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

    A Surgical Strike Against North Korea? Not a Viable Option

    Jul 14, 2017

    North Korea's July 4 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit American soil has renewed talk of military intervention. But an effective limited military strike with minimal collateral damage and no escalation simply won't work.

  • Commentary

    Trump's Options for Afghanistan: Losing or Not Losing

    Jun 23, 2017

    The Trump administration faces the choice of losing quickly by withdrawing from Afghanistan; losing slowly by maintaining America's current, inadequate commitment; or not losing by increasing that commitment enough to maintain a stalemate on the battlefield.

  • Commentary

    How China Could Truly Rein in North Korea

    Jun 20, 2017

    China has key pressure points at its disposal to help deter North Korea from nuclear activities. It could cut off oil supplies or limit other trade, or crack down on illicit finance networks as many of the banks laundering money for the regime are in China. It could also stop shielding Pyongyang at the UN.

  • Commentary

    Giving Japan a Military

    Jun 20, 2017

    After 70 years, Japan may finally be on the cusp of acquiring its own military. Legally, that is. Prime Minister Abe has proposed a change to Japan's constitution to give legal standing to the Self-Defense Forces, and it's long overdue.

  • Commentary

    Taiwan's 2017 Quadrennial Defense Review in Context

    Jun 14, 2017

    Taiwan's 2017 Quadrennial Defense Review is consistent with past reviews on defense strategy, reform of the military service system, and defense budget constraints. It also emphasizes the importance to President Tsai of Taiwan's domestic defense industry and shows uncertainty about U.S. Asia policy.

  • Commentary

    Japan's Mistaken South Sudan Withdrawal

    Jun 8, 2017

    Being a proactive contributor to peace involves risk if a country is serious about gaining real-world experience. Pulling out of South Sudan deprives Japan's Self-Defense Force of crucial operational experience and sends a confusing message to the United States and the international community.

  • Multimedia

    China and North Korea

    Jun 8, 2017

    Overview of testimony presented by Andrew Scobell before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on June 8, 2017.

  • Blog

    Conversations at RAND: Security Tensions in Northeast Asia

    Jun 8, 2017

    The increasing tempo of developments in North Korea is of growing concern not only to South Korea but also to the U.S., Japan, and even China. At a RAND event, senior researcher Bruce Bennett discussed how complex the situation is and what options the U.S. has going forward.