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Read the RAND Blog

Stay up to date on the latest commentary from RAND experts.

Latest News and Commentary

  • Crews patch potholes in the Portland Metro area in Portland, Oregon, January 25, 2017, photo by Oregon Department of Transportation

    Commentary

    Progress on Infrastructure, but the Devil May Be in the Details

    Negotiations are underway between the White House and Congress about the scope of investment in infrastructure and how to pay for it. But reaching a compromise on spending may not be enough to ensure that the spending will produce results as intended.

    May 21, 2021

  • India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a meeting at the United Nations in New York City, New York, September 24, 2019, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    India's Brittle Confidence in America

    Democracies are supposed to get along. But that has not always been the case for the United States and India. From New Delhi's perspective, there are significant irritants in U.S.-India ties. Any of these could derail an otherwise positive relationship.

    May 21, 2021

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a videoconference meeting with members of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Board of Trustees at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, December 24, 2020, photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/Reuters

    Commentary

    Sanctions Targeting Russia's Defense Sector: Will They Influence Its Behavior?

    In response to recent Russian cyber espionage, interference in U.S. elections, and the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, President Biden announced a new round of sanctions and expulsions of Russian officials. But will these sanctions hurt Russia's defense industry enough to curb the Kremlin's behavior?

    May 20, 2021

  • U.S. Army soldiers participate in a parade in Washington, D.C., January 21, 2013, photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    The Link Between Extremism and Military Functioning

    U.S. Department of Defense policy prohibits service members from actively participating in extremist activities. Broadening the policy to include passive forms of participation could introduce two challenges.

    May 20, 2021

  • Woman walking by a convenience store with signs indicating acceptance of WIC and food stamps in Chelsea, Massachusetts, April 16, 2020, photo by Keiko Hiromi/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Biden Administration's Chance to Improve SNAP and Nutrition Support

    If policymakers were to make permanent the relaxed rules forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could be a start to increased racial equity in SNAP. Given broad public support for SNAP, making benefits easier to access, particularly for those already eligible, could be a bipartisan priority.

    May 19, 2021

  • USS Connecticut submarine crew members after surfacing in the Arctic Circle during Ice Exercise, a biennial submarine exercise that promotes interoperability between allies and partners in Alaska, March 7, 2020, photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael B. Zingaro/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Blinken's Arctic Opportunities

    Continued positive U.S. engagement in the Arctic Council could be important for balancing the influence of Russia and China, and in moving toward the Biden administration's climate change goals. Washington's new priority on climate change could be an issue that will now bind, rather than divide, Arctic states.

    May 19, 2021

  • A driver walks to his car near an empty gas pump in Falls Church, Virginia, May 12, 2021, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    Is DarkSide Really Sorry? Is It Even DarkSide?

    The U.S. military relies heavily on commercial energy assets, making the implications of events like the Colonial Pipeline outage more serious than just higher prices at the gas pump. The origins and severity of an attack dictate what the United States might do in response.

    May 19, 2021

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III during a virtual meeting at the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C., May 5, 2021, photo by Chad McNeeley/U.S. Department of Defense

    Commentary

    It's Time to Drop 'Competition' in the National Defense Strategy

    What should the U.S. Defense Department do during peacetime if the United States is not competing with China and Russia? Simply put, it should prepare to win the next war, while defeating any military aggression below the threshold of conflict.

    May 18, 2021

  • Two men ride electric scooters on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., March 20, 2020, photo by Gripas Yuri/ABACA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Micromobility: How Will We Know When It's Working?

    Micromobility was positioned as a solution for every urban problem from traffic congestion to air pollution to transit deserts and inequality. Is there a way to know if micromobility can fulfill these ambitious goals?

    May 18, 2021

  • Environmental advocates join Washington D.C.–area students at a rally on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, D.C., September 13, 2019, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 and Climate Change Both Require One Generation to Sacrifice for Another

    COVID-19 and climate change are both global phenomena that left unmanaged will inflict excruciating human and economic tolls. They also require a similar mix of approaches to solve. But they have one more similarity that attracts less attention: they both require one generation to change behavior in support of another.

