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

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Protests in China, Negotiating with Russia, L.A.'s 'Mansion Tax': RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on protests in China amid the government's zero-COVID policy, the potential harm in negotiating with Russia, building more affordable housing in Los Angeles, and more.

    Dec 2, 2022

  • Railway workers repair the tracks damaged by Russian shelling in the northern direction, Kharkiv Region, northeastern Ukraine, November 25, 2022, photo by Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Ukrinform/Abacapress.com via Reuters

    Commentary

    Politics of Ukrainian Reconstruction

    When fighting subsides, Ukraine may undergo reconstruction on the scale of the post–World War II Marshall Plan. Debate is ramping up about core issues, such as the scope of reconstruction, sources of funding, and reforms needed for success. Ukraine and the West might begin now to forge consensus on these issues.

    Nov 30, 2022

  • Three drones are set up at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, August 10, 2020, photo by Spc. Khalil Jenkins/U.S. Army

    Report

    A New Era of Major-Power Competition

    While there is a general consensus that the United States is now in a new era of strategic competition with China and Russia, there is not yet a clear understanding of what that means or what forms it could take. How can the United States best position itself to succeed?

    Nov 30, 2022

  • Military aircraft participate in an exercise near Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 9, 2021, photo by SrA Duncan Bevan/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Managing Escalation While Competing Effectively in the Indo-Pacific

    In response to China's expanding military activity in the Indo-Pacific, the United States has increased its activity in the region over the past decade. How can America continue to safeguard its interests while limiting potential risks of escalation with China?

    Nov 30, 2022

  • Visitors to the ASML booth during the 5th China International Import Expo in Shanghai, China, November 7, 2022, photo by CFOTO/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Export Controls Give ASML and the Netherlands an Opportunity to Lead by Example. Will They Take It?

    Dutch tech company ASML makes the complex machines required to construct advanced microchips, and it sells many of these machines to China. Harmonization of export controls between the United States and the Netherlands could limit China's development of military technologies and its human rights abuses.

    Nov 28, 2022

More Research on International Affairs

Briefings

  • Chat bot in the form of binary code

    Approaches to Counter Russian Social Media Influence

    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.]

    Mar 15, 2019

  • 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

    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.]

    Mar 27, 2018

  • 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

    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.

    Oct 5, 2015

  • A map of the world projected onto a compass

    Strategic Rethink: Choices for America in a Turbulent World

    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.

    Jul 24, 2015

  • 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

    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.

    Dec 16, 2014

More International Affairs Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

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

  • Commanding General of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force awards U.S. Marines and Soldiers a challenge coin during an award ceremony in Okinawa, Japan, February 2019, photo by Joshua Sechser/U.S. Department of Defense

    How Might China React to U.S. Posture Changes?

    A new RAND report provides a framework for assessing likely Chinese reactions to planned or proposed posture enhancements in the Indo-Pacific region.

    Nov 30, 2022

  • Members of China's research team setting up an ocean profiling float near the icebreaker Xuelong in the Arctic Ocean, August 18, 2016, photo by Wu Yue/Xinhua/Alamy

    China's Strategy and Activities in the Arctic

    A new RAND report assesses the potential implications of Chinese investments and activities in the Arctic for the regional rules-based order and for regional and transatlantic security.

    Oct 28, 2022

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kiribati's President Taneti Maamau shake hands during a signing ceremony in Beijing, China, January 6, 2020, photo by Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/Reuters

    The Implications of Chinese Influence in the Pacific Islands

    A recent RAND testimony provides a baseline of what we know about China's gambit in the Pacific, including its strategic goals and approach, and discusses how Pacific Island states are responding.

    Sep 29, 2022

  • U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov in a Ukraine Defence Contact group meeting in Brussels, Belgium, June 15, 2022, photo by Yves Herman/Pool/Reuters

    Pathways to Russian Escalation Against NATO from the Ukraine War

    The potential for Russia to decide to escalate the ongoing war in Ukraine by attacking a U.S. or allied target is a significant concern. A new RAND paper summarizes four plausible escalation pathways.

    Aug 23, 2022

  • The M-SHORAD system integrates guns, missiles, rockets, and sensors onto a Stryker A1 vehicle. It is designed to defend maneuvering forces against unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing, and residual fixed-wing threats, photo by Cpt. Jordan Allen/U.S. Army

    What Military Capabilities are Most Needed to Counter China and Russia?

