From the RAND Blog

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  • Detail of the english word "democracy"  highlighted and its definition from the dictionary, photo by Lobro78/Getty Images

    How Can the United States Support Democracies in the Former USSR?

    Sep 16, 2019

    The West has only modest capacity to influence circumstances in most post-Soviet countries. In Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova, however, the West has the potential to make a real difference by supporting civil society and improved governance.

  • An Israeli soldier stands guard under an Israeli national flag in the Jordan Valley near the Jewish settlement of Maale Efrayim, January 2, 2014, photo by Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

    Israel’s War with Iran May Be Going Too Far

    Sep 16, 2019

    Israel has a right to defend itself from Iranian threats to its country. American leaders should consider balancing support for Israel's efforts to counter Iran with firm redlines about activities negatively impacting American interests.

  • Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (left) and Chief of the General Staff, First Deputy Minister Valery Gerasimov, before a meeting with Russian Defence Ministry leadership and defense industry heads<a href="http://static.kremlin.ru/media/events/photos/big2x/XkuxktnM8WnEwjbaFZgFjfTZ7jpIznTL.jpg">photo</a> courtesy of Office of the Russian President/<a href="http://en.kremlin.ru/about/copyrights">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International</a>

    A New Russian Military Doctrine: What It Might Contain and Why It Matters

    Sep 9, 2019

    The United States and its allies should anticipate the possibility of an updated Russian military doctrine as early as 2020. Evaluating this document closely is important for understanding Russian threat perceptions and the leadership's methods to address those threats.

  • Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (L) and U.S. President Ronald Reagan begin their mini-summit talks in Reykjavik, October 11, 1986, photo by Mal Langsdon/Reuters

    Reagan's Cold War Lessons for Handling Russia

    Aug 9, 2019

    Rising public protests in Russia may be putting the Kremlin on the defensive at home. But Moscow is playing offense abroad, challenging the West more than at any time since Ronald Reagan's presidency. Reagan's strategy to counter the Kremlin back then offers insights that could help guide U.S. policy today.

  • View of the U.S. Capitol Building, photo by SurangaWeeratunga/AdobeStock

    RAND's Summer Reading List for Congress

    Aug 5, 2019

    For busy staff, August's respite from back-to-back meetings, hearing preparation, and late votes is hard-earned. The summer recess also provides an opportunity to get ahead of issues that will resurface in the fall. To that end, we have compiled recent RAND research on topics likely to top the congressional agenda come September.

  • Steam rises from the chimneys of a thermal power plant behind the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in Moscow, Russia January 9, 2018, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Cyber Threats from the U.S. and Russia Are Now Focusing on Civilian Infrastructure

    Jul 23, 2019

    For years, Russia and the United States have been targeting each other's infrastructure through cyberattacks. But the aggression and scope of these operations now seem unprecedented. What are the best options for U.S. policymakers?

  • A portion of a city model glows red indicating a cyber threat to infrastructure at the DarkMatter booth during the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 26, 2017

    Fighting and Winning the Undeclared Cyber War

    Jun 24, 2019

    Russia has executed deliberate intrusions into U.S. critical infrastructure since at least 2011. These systems have included government entities, commercial facilities, water resource plants, and aviation institutions. What actions or policies can the U.S. execute to improve security?

  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shake hands prior to their talks in Sochi, Russia, May 14, 2019, pU.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shake hands prior to their talks in Sochi, Russia, May 14, 2019

    Can Washington and Moscow Agree to Limit Political Interference?

    Jun 13, 2019

    After his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia had proposed a mutual non-interference pledge. The concept of elaborating norms of non-interference on a mutual basis might be the best way to stabilize U.S.-Russian relations and prevent the damaging episodes of recent years from happening again.

  • Members of Russia's National Guard block participants of a rally in support of detained Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov in Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2019, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    A Democratic Spring Could Be Stirring in Eurasia. The West's Quiet Support Can Help

    Jun 13, 2019

    An incipient Eurasian “democratic spring” may not yet be on the horizon, but political awareness and civil society are gaining ground. The West could contribute by continuing to help to fill information vacuums, and by offering training and support for nurturing civil society, conducting free and fair elections, and developing competitive politics.

  • U.S. President Ronald Reagan (R) and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in the White House, Washington, DC, December 8, 1987, photo by Str Old/Reuters

    What Ronald Reagan Can Teach Us About Dealing with Contemporary Russia

    May 13, 2019

    Politics loves its historical analogies and today, perhaps, there is no more common a comparison to the Trump presidency than the Reagan administration. Reagan's tenure was marked by his successful competition with the Soviet Union. Does Reagan provide a blueprint for triumphing over modern Russia?