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Latest News and Commentary

  • U.S. Marines hold military drills during Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in Washington, D.C., July 4, 2019, photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Commentary

    Americans Have Faith in the Military, But They Don't Understand It

    The American military is a central element of U.S. power and history, dominates discretionary spending, and remains the country's most trusted institution. Despite these factors, it is peripheral to the daily life of most citizens. As a result, the nation's most expensive and trusted institution is remote from the population that provides the people and money essential to its existence.

    Sep 13, 2019

  • Group of people planting a tree, photo by South_agency/Getty Images

    Commentary

    New Data on How We're Measuring a Culture of Health

    We are seeing small but positive changes in the appreciation of the social determinants of health and the need for broader community health investments. People are expanding their views of what influences health and there have been some targeted improvements in health care and public health access. Yet, the critical systemic changes needed for more transformative health improvements have been slower to follow.

    Sep 13, 2019

  • A shadow of a hand holding a gun, photo by ugurhan/Getty Images

    Commentary

    'Stand Your Ground' Laws May Be Causing More Harm Than Good

    Americans have debated whether “stand your ground” laws or gun-free zones make us safer or less safe for decades. These are debates about factual matters that are, in principle, knowable. Without research on these and other topics, bad laws will inadvertently be passed or retained.

    Sep 12, 2019

  • China and Taiwan flags on a chess board, photo by Kagenmi/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Tale of Two Cities China Ignores at Its Peril

    Beijing may believe that, eventually, Taiwanese politics will turn in its favor. But it should consider experiences from the other two territories currently living under the formula—Hong Kong and Macau—to better understand why “one country, two systems” will never work in Taiwan, regardless of politics.

    Sep 12, 2019

  • Artificial Intelligence, Graphical User Interface, photo by kontekbrothers/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Code of Conduct for AI in Defense Should Be an Extension of Other Military Codes

    An AI code of conduct for defense should look a lot like all other defense codes of conduct. A global society that would create the Geneva Convention is a society that believes in a moral code for warfare, and this same moral code could extend into its weaponized algorithms.

    Sep 11, 2019

  • Boats on the Musi River which was shrouded in smoke following an increase in fires in the region in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia, September 16, 2018, photo by Antara Foto/Nova Wahyudi/Reuters

    Commentary

    We Built an App to Detect Areas Most Vulnerable to Life-Threatening Haze

    Forest and land-use fires are ravaging Indonesia's Sumatra and Kalimantan islands. Haze from these fires threatens lives as inhaling smoke can cause heart and respiratory diseases, leading to premature deaths. We developed a new online tool to provide decision-makers with information to protect people living downwind from the fires.

    Sep 10, 2019

  • 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 photo courtesy of Office of the Russian President/ Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

    Commentary

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

    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.

    Sep 9, 2019

  • Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is welcomed at Robert Mugabe International Airport, to return home after hearing the news of the death of former President Robert Mugabe, in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, September 6, 2019, photo by Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Ethiopia Sailed While Zimbabwe Sank

    At a time when outside powers are calibrating how they respond to political transitions around the world, the divergent paths of Ethiopia and Zimbabwe illustrate their precariousness and offer lessons for how the international community can support democratization processes in Africa and beyond.

    Sep 9, 2019

  • A man walks among debris at the Mudd neighborhood, devastated after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 6, 2019, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Commentary

    Hurricane Recovery in the Bahamas: Turning Good Intentions into Good Decisions

    Recovery in the Bahamas will have to be a balancing act. Plans will need to allow for transition toward long-term strategic goals for the nation, but also be mindful of not perpetuating inequities.

    Sep 6, 2019

  • Farm workers pick tomatoes in the countryside near the town of Foggia, southern Italy, September 24, 2009, photo by Tony Gentile/Reuters

    Commentary

    Saving Farmworkers from Slavery-Like Conditions, Field by Field

    Those at the bottom of the European agricultural supply chain are vulnerable to abuse. The same was true in the tomato fields of Florida until recently. The solution developed there may offer a roadmap for doing right by workers in Europe.