    A new RAND paper based on a deep bench of research identifies initiatives available to the Department of Defense in the near to middle term that analysis suggests can bolster the ability of the United States and its allied and partner forces to deter and defend against aggression by China and Russia.

    Jul 26, 2022

  • A crowd of people standing in a star formation over a background of red stripes of a U.S. flag, images by adimas and bennymarty/Adobe Stock

    The Societal Foundations of National Competitiveness

    What characteristics of a nation or society contribute to competitive advantage? A new RAND report, through analysis of comparative studies of historical eras and trends, historical case studies, and the findings of issue-specific empirical research, seeks to answer that question.

    Jul 20, 2022

  • Production line at Eminent Luggage Corp. in Taiwan and a <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ym_People_at_Keelung.jpg">ship at Keelung</a>, Taiwan, photos by Pichi Chuang/Reuters and pete/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">CC by 2.0</a>

    What Would Happen If China 'Quarantines' Taiwan?

    China recently asserted that the Taiwan Strait is not an international waterway, a claim that the United States government has rejected. What would happen if China were to take further coercive action against Taiwan and implement a quarantine?

    Jun 29, 2022

  • Flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California, August 18, 2019, photo by Scott Howe/U.S. Department of Defense

    What Is the Likelihood of U.S. Allies Hosting Intermediate-Range Missiles?

    The demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty opened an opportunity for the United States to develop and deploy ground-based intermediate-range missiles (GBIRMs). The Indo-Pacific has been considered a potential location for these missiles, but how U.S. allies will respond to overtures to host GBIRMs is not clear.

    May 26, 2022

  • Officers of the Vietnamese Marine Guard monitor a Chinese coast guard vessel in the South China Sea, about 130 miles offshore of Vietnam, May 15, 2014, photo by Nguyen Minh/Reuters

    Countering China's Gray Zone Coercion

    Gray zone tactics are widely recognized as playing an increasingly important role in China’s efforts to advance its domestic, economic, foreign policy, and security objectives. But there is little consensus on which tactics pose the greatest challenges to the United States and its allies and partners.

    Apr 29, 2022

  • W01DN9 Chinese technicians monitor the precision, robotic welding of aviation and industrial materials at the Atlantic Welding Industry Park in Zigong, Sichuan Province, China, on November 20, 2017, photo by UPI/Alamy Stock Photo

    Assessing China’s Defense Industrial Base

    A new RAND report presents an assessment of the systemic strengths and vulnerabilities of China’s defense industrial base , and it was conducted to meet a congressional requirement from the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

    Apr 13, 2022

  • Destroyed military vehicles on a street, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in the town of Bucha in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, March 1, 2022, photo by Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters

    Responding to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine While Mitigating Escalation

    Russia has launched an unprecedented act of aggression against Ukraine. The United States and its allies must and can respond forcefully. But as they do, they should take into account the possibility of triggering a spiral of escalation that could lead to the only outcome worse than the invasion of Ukraine itself.

    Mar 25, 2022

  • An armoured vehicle of the Syrian Democratic Forces is seen along a road at the frontline in Raqqa, Syria, October 8, 2017, photo by Erik De Castro/Reuters

    Improving Department of Defense Civilian Casualty Policies

    A recently published RAND study on the Department of Defense’s civilian casualty procedures found that while DoD has created policies that reflect a strong commitment to comply with the law of war and mitigate civilian harm, there are considerable weaknesses in key areas in the process with gaps in resourcing and inconsistencies across theaters of operation.

    Feb 25, 2022

  • The launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile during a test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, February 5, 2020, photo by SrA Clayton Wear/U.S. Air Force

    Modernizing the U.S. Nuclear Triad

    A new RAND paper describes the choices that have shaped the U.S. nuclear force posture in the past, the major questions and disagreements informing the current debate over nuclear modernization, and the significance of the decisions that will be made over the next several months.

    Feb 11, 2022

  • Paycheck Protection Program borrower application form, photo by golibtolibov/Getty Images

    Keeping the Defense Industrial Base Afloat During COVID-19

    In a new exploratory analysis of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) data, RAND researchers summarize investments in Defense Industrial Base businesses that received assistance during the early months of the pandemic.

