From the RAND Blog

Below, you'll find the most recent commentary from RAND experts on topics related to Asia. For a complete list of all commentaries by RAND staff, visit The RAND Blog.

  • Commentary

    Good Guy Gamble: What to Expect from Indonesia's Jokowi

    The preliminary verdict of Indonesia's presidential election suggests that nice guys can finish first. That could be good news for Indonesia, Southeast Asia, the United States, and the world. But that comes with two big caveats: The initial results must be confirmed by the final tally, and the losing candidate must accept that he has lost.

    Jul 17, 2014

  • Blog

    Why Japan's Military Shift Is Necessary for South Korea

    With its collective self-defense policy, Japan assumes its responsibilities to support the defense of South Korea and regional security in general, an appropriate action given the economic and other interdependencies of the regional countries, writes Pardee RAND alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75).

    Jul 7, 2014

  • Blog

    China Unlikely to Blink in Maritime Dispute with Vietnam over Oil Rig

    Tensions are rising in the South China Sea, where China moved a state-owned oil rig, reportedly accompanied by six warships, into disputed waters last month, triggering anti-Chinese demonstrations in Vietnam that resulted in four deaths.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • Commentary

    Four Approaches to Improve Higher Education in India Through Policies

    In India, university enrolment has grown from 10 to 23 million from 2000 to 2013, and so has interest in improving access and quality. A review of research on higher-education policies on affirmative action, financial aid, private education, and vocational education identifies gaps in research on improving access and quality.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • Commentary

    Is There a Hidden Message in the Taliban's 2014 Fighting Season Plan?

    The Taliban announced “Khaibar,” their plan for the operations they will be conducting this spring and summer. The reference to Khaibar — a conventional battle in which noncombatants were left unharmed — might actually hint at a strategy aimed at post-conflict reconciliation.

    May 31, 2014

  • Commentary

    In Africa: U.S. Promotes Security, China Does Business

    Africans require both security and economic growth. Global powers like China and the United States do not need to choose between the two when focusing their foreign policy efforts.

    May 31, 2014

  • Commentary

    A Liberated Yuan Is Likely to Fall

    Some critics claim that the People's Bank of China is contriving to weaken the yuan's value to promote Chinese exports and stimulate the country's lagging growth. But the yuan's true value may be lower than some popular estimates.

    May 21, 2014

  • Blog

    Despite Withdrawal, Russian Invasion of Eastern Ukraine Still Possible

    Russian President Vladimir Putin would prefer to avoid further military action, but movement of Russian troops into eastern Ukraine is still possible if Putin is unable to extend his influence and prevent the country from aligning with the European Union.

    May 21, 2014