The argument for splitting Ukraine has little to do with either real divisions in the country or popular preferences. Until the Russian invasion of Crimea, the issue of separatism was simply absent from public debate.
It is easy to assume the outcome of the race doesn't really matter for U.S. policy. But an ossifying government excludes and disenfranchises youth with new ideas. Without popular participation, Afghanistan's future becomes more prone to partisan cleavages and extremism.
At a March 18, 2014 RAND Policy Forum, Dalia Dassa Kaye of RAND and Aaron Miller of the Wilson Center will discuss current events in the Middle East and weigh the prospects of success for U.S. diplomats working to navigate the region's many hot spots.
As the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood reclaiming power recedes, it will become difficult for the new authorities in Egypt to hold together a coalition that is built solely on its members' shared antipathy for the Islamist group.
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.
Iran may be more influential in Iraq today than it has been since the Safavid era, but this is not so much due to Iranian strength as Iraqi weakness. Iraq will need Iran as long as it faces an uncertain future — unrest at home, war in Syria, and isolation from the Arab world.
A forthcoming book from RAND senior political scientist Christopher S. Chivvis 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 will be for NATO, Europe, and Libya.
While some see Ukraine choosing between European-style democracy and economic, political, and cultural backwardness in Russia's shadow, the fact is that Ukraine faces a difficult and murky path in any direction. The country is in dire financial straits, needing billions in loans to avoid bankruptcy.
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.
The RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP) brings together analytic excellence and regional expertise from across the RAND Corporation to address the most critical political, social, and economic challenges facing the Middle East today.
By most assessments, U.S. influence in the Middle East has dramatically declined since the Arab uprisings began in January 2011. Critics have blamed this on inept diplomacy by the current administration, but this is only a partial explanation for America's loss of authority in the region.
The Internet has become a new battleground between governments that censor online content and those who advocate freedom to browse, post, and share information online. What are the implications of Internet freedom for state-society relations in nondemocratic regimes?
Some believe the Muslim Brotherhood should stay in the political game, adopting the role of loyal opposition. The Brotherhood would remain a minority party, but it could continue to hold offices, provide social assistance that the government does not, and demonstrate its continuing strength at the polls.
It's pretty clear that the U.S. administration is frustrated with the way Egypt is going, says Dalia Dassa Kaye. There are few good choices. What is unfortunate is the development of cutting economic assistance to Egypt. That is sending exactly the wrong message to the Egyptian people and the broader region.
While Egypt really is in trouble, what is needed is not a U.S. signal in the form of an aid cut off or another European mediation effort, it is for Egyptian liberals to stand up and condition their participation in government on genuine national reconciliation.
In April, RAND and the International Strategic Research Organization convened a workshop in Istanbul, where policymakers, opinion leaders, and experts from Arab regions explored practical measures countries can adopt to build enduring democratic institutions and practices.
U.S. policy should not be hamstrung by a narrow focus on democratization, writes Seth G. Jones. More than ever, the United States and its allies should think first about protecting their vital strategic interests in Egypt and the region.
The military coup deposing Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, has sparked an important shift in the regional balance of power in the Middle East. Morsi's ouster deals a strong blow to the Turkey-Qatar-Egypt “pro-change” axis and to Turkey's hopes of playing a larger role in the region.
The establishment of a stable government in Egypt is an elusive goal that depends on finding ways to reduce seemingly intractable levels of political polarization, says Jeffrey Martini. There is little cause for optimism that polarization will diminish any time soon.