    Jan 28, 2022

  • Russian missile air defence systems at the international military-technical forum Army-2021 in Moscow Region, Russia, August 23, 2021, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    How Have Sanctions Impacted Russian Arms Sales?

    New RAND research that examines Russian arms exports and the impact of sanctions found that U.S. diplomatic efforts buttressed by the prospect of third-party sanctions have had a "chilling effect" on countries considering Russian advanced conventional weapons.

    Dec 16, 2021

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting on the sidelines of a BRICS summit, in Brasilia, Brazil, November 13, 2019, photo by Ramil Sitdikov/Sputnik via Reuters

    How Does the China-Russia Relationship Affect U.S. Interests?

    A new RAND report examines the history of China-Russia cooperation, explores how Sino-Russian relations might evolve in the future, and outlines the potential implications for U.S. national security.

    Nov 30, 2021

  • Russian soldiers man a checkpoint near the Georgian village of Kekhvi in breakaway South Ossetia, August 21, 2008, photo by Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

    Anticipating Adversary Military Interventions

    New RAND research explores where, how, and how often U.S. adversaries (specifically, Russia, China, and Iran) have intervened militarily since 1946 and identifies why these adversaries have initiated military interventions and why they might do so in the future.

    Oct 28, 2021

  • The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, a mausoleum in Pyongyang, North Korea, photo by narvikk/iStock

    How Does North Korea Evade Sanctions?

    New RAND research provides a detailed analysis of four North Korean sanctions evasion techniques and examines the various entities involved in these activities.

    Oct 21, 2021

  • Out-of-focus image of a man sitting against a wall, photo by Vilin Visuals / Getty

    Suicide Prevention for U.S. Veterans

    What role can research and public health efforts play in suicide prevention among U.S. veterans? Rajeev Ramchand outlines four strategies that are critical for preventing veteran suicides.

    Oct 12, 2021

  • TV news anchor obscured by screen of interference over a Russian flag, images by namussi/Getty Images and Piotr Krzeslak/Adobe Stock; design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation

    Understanding and Defending Against Russia's Malign and Subversive Information Efforts in Europe

    The authors of a new RAND report describe apparent efforts conducted by Russia and its agents involving the use of information to shape Russia's operating environment, focusing on the European context, and draw from existing practice to describe possible defensive approaches.

    Sep 29, 2021

  • Syrian refugee children in the Ketermaya refugee camp, outside Beirut, Lebanon on June 1, 2014, photo by Dominic Chavez/World Bank

    What Can Be Done to Help Global Refugees Return Home?

    Refugees make up roughly 30 million of the over 80 million people displaced globally. The authors of a new RAND report examine barriers to, and facilitators of, the safe and sustained return of refugees.

    Sep 15, 2021

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin holds a meeting with the Russian Security Council

    Understanding Russian Grand Strategy

    A new RAND report examined and tested elements of Russia's stated grand strategy and then outlined what behaviors would be expected if Russia's behavior reflected that strategy.

    Aug 31, 2021

  • A U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor prepares to initiate "Lights," the start of her platoon's morning routine, photo by Sgt. Dana Beesley/U.S. Marine Corps

    Countering Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the Military

    To help prevent sexual assault and harassment in the military, a new RAND report offers specific recommendations for policymakers, focused on enhancing accountability, improving knowledge and skills needed to prevent sexual assault and harassment, and enacting a research agenda for the Defense Department to set the standard for excellence in prevention.

    Aug 26, 2021

  • People try to get into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2021, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Collapse in Afghanistan: Early Insights from RAND Researchers

    The sudden end to America's longest war came Sunday as the Taliban rolled into the capital of Afghanistan and the national government collapsed. Even as the situation remains in flux, RAND experts have shared some of their initial thoughts on topics such as the issues fleeing Afghans may face, how the United States can protect refugees, and the implications of Afghanistan's collapse on terrorism and geopolitics.

    Aug 19, 2021

  • China outlined in red on a NASA image of Earth, photo by NASA and RomoloTavani/Getty Images

    China's Quest for Global Primacy

    China will aim to establish regional and global primacy by relying on economic prowess and diplomatic maneuvers, according to the authors of a new RAND report. The goal: gain a position of advantage from which China cannot be dislodged by the United States.

    Jul 26, 2021


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