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Latest News and Commentary

  • U.S. Navy sailors recover a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, February 5, 2023, U.S. Navy photo via EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    UFOs Are Not the Only Potential Threat in American Skies

    How can the United States best monitor its millions of square miles of domestic airspace for unidentified anomalous phenomena—what were once called UFOs—or anything else? Public reporting could help officials identify potential threats—but it'd help if the sightings being reported were actually unknown aerial phenomena and not U.S. military aircraft.

    Jul 25, 2023

  • A Taiwan army fighter takes part in urban operation drill at an unspecified location in Taiwan, January 12, 2023, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Making Every Defense Dollar Count in Taiwan

    The surging security relationship between the United States and Taiwan is exposing some long-simmering differences, with questions about Taiwan's defense investments atop Washington's list of concerns.

    Jul 24, 2023

  • U.S. army vehicles arrive in the Netherlands as part of a NATO mission to reinforce the eastern flank, in Vlissingen, Netherlands, January 11, 2023, photo by Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why the United States Still Needs Ground Forces in Europe

    The bulked-up U.S. presence in Europe will remain necessary for at least three to five years, for at least three reasons: to preserve Ukraine's sovereignty, to sustain U.S. commitments to NATO, and to encourage the development of partner nation capabilities that will eventually enable greater burden-sharing among allies.

    Jul 24, 2023

  • Teacher Aleksandra Artemova teaches Ukrainian refugee children during a school preparation course in Dusseldorf, Germany, March 18, 2022, photo by Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

    Commentary

    The EU Can't Treat Ukrainian Refugees Like Short-Term Visitors

    Although EU countries, communities, and citizens have been very welcoming to Ukrainian refugees, it is not enough to treat them as short-term visitors, meet their immediate humanitarian needs, and let them wait out the war. By educating and employing them instead, EU countries can enrich their own communities and support Ukraine.

    Jul 24, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Russia's Frontlines, India's 'Power' Moves, Food Security: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on dysfunction on Russia’s front lines, India’s regional diplomacy, stopping mass shooters who seek fame, and more.

    Jul 21, 2023

  • A Ukrainian serviceman prepares to fire a mortar from his position at the front line near the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, July 13, 2023, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Winnable War

    Many commentators have likened the current Russia-Ukraine war to the Western Front of World War I. A better historical precedent to understand the current fighting in Ukraine can be found in the U.S. Army's experience fighting against Nazi forces in the hedgerows of Normandy in France in the summer of 1944.

    Jul 21, 2023

  • ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, is seen on its website in this illustration picture taken in Beijing, China, February 9, 2023, photo by Florence Lo/Reuters

    Commentary

    ChatGPT Is Creating New Risks for National Security

    Large language models like ChatGPT and Claude offer a wide range of beneficial applications. But there are significant risks associated with their use that demand a coordinated effort among partner nations to forge a solid, integrated defense against the threat of malign information operations.

    Jul 20, 2023

  • Smoke rises in Omdurman during clashes between the Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the army as seen from Khartoum North, Sudan, April 15, 2023, photo by Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

    Commentary

    Fighting in Sudan Is Creating a Rift Among U.S. Security Partners

    While the national security community often focuses on strategic competition between the United States and its near-peer adversaries, the conflict in Sudan is a good reminder that regional powers are also engaged in competition for influence and resources.

    Jul 20, 2023

  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov visit the Joint Headquarters of the Russian armed forces involved in military operations in Ukraine, in an unknown location in Russia, in this picture released December 17, 2022, photo by Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    All Is Not Well on Russian Front Lines

    For now, despite the Kremlin's dysfunctional decisions, Russia's defensive positions in Ukraine are still secure. But for how long? The cumulative pressure of bad choices is mounting and the problems endemic to Russia's campaign in Ukraine are likely to worsen.

    Jul 19, 2023

  • A teacher and her pupils doing storytime outdoors in the schoolyard, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Early Years Education Reform: Could Life Chances for Children in England Be Significantly Improved?

    To ensure equal access to high-quality early years provision in England, it is crucial to learn from successful systems worldwide and implement key recommendations. Prioritizing highly qualified staff, maintaining appropriate staff-to-child ratios, and removing barriers for disadvantaged families are essential steps toward achieving this goal.

