 2013

  • streets in Tripoli decorated for the second anniversary of the revolution against Qaddafi's regime

    Blog

    NATO, US Must Shore Up Libya

    A smaller-scale training mission to help the Libyan government build reliable forces that will answer to the country's elected leadership would do much to help the Libyan state get control over its own territory, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Feb 15, 2013