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Latest News and Commentary

  • Smoke rises after what the Iranian media said was an Israeli strike on a building close to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024, photo by Firas Makdesi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Russia Doesn't Want War Between Israel and Iran

    Moscow stands to lose a great deal if the Israel-Hamas conflict escalates into a wider war. While Russia would prefer the West distracted, a direct Israel-Iran conflict would expose Russia's vulnerabilities in the Middle East.

    Apr 12, 2024

  • U.S. Space Force Col. Phillip Verroco explains the layout of the Combined Space Operations Center's operations floor to members of a delegation of French officers at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, April 15, 2022, photo by Tech. Sgt Luke Kitterman/U.S. Space Force

    Commentary

    The Path to Thoughtful Allied Space Power: Progress on a Steep Road

    The road to thoughtful allied space power is steep and requires commitment to make progress. By being forthright about the prospects for cooperation, the United States will enable allies and partners to make choices about their own investments and operations that will strengthen future coalition capabilities.

    Apr 12, 2024

  • China's Qinling Base in Antarctica, February 7, 2024 , <a href=

    Commentary

    What Are China's Long-Term Antarctic Ambitions?

    The recent opening of China's Qinling base, its third permanent Antarctic station, has worried some Australian and American observers. What are China's long-term ambitions? And how should Australia and its allies and partners respond?

    Apr 11, 2024

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin lights a candle in memory of the victims of the Crocus City Hall attack at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, March 24, 2024, photo by Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik via Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Disinformation Campaign About the Moscow Terror Attack May Be Working

    As far-fetched as it may seem to those in the West, the Kremlin's claim that the recent terrorist attack on a Moscow concert hall was orchestrated by Ukraine and Western powers may be convincing to many Russians. For the U.S. to address and combat these claims, it is important to understand how they are framed amid broadly propagated themes, and how these could influence their potential appeal to large swaths of the Russian public.

    Apr 11, 2024

  • M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks of the 3rd Armored Division move out on a mission during Operation Desert Storm, February 15, 1991, photo by PHC D. W. HOLMES II/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Assemble the Bodyguard of Lies: Strengthening U.S. Military Deception Capabilities

    Few aspects of warfare are as valuable as efforts to deceive adversaries. The U.S. military inevitably will face rivals who use deception to their advantage, so it should once again hone its own subterfuge skills—from the lowest levels, to gain a tactical edge, to the highest, to achieve strategic surprise.

    Apr 11, 2024

  • Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks to the media after the release of the Defence Strategic Review in Canberra, Australia, April 24, 2023, photo by Lukas Coch/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Will Australia's Approach to Net Assessment Be?

    Australia's 2023 Defence Strategic Review is very clear: Australia must change the way it plans for and acquires defense capabilities. Doing so will require a net assessment to examine the various factors that may contribute to or detract from the country's military capabilities.

    Apr 11, 2024

  • Map or Russia and Eurasia, photo by pop_jop/Getty Images

    Announcement

    Samuel Charap Named Inaugural Distinguished Chair in Russia and Eurasia Policy at RAND

    Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at RAND, will serve as the inaugural Distinguished Chair in Russia and Eurasia Policy at the nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. The Distinguished Chair in Russia and Eurasia Policy will further enhance RAND's analysis of the region and of the impact of Moscow's actions on the larger geopolitical landscape.

    Apr 11, 2024

  • Vector illustration of people looking up at a large carrot dangling by a string above them, photo by mathisworks/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Carrots, Sticks, and Sermons Are Not Enough: Productivity in the UK's Public Sector

    Productivity improvement across the UK public sector has stalled in recent years. There are two main ways to address this productivity puzzle: Reducing costs, and innovative system change focussed on delivering more value with the same inputs.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his wife Kishida Yuko at the White House in Washington, D.C., April 10, 2024. photo by Annabelle Gordon/Sipa USA/Reuters

    Commentary

    America's Best Friend in Asia

    Many describe NATO as the United States' indispensable alliance—and it remains a top priority. But with a growing slate of traditional and nontraditional security issues, many of which center on China, the United States' new go-to ally is Japan.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • A worker builds a trench as part of a system of new fortification lines near the Russian border in Chernihiv region, Ukraine, March 28, 2024, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    Putin's Cordon Sanitaire in Ukraine