    Jul 18, 2023

  • Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone, July 13, 2021, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Promise—and Pitfalls—of Researching Extremism Online

    How big of a problem is extremism in the United States and around the world? Is it getting worse? Are social media platforms responsible, or did the internet simply reveal existing trends? We have few answers because this research is easy to do poorly and hard to do well.

    Jul 17, 2023

  • Silhouettes of human heads with representations of variation in the human brain, photo by VectorMine/Getty Images

    Commentary

    In National Security, Autistic Employees Are in the Closet. Here's Why

    Archaic U.S. military and federal policies, combined with decades-old understandings about autism spectrum disorder, create an environment where people hide their autism and other cognitive diagnoses. Our national security challenges are too difficult and too important to leave to the portion of the population who use their brains in only “typical” ways.

    Jul 17, 2023

  • A man sells fruit and vegetables at an outdoor market in Benghazi, Libya, July 10, 2011, photo by Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Do We Make Early Warning and Early Action for Food Security More Effective?

    Although food security early warning early action (FS-EWEA) has a track record of reducing food insecurity, it is designed for rural settings, and effective action remains elusive. Extending FS-EWEA to the millions living in fragile urban contexts requires answering four critical questions.

    Jul 17, 2023

  • A U.S. Army staff sergeant and a Canadian army engineer demonstrate to Ukrainian combat training center engineers how to clear a room after using explosives to breach a door during training at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, near Yavoriv, Ukraine, February 23, 2017, photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Making Military Aid Work

    Security cooperation and military aid efforts can fail, but they can also exceed expectations and provide strategic benefits. Ukraine appears to be one such success. For a relatively modest investment between 2014 and 2021, the United States has reaped a substantial gain in terms of Ukraine's military capacity and efficacy.

    Jul 17, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    NATO Summit, Russia's Failures in Ukraine, Vietnam Bans 'Barbie': RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the NATO summit in Vilnius, Russia’s repeated missteps in Ukraine, why America's superintendents are so stressed, and more.

    Jul 14, 2023

  • Tributes outside Al Noor mosque where a suspected white supremacist killed more than 40 people on March 15, in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 27, 2019, photo by Edgar Su/Reuters

    Commentary

    When Mass Shooters Are Seeking Fame

    What motivates mass shooters? And what might break the cycle of violence? Developing an effective policy response first requires better understanding of the factors that drive would-be attackers to kill.

    Jul 13, 2023

  • Ukrainian servicemen fire a Partyzan small multiple rocket launch system toward Russian troops near a front line in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, July 13, 2023, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Should Ukraine Negotiate with Russia?

    The fundamental drivers of the continuing hostilities in Ukraine could produce a years-long conflict that causes immense human suffering, economic hardship, and international instability. The United States and its allies should begin to try to steer the conflict toward an endgame.

    Jul 13, 2023

  • A boy waves a Ukrainian flag as an armored vehicle from the Ukrainian army goes to the Bakhmut frontlines, in Sloviansk, Ukraine, June 27, 2023, photo by Celestino Arce/NurPhoto/Reuters

    Commentary

    The War in Ukraine—Whose Quagmire?

    Ukraine faces new perils. Not because of anything happening on the battlefield, but because Western impatience could force Ukraine into the spot it least wants to be in: at the negotiating table with Russia. Or, worse, not at the table where its future may be decided.

    Jul 11, 2023

  • artificial intelligence concept with CGI face and programming code, photo by dem10/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Tackling the Existential Threats from Artificial Intelligence

    Addressing potential risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI) could begin with simple steps like finding appropriate risk-management approaches, conducting research to determine how AI can better meet designers' intent, and devising responses to issues related to racism, sexism, and other biases within AI systems.

    Jul 11, 2023

  • NATO leaders at a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 11, 2023, photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Reuters

    Commentary

    NATO's Vilnius Summit Holds the Key for Ukraine's Reconstruction

    Repelling Russia's invasion will be top of mind at the NATO summit in Vilnius. But longer-term security decisions may be even more important to Ukraine's future, after the fighting stops.

    Jul 11, 2023

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    Senior Press and Communications Officer