This week, we discuss threats from Russia and China; direct talks between the United States and the Taliban; babies born with opioid withdrawal; single-payer health care; Russia's hostile measures in Europe; and investing in early childhood education.
Both Russia and China seek to alter the status quo of the international order. But they pose different challenges for U.S. national security. In a new paper, RAND experts call Russia a “well-armed rogue state.” It represents a more immediate military threat, albeit one the United States can contain. China, on the other hand, is a peer competitor. It presents a regional military challenge—and a global economic one.
U.S. and Taliban officials have reportedly agreed to a framework for a peace deal in Afghanistan. If the Taliban agrees to a cease-fire and wider negotiations, there may be reason to celebrate. But a deal would only be a first step on a long and difficult road, says RAND's James Dobbins. Whether it leads to lasting peace in Afghanistan depends on many factors, including American endurance.
Babies born after being exposed to opioids are more likely to be delivered in regions of the United States with high rates of long-term unemployment and lower levels of mental health services. That's according to a new study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and RAND. The findings illustrate that America's opioid crisis isn't just a health care problem—it's also a social problem. Solutions will need to address communities' social needs as well as their health care needs.
More and more U.S. policymakers are discussing “Medicare for All” and other single-payer health care proposals. What do they need to know when thinking through the likely effects? According to a recent congressional briefing by RAND's Jodi Liu, the ultimate impact depends on how a plan is designed and paid for. In assessing any single-payer proposal, it's important to remember that there are trade-offs, she says.
Russia uses a wide range of hostile measures—also known as measures short of war—to exert influence across Europe. A new RAND report examines how Moscow might use these tactics over the next few years and outlines options for how the United States could counter them. Whatever the U.S. response, it should involve preparation for a wide range of conflicts. This will help reduce the risk of mismanagement, miscalculation, and escalation.
A new RAND report provides recommendations to help enhance early childhood education in New Hampshire. Namely, it says investments should first go to communities with the greatest need, but also those with low rates of early childhood enrollment. This report is a follow-on to a 2017 RAND study. It found the state could gain $2 to $6 in benefits for every $1 spent on two types of evidence-based programs: home visiting and preschool education.
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