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

    How We Can Keep Iran from Becoming the Next North Korea

    Aug 22, 2017

    The U.S. brokered an agreement to constrain North Korea's nuclear program 25 years ago but hard-liners abandoned it with vague intentions of coercing the North into something better. They never did, and now a runaway North Korean program poses real danger. This offers a powerful reason to preserve the Iranian nuclear deal.

  • Essay

    Understanding North Korea

    Aug 18, 2017

    How should the U.S. respond to North Korea's provocative behavior? Even the best military options could be cataclysmically bad, but there are nonmilitary options to convince Kim Jong Un that the costs of his provocations outweigh any benefits.

  • Commentary

    Dealing with Global Hot Spots in Times of Domestic Upheaval

    Aug 14, 2017

    The United States faces growing dangers of war in three parts of the globe: North Korea, Syria, and the South China Sea. How will it manage any—let alone all—of them, especially with political turmoil at the highest levels at home?

  • Commentary

    Privatizing the Military Unlikely to Be a Viable Solution in Afghanistan

    Aug 14, 2017

    Operational contractors are now an entrenched part of the Department of Defense’s total force and are here to stay. But replacing U.S. military personnel with contractors is not likely to be a militarily effective solution for the Afghanistan problem.

  • Commentary

    The North Korea Standoff: Have We Been Here Before?

    Aug 14, 2017

    How the United States responded to China's nuclear weapons program last century can provide lessons for today's debate about North Korea. For instance, the conclusion that the only option is deterrence is still sound.

  • Commentary

    How Did North Korea Get Its Nuclear Capabilities So Far So Fast?

    Aug 14, 2017

    The recent North Korean missile tests and other provocations have sent shock waves through the global national security community and heightened tensions throughout the region. How has North Korea increased its missile capabilities so dramatically in such a short period of time?

  • Commentary

    Contain, Deter, Transform: A Winning Strategy on North Korea

    Aug 9, 2017

    North Korea's missile tests and reported progress in nuclear warhead design have produced a volatile new urgency in U.S. policy. Contain, deter, and transform isn't a radical solution, but it's one that has worked before. This approach could preserve U.S. interests while avoiding war.

  • Commentary

    Lowdown on Pyeongtaek Garrison

    Aug 8, 2017

    Camp Humphreys will become the major U.S. base in Korea. In terms of North Korean threats, the camp is roughly 100 kilometers from the Demilitarized Zone. Some North Korean ballistic missiles could cause damage at Camp Humphreys if it's targeted.