International Affairs Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access International Affairs research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas. For additional information, to request documents, or to arrange a briefing, contact the RAND Office of Congressional Relations at ocr@rand.org or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • A protester poses for a portrait during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, February 2, 2019, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Should the United States Do About Venezuela?

    Jun 24, 2019

    If it becomes evident that Maduro isn't about to fall, then the Trump administration should revisit its sanctions and rescind those that fall most heavily on the Venezuelan people, while targeting and isolating the regime.

  • Protesters outside police headquarters demand Hong Kong's leaders to step down and withdraw the extradition bill, in Hong Kong, June 21, 2019, photo by Tyrone Siu/Reuters

    Commentary

    One Country, Two Systems, Lots of Problems

    Jun 21, 2019

    The enormous protests in Hong Kong since spring have led to fresh fears about the viability of China's "one country, two systems" policy. It's an idea that Macau and Hong Kong officially subscribe to and Taiwan fiercely resists—but one increasingly questioned from all sides.

  • The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 4, 2019, photo by Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Post-2020 U.S. Return to the Iran Nuclear Deal?

    Jun 20, 2019

    Now that the United States is out of the Iran nuclear deal, signing back on will not be as simple or as practical as some may hope. Too much has happened since it was first inked in 2015. With the political landscape in Tehran and Washington still taking shape, those who want to return to some kind of deal should start planning.

  • NATO flag against a background of binary numbers, photo by robsonphoto/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Cyberspace as a Military Domain: Lessons for NATO

    Jun 20, 2019

    In 2016, NATO identified cyberspace as a new operational domain. What steps has the alliance taken since then to bolster its cyber capabilities? And what are the greatest challenges that still lie ahead?

  • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Russia's President Vladimir Putin attend a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, June 14, 2019, photo by Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Costs of Confrontation with Iran Are Mounting

    Jun 17, 2019

    Even if the United States and Iran avoid a direct military clash, the escalation and the U.S. maximum pressure campaign are exacting long-term costs for U.S. interests and regional stability in ways that may be difficult if not impossible to reverse.

More Research on International Affairs

Briefings

  • Chat bot in the form of binary code

    Approaches to Counter Russian Social Media Influence

    Mar 15, 2019

    How can policymakers combat the threat of Russian social media influence? Elizabeth Bodine-Baron will discuss different approaches and policy options to respond to Russian influence via disinformation spread on social media in the United States. [Washington, D.C.]

  • Chinese militaary vehicles carrying DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles, potentially capable of sinking a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in a single strike, travel past Tiananmen Gate during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing Thursday Sept. 3, 2015

    Overcoming the Threats of Our Strategic Competitors

    Mar 27, 2018

    What weapon systems and posture enhancements should Congress and the Defense Department consider to prepare the United States for potential conflicts? In a RAND Congressional Briefing, David Ochmanek will discuss solutions that could help defend against national security challenges. [Washington, D.C.]

  • Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army march during a training session for a military parade, Beijing, September 1, 2015

    United States and China: Trends in Military Competition

    Oct 5, 2015

    Eric Heginbotham discusses relative U.S. and Chinese military capabilities, including the evolution of Chinese military capabilities, steps the United States can take to limit the impact of a growing Chinese military on deterrence, and other U.S. strategic interests.

  • A map of the world projected onto a compass

    Strategic Rethink: Choices for America in a Turbulent World

    Jul 24, 2015

    How does America envision its role in a turbulent geopolitical environment with growing challenges? Ambassador James Dobbins, Howard Shatz, and David Ochmanek examine the most consequential choices that are likely to face this president and the next.

  • Delegations of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sit around the negotiations table during their meeting in Vienna November 24, 2014

    Congressional Options and Their Likely Consequences for a Nuclear Deal with Iran

    Dec 16, 2014

    With nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 now extended beyond the original Nov. 24 deadline, some members of Congress might now attempt to intervene legislatively. RAND analyst Larry Hanauer will discuss eight potential courses of action that Congress could take that might either facilitate, hinder, or block implementation of a deal.

