From the RAND Blog

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  • Artificial Intelligence Bias, Russia, Fentanyl: RAND Weekly Recap

    Nov 29, 2019

    This weekly recap focuses on bias in algorithms, Russia's limits in the Middle East, understanding the fentanyl crisis, and more.

  • Fentanyl in a vial, photo by designer491/Getty Images

    What Will the Opioid Crisis Look Like in Five Years?

    Nov 18, 2019

    Despite variations in European opioid markets, there is an overarching commonality too: Once a synthetic opioid like fentanyl becomes dominant, it stays that way. The United States should prepare for fentanyl and other synthetic opioids as a lasting phenomenon. Learning from other countries' experiences is an important part of that effort.

  • White Supremacist Terrorism, Wildfires, the Dark Web: RAND Weekly Recap

    Nov 1, 2019

    This weekly recap focuses on violent white supremacy, power outages to prevent wildfires, how to catch criminals on the dark web, and more.

  • Flags of United States, Russia, and China on a chess board, photo by Albert_Karimov/Getty Images

    How the United States Could Lose a Great-Power War

    Oct 30, 2019

    The U.S. armed forces are now preparing for an age of great-power competition and rightly so. The 2018 National Defense Strategy shows the Defense Department is focused on the threats posed by Russia and especially China to U.S. interests, allies, and established partners such as Taiwan. For now, U.S. forces appear poorly postured to meet these challenges.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visit the Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province, Syria, December 11, 2017, photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik Photo Agency/Reuters

    Russia's Risky Game Plan for Syria

    Oct 29, 2019

    It will take time to assess the extent to which Russia has “won“ in Syria. Absent a peaceful end to the conflict and an infusion of large-scale Western aid, downside risks for Russia could take some of the bloom off of its rose in Syria.

  • A convoy of U.S. vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, in Erbil, Iraq October 21, 2019, photo by  Azad Lashkari/Reuters

    The Syrian Withdrawal: Where Things Stand

    Oct 21, 2019

    Without an orderly process for its national security decisions, the Trump administration has defaulted to the worst option regarding Syria. The sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces has left an opening for Russia to exploit. It also left the Kurds, a U.S. partner, to fend off a Turkish assault.

  • 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

    Core qualities of statesmanship and statecraft have been notably lacking in charting the U.S. administration's Syria end game. This has compounded the unavoidable costs of withdrawal with charges of betrayal and a retreat under fire.

  • Virtual Societal Warfare, Iran, Opioids: RAND Weekly Recap

    Oct 11, 2019

    This weekly recap focuses on the risk of virtual societal welfare, Iran's domestic debates, federal policy options for supervised consumption sites, and more.

  • 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

    Russian information warfare has attracted significant international attention since 2014. But little research has focused on its apparent shortcomings. Most notable are the confusing translation mistakes that undermine Moscow's 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.