From the RAND Blog

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  • A Turkish army howitzer is positioned near the Turkish-Syrian border in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 17, 2019, photo by Murad Sezer/Reuters

    Indecision in Washington Compounded the Kurds' Dilemma

    Oct 18, 2019

    Statesmanship requires the ability to choose between sometimes unpalatable alternatives. Statecraft requires a rigorous process of refining and a timely means of deliberating on those alternatives. These qualities have been notably lacking in charting the U.S. administration's Syria end game thereby compounding the unavoidable costs of withdrawal with charges of betrayal and a retreat under fire.

  • The entrance to Lakhta-2 business center, which reportedly houses news organizations and internet research companies known for trolling on social media, in St. Petersburg, Russia, February 20, 2018, photo by Anton Vaganov/Reuters

    What Translation Troubles Can Tell Us About Russian Information Warfare

    Oct 4, 2019

    Moscow's form of information warfare targeting the West has attracted significant international attention since 2014, especially through its reinvigorated military intelligence branch. Nonetheless, little research has focused on these campaigns' apparent shortcomings. Most notable among operational errors are the confusing translation mistakes that undermine attempts at covert influence efforts.

  • A view shows Russian warships and a sailing vessel during a rehearsal for the Navy Day parade in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Crimea July 26, 2019, photo by Alexey Pavlishak/Reuters

    Russia's Strategy in the Black Sea: How NATO Can Up Its Game

    Sep 24, 2019

    The Black Sea region is a central locus of the competition between Russia and the West for the future of Europe. In March 2019, RAND brought together a group of experts to discuss Moscow's strategy there—and what Western countries can do to counter it.

  • 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?