The RAND Blog

The RAND Blog

  • Peacekeeping and Stability Operations

    commentary

    Going Local: The Key to Afghanistan

    Seth G. Jones

    Aug 8, 2009

    The Wall Street Journal

    The rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is now President Barack Obama's war, one he pledged to win during his election campaign. One of the biggest problems, however, is that since late 2001, the United States has crafted its Afghanistan strategy on a fatally flawed assumption, writes Seth Jones.

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  • Law Enforcement

    commentary

    The Decline of Racial Profiling

    Greg Ridgeway, Nelson Lim

    Jul 30, 2009

    CNN.com

    President Obama called the arrest of Professor Henry Gates a "teachable moment." This is a moment to learn the facts of race and policing these days. Racial profiling has indeed been an ugly reality for many years. But our research finds little evidence that it continues to be a major problem, write Greg Ridgeway and Nelson Lim.

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  • Human Capital Investments

    commentary

    Alabama's Challenge: Better Prepared Workforce

    Melissa Flournoy

    Jul 14, 2009

    Montgomery Advertiser

    Alabama has made significant economic progress in recent decades, attracting car manufacturers and new industrial development. The state now has an opportunity to build on its considerable assets to address some systemic challenges in education, health care, and workforce development to be competitive in a global economy, writes Melissa Flournoy.

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  • commentary

    Possible Outcomes of Comparative Effectiveness Research

    Robert H. Brook

    Jul 8, 2009

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

    Since the government is using taxpayer dollars to fund the comparative effectiveness initiative, it would be appropriate to have an organizing principle to guide the selection of which aspects of medical care to examine, writes Robert Brook.

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  • Nuclear Weapons and Warfare

    commentary

    Russia and the Perils of Personal Diplomacy

    F. Stephen Larrabee

    Jul 6, 2009

    NYTimes.com

    As President Obama takes part in his first U.S.-Russian summit, a good deal of media attention has focused on whether he will be able to establish good personal relations with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. The preoccupation with personal relations between these two countries has a long tradition. But it has rarely proved successful.

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  • Afghanistan

    commentary

    Mullah Sprung from Gitmo Jail Now Leads Foe in Afghan Campaign

    Seth G. Jones

    Jul 5, 2009

    New York Post

    As Marine Corps forces roll into southern Afghanistan, they face an enemy familiar to US officials — Mullah Zakir, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who now leads a reconstituted Taliban, writes Seth G. Jones.

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  • Maritime Piracy

    commentary

    On Dry Land - The Onshore Drivers of Piracy

    Peter Chalk, Laurence Smallman

    Jul 3, 2009

    Jane's Intelligence Review online

    Piracy is a growing international problem, primarily around the Horn of Africa. The international response has been largely military in nature and focused exclusively on the maritime theatre, ignoring key land drivers of piracy, which will resurface once the military actions end, write Peter Chalk and Laurence Smallman.

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  • Pakistan

    commentary

    Policing Pakistan

    C. Christine Fair

    Jun 30, 2009

    Wall Street Journal Asia

    The United States has spent some $12 billion trying to help Pakistan save itself. Unfortunately, Washington has lavished most of the aid on the Pakistan army. It is time to reconsider that decision and focus instead on improving the country's police force, writes C. Christine Fair.

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  • Recidivism

    commentary

    Can Gitmo's Terrorists Be Rehabilitated?

    Aidan Kirby Winn

    Jun 29, 2009

    The Christian Science Monitor

    Before he closes Guantánamo, Obama must take a clear-eyed look at the record – and anticipate the next chapter of the fight against terrorism. What happens to terrorist suspects after they leave the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, writes Aidan Kirby Winn.

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  • Health Insurance Cost Sharing

    commentary

    The Public Option: Sorting Rhetoric from Reality

    Elizabeth A. McGlynn

    Jun 24, 2009

    ABC News

    President Obama and several Congressional leaders have recently expressed support for the idea of allowing citizens to buy into a public insurance program as part of any health reform legislation. The intensity of the ensuing debate has been fascinating given the lack of specifics that have been offered by either side, writes Elizabeth A. McGlynn.

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  • Health and Wellness Promotion

    commentary

    Improve Health, Not the Health Care System

    Dana P. Goldman

    Jun 23, 2009

    NYTimes.com

    One reason that health reform proposals always seem to fail is that proponents promise too much. Reformers declare they will improve quality, lower costs and increase access — all at the same time. This mantra is repeated so often that the public tends to believe it is possible, when really it isn't, writes Dana P. Goldman.

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  • Iran

    commentary

    Iran's Real Winners: The Revolutionary Guards

    Alireza Nader

    Jun 22, 2009

    RAND.org

    Despite the huge protests on the streets of Tehran, Iranian President Ahmadinejad has once again triumphed. A relative newcomer to Iranian politics, Ahmadinejad's re-election and subsequent crackdown on the demonstrators suggest that the Iranian political system is moving in a new and potentially dangerous direction, writes Alireza Nader.

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  • commentary

    The Science of Health Care Reform

    Robert H. Brook

    Jun 17, 2009

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

    It is time for physicians to commit as a profession to helping the President and Congress achieve the vision of a new health care system by improving the way medicine is practiced, writes Robert Brook.

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  • Security Cooperation

    commentary

    Getting Value from the U.S.-ROK Summit

    Bruce W. Bennett

    Jun 15, 2009

    The Korea Herald

    For months, North Korea has been trying to upstage the summit between South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. President Barack Obama that is scheduled for June 16. Almost all Americans I know have heard of these North Korean provocations. But few have heard anything about the U.S.-ROK summit, writes Bruce Bennett.

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  • commentary

    BRIC-à-Brac

    Andrew S. Weiss

    Jun 15, 2009

    ForeignPolicy.com

    The leaders of the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India, and China—hold their first stand-alone summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on Tuesday, June 16. The timing of the BRIC summit, just a few weeks before U.S. President Barack Obama's arrival in Moscow and the G-8 meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, is hardly accidental, writes Andrew S. Weiss.

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