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

  • Kim Jong-un speaks to officials at the Defence Development Exhibition, in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on October 12, 2021, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    North Korea's 'Business as Usual' Missile Provocations

    Oct 14, 2021

    North Korea has revved up its cycle of missile provocations, its go-to method of securing leverage against the United States and South Korea in the on-again off-again nuclear negotiations. How will the United States and South Korea choose to respond?

  • Panellists (l-r) Gen. Charles Flynn, Jennifer Moroney, Michael Mazarr, and Jennifer Kavanagh in a video still from the event, photo by RAND Corporation

    Blog

    Gen. Charles Flynn Says Army Has Crucial Role in the Pacific Theater

    Oct 13, 2021

    What is the U.S. Army's role in an oceanic theater that spans half the globe, where China increasingly asserts itself for strategic advantage? Gen. Charles A. Flynn, head of the U.S. Army Pacific, discussed this and other topics related to the Army's role in the Pacific theater at a recent event at RAND.

  • 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

    Report

    The Chinese-Russian Relationship and Its Risks to U.S. Interests

    Oct 12, 2021

    Over the past 70 years, China and Russia have experienced the full range of interstate relations, from conflict to alliance. Beijing and Moscow have become much closer since 2014, increasing political, military, and economic cooperation. What does this mean for the United States?

  • Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division board a U.S. Air Force C-17 at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 30th, 2021, photo by Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett, 82nd Airborne Public Affairs/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    The Big Unanswered Question of the Afghanistan War

    Oct 4, 2021

    The United States' war in Afghanistan may be over, but the debate over the legacy of America's longest war has just begun. The U.S. defeat raises many questions. For the future of American defense strategy, one big question perhaps stands out above all: Does the United States still have the grit necessary to fight and win long wars?

  • Paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division prepare to board a U.S. Air Force C-17 at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 30th, 2021, photo by U.S. Army via Reuters

    Blog

    Panel Discusses Biden Strategy of Diplomacy as Tool of First Resort in the Middle East

    Oct 1, 2021

    A distinguished panel of Middle East and national security experts expressed concerns about potential side effects of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan on U.S. Middle East policy and encouraged the Biden administration to proactively engage allies in the future.

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.

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Alerts & Newsletters

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

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

    Suicide Prevention for U.S. Veterans

    Oct 12, 2021

    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.

  • 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

    Sep 29, 2021

    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.

  • 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?

    Sep 15, 2021

    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.

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

    Understanding Russian Grand Strategy

    Aug 31, 2021

    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.

  • 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

    Aug 26, 2021

    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.

  • 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

    Aug 19, 2021

    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.

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

    China's Quest for Global Primacy

    Jul 26, 2021

    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.

  • War, military threat, military power concept. China. Tanks toy near chinese flag on black background top view, photo by 9dreamstudio/AdobeStock

    Understanding Chinese Deterrence Signaling

    Jun 21, 2021

    As China leverages growing military capabilities and the availability of new communication channels, it is also changing its approach to deterrence signaling. New RAND research provides an analytic framework to interpret Chinese deterrence signaling and explores seven case studies of recent Chinese deterrence behavior.

  • South Korean soldiers coordinate fires during a joint artillery exercise with U.S. soldiers near the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea, May 10, 2016, photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson/U.S. Army

    What is the State of Deterrence in the Taiwan Strait and Korea?

    May 26, 2021

    Recent RAND research explored U.S. extended deterrence on the Korean Peninsula and in the Taiwan Strait. The researchers conclude that the state of deterrence in Korea is healthy, and all examined variables are robust or effective.

  • China with sunset on Earth

    RAND Research on China

    May 18, 2021

    Strategic competition with China is among the top foreign policy issues of the 117th Congress. RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including U.S. allies and partners, gray zone activities, and technology and supply chains.

  • A compilation of three images: Spasskaya Tower in Moscow, photo by Сергей Шармаков/Getty Images/iStockphoto; Great Hall of the People in Beijing: Spondylolithesis/Getty Images/iStockphoto; and a COVID-19 virus, image by BlackJack3D/Getty Images/iStockphoto. Design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation

    China and Russia: Superspreaders of Malign and Subversive COVID-19 Information

    May 3, 2021

    Both Russia and China appear to have employed information manipulation during the COVID-19 pandemic in service of their respective global agendas. A new RAND report describes the types of COVID-19-related malign and subversive information efforts with which sources linked to Russia and to China ostensibly targeted U.S. audiences in 2020.

  • U.S. Marines and sailors post security from the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) off the coast of Southern Calif., December 4, 2020, photo by Lance Cpl. Cameron Rowe/U.S. Marine Corps

    The Link Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in the Military

    Apr 28, 2021

    Ambient sexual harassment—the sexual harassment of others in a service member's work environment—is strongly associated with risk of sexual assault, even after controlling for many other sexual assault risk factors, according to a RAND report.

  • Special operations forces in Afghanistan, photo by U.S. Army

    In Case You Missed It: Special Operations Forces Culture and Climate

    Apr 26, 2021

    After several years of high operational tempo, what is the future of special operations forces? Linda Robinson discusses ways to ensure the health and culture of the force, right-size the counterterrorism mission, and prioritize diversity.

  • U.S Marines static line jump from a KC-130J Hercules over Drop Zone Basilone on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., December 10, 2020, photo by Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels/U.S. Marine Corps

    Sexual Assault Doubles the Odds of Military Separation

    Mar 31, 2021

    Exposure to sexual assault in the U.S. military doubled the odds that a service member would separate from the military within 28 months, and sexual harassment was associated with roughly eight percent of all military separations during this same time period.

  • A view from space of the Middle East, West Asia, and East Europe at night, photo by wael alreweie/Getty Images

    Reimagining U.S. Strategy in the Middle East

    Mar 4, 2021

    With the start of a new administration in the United States, the coming months might offer an opportune moment for Washington to rethink some of the fundamental premises underlying American policymaking in the Middle East and review how the United States engages the region, and for what purpose.

  • Closeup of a doctor tearing a prescription off a pad, photo by wdstock/Getty Images

    How to Improve Access and Control Costs in the TRICARE Prescription Drug Benefit

    Feb 26, 2021

    Like other providers of prescription drug coverage, TRICARE uses benefit design, formulary, and other tools to strike a balance between access to prescription drugs for beneficiaries and spending. How might TRICARE further improve access, control costs, or both?

  • An aerial view shows the Cave of the Patriarchs, a site sacred to Jews and Muslims, in the Palestinian city of Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, November 2, 2020, photo by Ilan Rosenberg/Reuters

    Alternatives in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    Feb 19, 2021

    For decades, the two-state solution has dominated efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Today, there is a belief among analysts and the Israeli and Palestinian publics that the two-state solution might no longer be feasible in light of political and demographic trends and structural developments on the ground.

  • National Guardmen on U.S. Capitol security detail in Washington, DC, January 11, 2021, photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht/U.S. Air National Guard

    Considering National Security Policy in the 117th Congress

    Feb 17, 2021

    What are the biggest national security and international affairs policy issues facing the 117th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including China, Russia, military personnel, space policy, and more.

  • In the foreground, an early warning aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force

    How Could the United States Work with Australia and New Zealand to Counter Chinese Influence?

    Jan 28, 2021

    There is growing concern in Australia and New Zealand about China's rising power and influence, and China is now openly criticized as a belligerent nation with assertive policies contrary to Australia's interests.

  • The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey transits the Pacific Ocean while participating in Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC)

    Competing with China in the Indo-Pacific

    Dec 10, 2020

    In long-term strategic competition with China, how effectively the United States works with allies and partners is critical to U.S. success. To enable closer cooperation, the United States needs to understand how those countries respond to this contest.

  • The USS Carney, a missile-guided destroyer, approaches the Bosphorus Strait on its journey to transit out of the Black Sea, photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Weston Jones/U.S. Navy

    Russia, NATO, and Black Sea Security

    Nov 24, 2020

    The Black Sea region is a central locus of competition between Russia and the West for the future of Europe. Russia has long used political, military, economic, informational, and clandestine tools against countries in the area. How could the West respond?

  • Patricia Marshall, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center chief of strategy, shares information about the Defense Innovation Dashboard project with Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass at the AFWERX Austin hub, Aug. 20, 2020. During the visit, the AFWERX team showcased various initiatives aimed toward modernizing the Air Force including the AFVentures Fellowship, Agility Prime program, AFWERX internships, Spark Colliders and RAPIDx, photo by Staff Sgt. Jordyn Fetter/Air National Guard

    Maintaining a Demographically Diverse Air Force Civilian Workforce

    Oct 29, 2020

    Minority groups, particularly women, tend to enter the Air Force civil service at lower grades than white men. That is one of the findings from a RAND report that documents the results of a study designed to better understand the challenges of Air Force civilian women, racial/ethnic minorities, and individuals with disabilities.

  • What Role Should Allies and Partners Play in U.S. Military Strategy and Operations?

    Oct 21, 2020

    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.

  • A throng of shoppers in Myungdong, downtown Seoul, South Korea, July 17, 2011, photo by United Nations/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The North Korean Conventional Artillery Threat

    Sep 29, 2020

    North Korea maintains nearly 6,000 artillery systems within range of major South Korean population centers, which it could use to kill many thousands in just an hour. RAND researchers assessed the magnitude of this threat across five scenarios.

  • Supporters of the Houthi movement attend a rally to mark the 4th anniversary of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen's war, in Sanaa, Yemen, March 26, 2019, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

    Could the Houthis Be the Next Hizballah?

    Aug 27, 2020

    Iran has dramatically increased its investment in the Houthi movement, raising speculation that the Houthis will evolve into another regional proxy that serves to promote Iranian interests.


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