    May 17, 2021

  • A man puts his biometric passport on a scanner at an automatic border control point at Zurich-Kloten airport near Zurich, Switzerland, December 1, 2010, photo by Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

    Commentary

    How the EU Can Overcome Barriers to Using AI in Border Security and Beyond

    Artificial intelligence is increasingly a crucial tool for improvement and innovation in public policy and services. While there are opportunities to harness AI as a tool for improving the effectiveness of border-security functions, there are also barriers to its adoption.

    May 17, 2021

  • A recruit from the presidential regiment waits for a ceremony to take the oath at a military base in Kiev, Ukraine, November 16, 2013, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    How America Can Help Re-Shape the Post-Soviet Countries

    For the post-Soviet states, development could bring better living standards and social conditions and promote more stable politics and inclusive governance. The West would make the most difference by focusing on mid-ranked states, especially those undertaking reforms.

    May 17, 2021

  • Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine labels, March 19, 2021, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Commentary

    Vaccine Patents Debate Risks Becoming a Sideshow

    As COVID-19 cases continue to surge around the world, the debate is raging over whether patents on existing vaccines should be waived. But the global community could view patent waivers as just one of many available tools for speeding up vaccine delivery worldwide.

    May 17, 2021

  • Illustration of two pairs of legs and feet with one on a stack of books, photo by erhui1979/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Most Americans Consider Themselves Middle-Class. But Are They?

    There are different ways of determining who should be considered middle-class. But there is one thing they have in common: All reveal that the middle class in the United States is shrinking.

    May 14, 2021

  • Blog

    Pandemic Education, Working Mothers, Predicting Cyber Threats: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the urban-rural divide in pandemic education, supporting working moms, what makes a good COVID-19 reopening plan, and more.

    May 14, 2021

  • A protester is detained inside the U.S. Capitol as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest outside, in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    Capitol Rioters Face FBI Arrests and Prosecution. How Not to Make Them Martyrs in the Process

    The righteous wrath of those who view January 6 as an insurrection and believe we need uncompromising prosecution is understandable. But is it strategic thinking? History has shown that prosecutions based on less severe and politically-fraught charges have a greater chance of resulting in the convictions needed to stop this behavior.

    May 14, 2021

  • Technology recruiter Penny Bailey works from home in San Francisco, California, January 6, 2021, photo by Jane Tyska/TNS/ABACA via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Inequality in Opportunity to Work from Home an Underlying Condition Likely Aggravated by the Pandemic

    Building a safe, healthy workforce where success, productivity, and financial security are available to all segments of American society could provide resilience against inevitable future shockwaves. Since working from home is a key part of such resilience, policymakers could focus on supporting the advantages, remediating the downsides, and expanding access to this form of work.

    May 14, 2021

  • A health care worker from the El Paso Fire Department administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in El Paso, Texas, May 7, 2021, photo by Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Truth Decay Is Fueling Vaccine Hesitancy

    A recent poll found that more than a quarter of Americans will not try to get vaccinated. The spread of misinformation and disinformation, which is rampant over social media, is one of the factors fueling vaccine hesitancy. And in turn, it's threatening our ability to end the pandemic for good.

    May 14, 2021

  • Margaret Keenan, 90, receives Britain's first Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccination at University Hospital in Coventry, UK, December 8, 2020, photo by Jacob King/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Pivotal Role of Remote Working in the Journey to Jab the Nation

    Pulling the UK COVID-19 vaccination program together was an immense logistical and technical effort. Had it not been for the working practices mandated by the lockdown, it would have been even more difficult. What changed over the pandemic to allow this to happen?

    May 13, 2021

  • A group of students walk down the hallway in a high school, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Building an Evidence Base for High School Improvement Will Require Concerted Effort Among Policymakers, School Systems, Researchers, and Funders

    The ultimate goal of every education intervention is to help enable students to achieve their fullest potential. Relatively few interventions suited for high schools are supported by evidence of positive effects. Research that is able to provide sound evidence about effectiveness is more important than ever.

    May 12, 2021

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    Head of Communications
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    Research Communications Officer