More International Affairs Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

RAND periodically sends alerts and newsletters to update Congress on highlights of recent work about international affairs.

  • Red Square in Moscow, Russia, photo by mnn/Adobe Stock

    Competing Against Russia

    May 28, 2019

    The House Foreign Affairs Committee recently held a hearing on countering a resurgent Russia, and legislation has been introduced that seeks to address Moscow's destabilizing activities. What policies could the United States adopt to stress Russia’s military, its economy, or the regime's political standing at home and abroad?

  • In Case You Missed It: Russia and China in the Middle East

    May 23, 2019

    The Middle East is important to Russia, China, and the United States because of its strategic location and vast energy resources. What are the United States' strengths in this new era of strategic competition?

  • In Case You Missed It: Policy Options for Navigating Potential Arctic Scenarios

    May 21, 2019

    RAND’s Abbie Tingstad discusses findings from a recent study on Coast Guard capability gaps in the Arctic. Researchers found gaps in three major areas: communications, domain awareness, and response abilities.

  • In Case You Missed It: The U.S.-European Partnership Since World War II

    Apr 4, 2019

    How has the relationship between the United States and Europe advanced U.S. and global security over the past 70 years? RAND's Christine Wormuth explains why NATO is still relevant today and why this relationship is critical to U.S. security now and in the future.

  • In Case You Missed It: Approaches to Counter Russian Social Media Influence

    Apr 1, 2019

    In this Congressional briefing, Elizabeth Bodine-Baron discusses different approaches and policy options to respond to the specific threat of Russian influence via disinformation spread on social media in the United States.

  • U.S. Army soldiers in an exercise on Udari Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, that better prepares them to certify for future deployments, November 2017

    Considering National Security Policy in the 116th Congress

    Mar 7, 2019

    What are the biggest national security and international affairs policy issues facing the 116th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including near peer competitors, rogue states and actors, military personnel, and more.

  • China with sunset on Earth

    The Dawn of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

    Nov 8, 2018

    As China continues to build relationships with the developing world through the Belt and Road Initiative, U.S. policymakers will be challenged with determining whether and how to encourage China to act as a cooperative partner.

  • Many bullets on a table

    In Case You Missed It: Current Trends in Terrorism and Illicit Finance

    Oct 10, 2018

    Terrorist organizations rely on funding in order to operate and achieve their objectives. It is important to keep these organizations from acquiring funds, and there are ways the United States and its partners can combat terrorist financing.

  • Printer ink bottles containing carfentanil imported from China, seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Vancouver.

    In Case You Missed It: Evolution of the U.S. Overdose Crisis

    Sep 21, 2018

    RAND's Bryce Pardo discusses China's role in the production and supply of synthetic opioids and outlines some actions lawmakers can take to reduce this problem beyond traditional drug policy tools.

  • RS-24 Yars (SS-27) intercontinental ballistic missile on parade

    In Case You Missed It: Russian Nuclear Forces and Prospects for Arms Control

    Aug 2, 2018

    RAND's Austin Long discusses Russia's newest nuclear delivery systems and the current barriers to reaching an arms control negotiation.

  • wargaming

    Overcoming the Threats of Our Strategic Competitors

    Apr 13, 2018

    What weapon systems and posture enhancements should Congress and the Defense Department consider to prepare the United States for potential conflict? David Ochmanek provides recommendations for revising U.S. forces and force planning.

  • The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen in this undated photo in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 5, 2017

    In Case You Missed It: North Korea's Continuous Provocations

    Aug 9, 2017

    Bruce Bennett briefed congressional staff North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, China's role on the Korean Peninsula, and implications for U.S. policy.

  • In Case You Missed It: A Close Look at China's Relationship with North Korea

    Jun 23, 2017

    As North Korea's only formal ally, China is a crucial player in any effort by the U.S. to exert influence on Pyongyang. What is the potential for U.S.-China cooperation on the issue? RAND's Andrew Scobell recently testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

  • A member of the counterterrorism task force stands guard in Times Square, New York City, December 31, 2016

    National Security Issues in the 115th Congress

    May 30, 2017

    RAND experts testify and answer questions for congressional staff on a variety of national security topics. For the 115th Congress , RAND offers insights into the Russian threat, China's military transformation, the Syrian conflict, and terrorism.

