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Latest News and Commentary

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping listens to a speech during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan” at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, January 2, 2019

    Commentary

    Is a Sustainable Peace Possible in the Taiwan Strait?

    Between now and the next Taiwanese presidential election in 2020, the prospects of forging a sustainable peace between Taiwan and China are exceptionally low. Both Chinese President Xi and Taiwanese President Tsai are dug into their respective positions.

    Jan 7, 2019

  • Pardee RAND students shared their Tech Lab Pilot projects during a 2017 open house

    Essay

    Pardee RAND Reimagines the Future of Public Policy Problem Solving

    The Pardee RAND Graduate School is taking a new approach to public policy education. Three new streams of study and action will better align with today's policy needs. Faculty and students will shift the focus from coming up with solutions to actually implementing them.

    Jan 7, 2019

  • Two people shaking hands over a table with flags

    Commentary

    Economic Officers for the Future

    Economic officers must be, first of all, accomplished political officers. They should also have all the reporting, public speaking, and representational skills of any political or public diplomacy officer, coupled with a strong understanding of economic issues.

    Jan 7, 2019

  • Kathryn Derose at St. Augustine by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Santa Monica, California

    Essay

    Faith-Based Organizations Promote Well-Being in Underserved Communities

    Kathryn Derose, a senior policy researcher and an Episcopal deacon, works with Latino and African-American churches to address health issues in their communities. Her research has shown the power of the pulpit to fight health disparities, counter stigma, and encourage healthy living.

    Jan 4, 2019

  • Lissajous figures published in a 1964 RAND paper, Recording Lissajous Figures

    Blog

    Science Met Art in Early Data Visualization at RAND

    Ivan Finkle, a computer scientist at RAND from 1957 to 1968, used a plotter printer to make Lissajous figures. He fed equations into the computer to give the coordinates of each point. The printer photographed the result and compiled the lines into artful shapes.

    Jan 4, 2019

  • A Turkish-backed Syrian rebel rides on a truck with a mounted weapon at Manbij countryside, Syria, December 28, 2018

    Commentary

    The United States Can't Rely on Turkey to Defeat ISIS

    Relying on Turkey to shoulder the burden of countering the Islamic State will provide the terrorist group with an opportunity to revive itself at a critical stage in the fight. Turkey's main focus is on the Kurds and Erdogan's opposition. Eradicating the Islamic State is a secondary priority that has often been ignored.

    Jan 2, 2019

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping meets former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 8, 2018

    Commentary

    Engagement vs. Competition: The China Policy Debate

    There is a consensus that the U.S. is engaged in an intensifying strategic competition with China. It's less clear what relationship the U.S. should seek and can plausibly achieve with its competitor. An inability to classify China along the ally-to-adversary continuum limits, if not precludes, America's ability to formulate a coherent strategy.

    Dec 31, 2018

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2018

    Commentary

    Data Breaches Could Cause Users to Opt Out of Sharing Personal Data. Then What?

    As tech-based systems have become all but indispensable, many institutions might assume user data will be reliable, meaningful and, most of all, plentiful. But what if this data became unreliable, meaningless, or even scarce?

    Dec 28, 2018

  • U.S. Soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018

    Commentary

    Trump's Syria Withdrawal: Right Idea, Wrong Way, Wrong Time

    President Trump's desire to withdraw from Syria is consistent with his and his predecessor's national strategies, but the manner in which the decision has been taken is highly counterproductive. Unless modified it could have disastrous consequences, says James Dobbins.

    Dec 26, 2018

  • Fadia Afashe showing her work at an art gallery in Damascus, Syria, April, 2009

    Commentary

    For One Syrian Refugee, the Research Strikes Close to Home

    Fadia Afashe came to the United States to study public policy in 2011, with every intention of eventually going home to Syria. But when her fellowship ended a year later, the possibility of returning home had vanished. She became a refugee success story, but a path for others is needed.

    Dec 22, 2018

  • Collage of 2018 most popular research images

    Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2018

    RAND serves as an objective source of facts that help inform the world's most pressing policy debates. When decisions are based on the best evidence, that's when public policy can have a positive impact on people's lives. We're highlighting the 10 research projects that RAND.org readers found most engaging this year.

    Dec 21, 2018

  • Collage of 2018 most popular commentary images

    Blog

    Most Popular RAND Blog Commentary of 2018

    RAND experts publish hundreds of pieces of RAND Blog commentary every year, weighing in on pressing policy questions, breaking down current events, and untangling complex trends. To look back on some of the policy stories that defined the year, we've rounded up the RAND Blog pieces that resonated most with rand.org visitors.

    Dec 20, 2018

  • Part of Operation Future Vertical Lift, an AH-64 Apache helicopter takes off in Orogrande, N.M., April 23, 2018

    Commentary

    An Army Caught in the Middle Between Luddites, Luminaries, and the Occasional Looney

    The Futures Command is the U.S. Army's newly established major command focused on preparing for future war with a peer competitor. Why was this such an important move for the Army?

    Dec 20, 2018

  • A train launched to operate on the Standard Gauge Railway line constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation and financed by Chinese government arrives at the Nairobi Terminus on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, May 31, 2017

    Commentary

    The Good and Bad of the Trump Administration's New Africa Strategy

    The Trump administration's Africa strategy combines a turn away from counterterrorism as a priority, emphasis on trade, and working to help Africans solve their own problems, all of which could be opportunities for a more positive relationship. The implied prioritization of great power competition, however, suggests the real risk of a return to Cold War-era approach.

    Dec 20, 2018

  • