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 or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • Commentary

    America's Indo-Pacific Alliances Are Astonishingly Strong

    As 2023 draws to a close, U.S. alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific are just about the deepest and most robust they have been in all their history. The United States will likely continue to bolster and expand its network to complicate and deter future actions that China and North Korea might take to threaten, undermine, or otherwise undo the Indo-Pacific order.

    Dec 8, 2023

  • Commentary

    Resilient Reconstruction in Ukraine

    Kyiv may be prudent to invest in resilience as it rebuilds energy and other utilities, transport, economic and health infrastructure, and housing. Doing so could put Ukraine in a stronger position during the war and give it a jump start on peacetime rebuilding.

    Dec 7, 2023

  • Commentary

    The Nuclear Shadows of the Ukraine War as Seen Through a Chinese Lens

    China-U.S. relations are once again on an upward trajectory after the meeting between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the APEC summit. But the good news should not obscure lingering bilateral tensions with respect to nuclear weapons.

    Dec 6, 2023

  • Report

    Disrupting the Chinese Military in Competition and Low-Intensity Conflict

    There are certain tasks required for China's military to execute key competition and low-intensity conflict missions. Those tasks have potential vulnerabilities that the United States could leverage to disrupt China's strategic goals and constrain its ability to harm U.S. interests.

    Dec 5, 2023

  • Commentary

    North Korea's Satellite Launch: Part of a Bigger Problem for Kim Jong-un?

    On November 21, North Korea made its third attempt of 2023 to launch a reconnaissance satellite despite this launch violating multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and despite the urging of many other countries. It may well have been a desperate move by North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.

    Dec 4, 2023

More Research on International Affairs


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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Alerts & Newsletters

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

  • Assessing the Russia-Iran Partnership

    Since February 2022, Russia and Iran have increased their defense and economic cooperation and explored options that could transform the relationship into a broad-based strategic partnership. A new RAND paper describes the factors that drive (and constrain) Russian-Iranian cooperation and examines how the relationship might evolve.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • Report on the Arctic Capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces

    Researchers presents findings on the U.S. and other armed forces' capabilities in the Arctic, including how effectively the U.S., its allies, and prospective rivals can operate in different parts of the region.

    Nov 1, 2023

  • Understanding the Risk of Escalation in the War in Ukraine

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has imposed devastating losses on the Russian military and on Ukraine's military and civilian populations, but both sides have avoided certain escalatory options. New RAND research evaluates the potential for further escalation.

    Oct 27, 2023

  • How Ukrainian Civilians Resist Russia

    Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the ways in which civilians can support a nation's effort to defend itself against an external occupying power. A new RAND report offers a broad characterization of Ukrainian approaches to civilian-based resistance during the first four months of the war.

    Sep 28, 2023

  • 2023 Summer Reading List for Congress

    To help members and staff prepare for the fall session, we’ve curated a list of the latest RAND research on topics likely to be at the top of Congress’ agenda in the coming months, including artificial intelligence, health care consolidation, opioids, teacher well-being, and veterans’ mental health.

    Aug 30, 2023

  • The Will to Fight of Russian Private Military Actors

    In Ukraine, Syria, several African countries, and other conflict hotspots, private contractors are operating on behalf of, yet are ostensibly separate from, the Russian state. Reliance on these actors allows Russia to expand its military footprint while maintaining plausible deniability.

    Aug 25, 2023

  • Can Taiwan Resist a Large-Scale Military Attack by China?

    An accurate assessment of Taiwan's ability to withstand a large-scale attack by China could help U.S. decisionmakers better anticipate and respond in such a situation. New RAND research develops a framework for assessing a country's capacity to resist a large-scale military attack and then assesses Taiwan's capacity to resist an attack by China for 90 days.

    Jul 28, 2023

  • Reconstructing Ukraine

    As policymakers plan Ukraine’s reform and reconstruction, it will be critical to learn from relevant reconstruction efforts. A new RAND report analyzes such efforts and provides guidance for next steps.

    Jul 26, 2023

  • What Is China’s Strategy in the Pacific Islands?

    In congressional testimony, Derek Grossman outlined the broad contours of Chinese strategy toward the Pacific Islands region, provided an analysis of Chinese strategy in the Freely Associated States and U.S. territories in the Pacific, and offered policy recommendations for Congress and the U.S. government.

    Jun 29, 2023

  • Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition

    New RAND research explores how the United States, China, and Russia might compete elsewhere in the world—primarily in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

    May 31, 2023

  • Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition

    The prospect of the increasing use of proxy warfare has several implications for U.S. defense policy. Violent nonstate actors supported by states tend to be much more lethal than those without state support.

    Apr 27, 2023

  • Strategic Competition with China

    How to effectively compete with China ranks among the top national security concerns of the 118th Congress. Already this year, several committees have held hearings on various aspects of relations with China. RAND possesses deep and broad expertise on China that is available to congressional staff.

    Apr 20, 2023

  • Russian Military Operations in Ukraine

    One year has passed since Russia launched its full-scale invasion against Ukraine. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Dara Massicot reflects on the past 12 months of war, discusses the current Russian offensive, and outlines different scenarios in the year ahead.

    Mar 30, 2023

  • China's Overseas Military Diplomacy and Implications for U.S. Interests

    The expansion of China's global interests and the subsequent increase in its overseas security footprint have led the Chinese leadership to elevate the role of military diplomacy in supporting China's foreign policy objectives.

    Feb 24, 2023

  • One Year After Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

    One year after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, RAND experts continue to analyze the conflict and provide their expertise to Congress.

    Feb 22, 2023

  • What if Russia Were to Attack NATO?

    Although U.S. and NATO planners have long focused on preparing for the contingency of a large-scale conflict with Russia, the Ukraine war has created a unique set of circumstances that make a more limited Russian attack plausible. A new RAND paper outlines the characteristics of a potential Russian attack that are relevant to informing a U.S. or NATO response.

    Jan 26, 2023

  • National Security and International Affairs in the 118th Congress

    What are the biggest national security and international affairs policy issues facing the 118th Congress? RAND experts offer up insights on topics including competing with China, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, strategic competition, military personnel. and space policy.

    Jan 24, 2023

  • Understanding a New Era of Strategic Competition

    RAND researchers developed a framework for assessing competition between major powers and assembled high-level findings and recommendations to support immediate policy decisions to ensure the U.S. competitive advantage.

    Dec 15, 2022

  • Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Outbreak

    A new RAND publication contains a collection of essays that explores topics of critical importance toward that end and identifies actions to take to not only improve pandemic preparedness but also help prevent the occurrence of future pandemics.

    Dec 13, 2022

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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