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu attend a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia December 29, 2016

    Managing U.S. Relations with Russia After Moscow's Meddling in the Election

    Feb 6, 2017

    RAND experts provide insights to policymakers on how to deter foreign cyberattacks, manage security risks with Russia, and counter Russian propaganda.

  • The Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

    2016 Hill Highlights

    Dec 15, 2016

    In 2016, RAND experts conducted briefings on Capitol Hill, provided testimonies before congressional committees, hosted workshops, and published reports on some of the nation's most pressing issues, including health care for veterans, autonomous vehicles, NATO military posture, and cyber policy.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with journalists after a live broadcast nationwide call-in, Moscow, April 14, 2016

    Russia's Firehose of Falsehood: Using New Technology to Spread Not-So-New Propoganda

    Oct 5, 2016

    To help further its national security goals, Russia regularly delivers false and misleading propaganda via the Internet and social media. What steps might U.S. policymakers take to counter this propaganda?

  • A group of people stand alongside a newspaper announcing Great Britain's "Brexit" from the EU

    After Brexit, What's Next?

    Jul 28, 2016

    Now that British voters have opted to leave the European Union, how will Brexit affect the transatlantic alliance and future trade agreements with the United States?

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Central Military Commission

    In the Wake of Weapons Tests, How Stable is Kim's Regime?

    May 25, 2016

    In the months leading up to its first Workers' Party Congress since 1980, North Korea attempted missile tests and a nuclear weapons test in order to demonstrate Kim Jong-un's power. But many of these tests and his other initiatives were failures, raising serious questions about the true stability of his regime.

  • Meeting to discuss Iran nuclear deal at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne March 29, 2015

    The Iran Nuclear Deal: Considerations for Policymakers

    Jul 15, 2015

    Now that the P5+1 and Iran have struck a deal on Tehran's nuclear program, what will the agreement mean for Congress, our broader strategy on Iran, and our allies and partners in the region? RAND researchers explore considerations for policymakers and what may be coming next.

  • A section of the Israeli barrier cuts beneath the West Bank refugee camp of Shuafat, October 31, 2014

    Analyzing the Economic Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    Jun 8, 2015

    When examining the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the economic costs are often overlooked. Recently, RAND experts analyzed how both economies are harmed by the lack of a two-state solution and found that a significant peace dividend could be achieved if the conflict could be resolved.

  • U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi before resuming talks over Iran's nuclear program in Lausanne, March 16, 2015

    What Might Follow a Potential Nuclear Agreement with Iran?

    Apr 3, 2015

    With the framework for an Iran nuclear deal in place, policymakers should consider what might happen in the days after a final deal is reached. RAND experts explore this issue, including Congress's role in implementing an agreement, regional responses, and implications for the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

  • Capt. Elrico Hernandez, battalion physician assistant for 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, discusses a training scenario as part of a primary care behavioral health seminar.

    Days After a Deal With Iran: Congress' Role in Implementing a Nuclear Agreement

    Feb 9, 2015

    Throughout the course of the nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany) and Iran, RAND experts have been engaged in a broad exercise to explore what the "Days After a Deal" might look like for a variety of actors and issues.

  • RAND.org's Redesign: New Homepage and Navigation Optimization for All Devices

    Mar 20, 2014

    RAND.org has been reimagined to make high quality research and insights more accessible to Hill staff like you. The new homepage and updated navigation optimize content delivery for your preferred device and place our most timely content at your fingertips.

  • RAND Study Evaluates Airpower Options for Syria Intervention

    Sep 3, 2013

    An examination of five options for U.S. and allied military intervention in the Syrian civil war using airpower warns that destroying or grounding the Syrian air force is operationally feasible but would have only marginal benefits for protecting civilians.


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