    Sep 5, 2019

  • Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front fighters carry weapons on the back of pick-up trucks in Arsal, eastern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, December 1, 2015, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Al Qaeda Is Ready to Attack You Again

    As al Qaeda continues to undergo change as a global organization, one of the most pressing questions for policymakers and government officials is to what extent the group is still focused on attacking the West. Does the absence of spectacular attacks attributed to al Qaeda during this phase represent a lack of capability or merely a shift in priorities?

    Sep 5, 2019

  • Globe map on grunge texture, photo by caracterdesign/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Time to Return to the Basics of Statecraft

    After two decades of setbacks abroad, it's time to ask whether the decline in American influence is irreversible. Ultimately, neither China nor Russia is responsible for these difficulties. Washington's failures have been self-inflicted, the result of flawed policy rather than any decisive shift in the global balance of power.

    Sep 4, 2019

  • Hospital worker feeling overwhelmed, photo by Dean Mitchell/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Is Training for NHS Staff to Manage Workplace Violence Effective?

    Going to work should not mean being subjected to physical or verbal assault, but this is the reality faced by thousands of frontline NHS staff. De-escalation training may help staff manage patient violence and aggression, but there is not enough research about what works in specific healthcare contexts.

    Sep 4, 2019

  • Schoolchidren looking down at the camera, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Back to School Means Back to SEL for America's Teachers and Principals

    Schools are increasingly adopting social and emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices to build these skills. Policymakers can benefit from understanding the educator perspective: how they feel about emphasizing SEL, what they are doing to promote SEL, and what resources they need to do that better.

    Sep 4, 2019

  • News Release

    Hostile Social Manipulation by Russia and China a Growing but Poorly Understood Threat

    With the role of information warfare in global strategic competition becoming much more apparent, a new RAND Corporation report delves into better defining and understanding the challenge facing the United States by focusing on the hostile social manipulation activities of the two leading users of such techniques: Russia and China.

    Sep 4, 2019

  • Mozambique on a map with a green pin, photo by Mark Rubens/Adobe Stock

    Commentary

    Counterproductive Counterinsurgency: Is Mozambique Creating the Next Boko Haram?

    Despite recent claims of ties to the Islamic State, the threat in Mozambique from the Islamist insurgent group al-Sunnah wa Jamaah appears to be domestic, with scarce evidence of direct ties to international extremist groups. But if the Mozambique government continues to respond in a heavy-handed manner, the threat is likely to grow, with potentially devastating effects for the country and region.

    Sep 3, 2019

  • Commentary

    Tackle Fentanyl like a Poisoning Outbreak, Not a Drug Epidemic

    America's fentanyl problem is far deadlier than past crises with other illegal drugs. New ideas, be they public policies, technologies or law enforcement strategies, are desperately needed. Continuing to treat fentanyl just like previous drug epidemics will likely be insufficient and may condemn thousands more to early deaths.

    Sep 3, 2019

  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Micronesia President David Panuelo, Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, and Palau's Vice President Raynold Oilouch hold a news conference, Kolonia, Micronesia, August 5, 2019, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    Maintaining the U.S. Edge in the Freely Associated States

    In the geo-strategically vital region of the Freely Associated States (FAS), China is increasingly competing with the United States for influence. The United States and its allies and partners will need to engage not only with economic aid, but also with other issues including health, economic development, natural disasters, climate change and illegal fishing to sustain a strong partnership with the FAS.

    Sep 3, 2019

  • Media Advisory

    RAND Experts to Speak on How U.S. Policies Can Stress Russia

    James Dobbins, senior fellow and distinguished chair in Diplomacy and Security, Howard Shatz, senior economist, and Raphael Cohen, associate director, Strategy and Doctrine Program, Project Air Force, at the RAND Corporation, will address which U.S. policies could stress Russia's military, its economy and the regime's political standing at home and abroad.

    Sep 3, 2019

  • A man walks through floodwaters to survey damage from Hurricane Sandy in the New Dorp Beach neighborhood of Staten Island, New York, November 1, 2012, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    Essay

    How Citizen Scientists Are Protecting Their Communities

    After Superstorm Sandy, residents of Sunset Park, Brooklyn cleaned up debris, pumped out basements, and teamed up with researchers to find out what was in the floodwater. They established safety protocols to help local businesses prevent their chemicals from escaping and wrote a guide to help other communities.

    Aug 29, 2019

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    Research Communications Officer