    Moscow is signaling a renewed Russian lunge into northern Ukraine to create a buffer zone and seize Kharkiv. Any Russian escalation in northern Ukraine deserves to be met with the full force of Ukraine's own arms and those from the West.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • The burnt-out Crocus City Hall following a deadly attack on the concert venue outside Moscow, Russia, March 29, 2024, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Moscow Terror Attack Shows the Limits of the Russia-Iran Partnership

    Growing military and economic ties between Russia and Iran pose a threat to U.S. and Western interests. But their relationship remains largely transactional. The Ukraine war has incentivized them to paper over their disputes for now, but has not erased significant differences which make it more difficult for Moscow and Tehran to forge a true strategic partnership.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • North Korea launches what it says is a new mid- to long-range solid-fuel hypersonic missile, at an unknown location in North Korea, April 2, 2024, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Did North Korea Really Test a Hypersonic Missile?

    North Korea is working toward the deployment of hypersonic missiles that it claims could render South Korean and U.S. missile defenses useless. Still, its claims of a successful test this month appear greatly exaggerated.

    Apr 9, 2024

  • News Release

    News Release

    Some Veterans Who Express Extremist Ideologies Had Negative Experience During Service

    Interviews with military veterans who expressed support for extremist groups or related beliefs on a prior survey show that many experienced a significant negative event during their military service.

    Apr 9, 2024

  • Closeup of people wearing suits putting their hands together on top of a digital globe, photo by GIANT7/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Potential of Smart Treaties

    Blockchain technology presents numerous opportunities for the development of trade and commerce. One particularly interesting opportunity is smart contracts, an application that could have broad geopolitical implications if applied to treaties.

    Apr 8, 2024

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes U.S. President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Bharat Mandapam convention center for the G20 Summit, in New Delhi, India, September 9, 2023, photo by Evan Vucci/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S.-India Ties Remain Fundamentally Fragile

    Despite widespread optimism about the future of the U.S.-India partnership, relations are considerably more fragile than they might appear. Indeed, the two countries continue to experience friction in several areas that, if left unaddressed, could ultimately undermine or even derail future cooperation.

    Apr 7, 2024

  • NATO military personnel test an unmanned surface vehicle during exercise Baltic Operations 2023 in the Baltic Sea, June 23, 2023, photo by Jan Eenling/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    What Chinese Navy Planners Are Learning from Ukraine's Use of Unmanned Surface Vessels

    The continued success of Ukrainian unmanned surface vessel (USV) attacks on Russian naval facilities and warships has kept USVs in the defense analytical spotlight and naval analysts around the world, particularly those in China, are taking note.

    Apr 4, 2024

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Amur Oblast of the Far East Region, Russia, September 13, 2023, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Putin's Embrace of Kim Jong-un Has Its Limits

    The current trajectory of North Korea–Russia relations is certainly unfavorable for the United States and its allies because it essentially gives the two nations greater wiggle room to continue their bad behavior. But all is not necessarily lost. The strategic partnership between Russia and North Korea is unlikely to be decisive for either side.

    Apr 4, 2024

  • Illustration of two people sitting at a negotiation table with U.S. and Chinese flags, photo by erhui1979/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Building a Foundation for Strategic Stability with China on AI

    In an atmosphere of deepening mutual suspicion, trying to engage with China on military uses of artificial intelligence may seem pointless. But if negotiations go somewhere, U.S. security might be palpably improved. It they fail, there is little downside.

    Apr 2, 2024

  • News Release

    News Release

    Online Tool Allows State-by-State Analysis of Firearm Death Rates over 40-Year Period

    Firearm homicides have risen faster relative to the overall national trend in states such as Wisconsin, Delaware, and Minnesota, while firearm suicides have risen faster in Alaska, North Dakota, and Montana. A new tool allows users to examine state-level firearm death rates over the past four decades.

    Apr 2, 2024

  • Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands inside an enclosure for defendants before a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, October 10, 2023, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Year-Long Detention of Evan Gershkovich: When Foreign Nationals Become Political Pawns

    Detaining foreign nationals incurs little risk for the detaining state, and can bring a large return. Negotiating to bring them home is not easy, as humanitarian appeals seldom work and there is always a quid pro quo. But the situation is not hopeless.

    Mar 29, 2024

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