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

    Commentary

    Power to the People: Rebooting Conventional Diplomacy

    The story of how President Obama engineered a grass-roots campaign, mobilizing formerly disengaged U.S. citizens with new media and new technologies, has reached almost mythological proportions. Less well known is the story of similar grass-roots efforts emerging in local communities around the world, write Cherl Benard and Edward O'Connell.

    Feb 27, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Obama's Foreign Policy Team and U.S.-Korean Relations

    The concrete contours of President Obama's foreign policy team have finally begun to emerge. What is intriguing is how many assignments are being given to those who have worked on the Korean peninsula, writes Chaibong Hahm.

    Feb 16, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Asia's Nonproliferation Laggards: China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia

    The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction ranks as one of the biggest challenges facing the Obama administration. Luckily, Mr. Obama has a tool to combat this threat, in the form of the Proliferation Security Initiative.... The trick now will be to convince key Asian countries to participate, writes Charles Wolf Jr.

    Feb 9, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    The Secret Briefing Obama Needs on Day One

    A select few Americans will ever see the president's daily brief — a digest of the intelligence community's most closely guarded secrets. But trust me, Barack Obama is going to need much more useful information than he is getting now, writes Gregory F. Treverton.

    Jan 22, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Mumbai's Terrifying Logic

    We tend to describe terrorism as senseless violence, but it seldom is. If we look at the attacks from the attackers' perspective, we can discern a certain strategic logic, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Dec 9, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    India, Pakistan Must Confront Threat of More Violence

    As the last Mumbai sites were being cleared of terrorists, grim signs emerged of the challenges that face India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, beginning to know what the Mumbai attack was — and what it was not — only augurs more violence for India. At least three factors are at play, writes Christine Fair.

    Dec 9, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    The Backlash Against Terror

    The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, are part of a disturbing trend across the Muslim world of groups that target civilians in the name of Islam. Less visible to Western eyes, but potentially just as significant, is a growing backlash among Muslims who condemn such attacks as unethical, writes Seth Jones.

    Dec 8, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Talk to the Taliban? Not Now

    As new U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus got a firsthand look at the worsening security situation in Afghanistan last week, he heard from some U.S., British and Afghan officials that the best way forward is to engage in peace talks with the Taliban. Such talks have already even tentatively begun. This is a bad idea.

    Nov 11, 2008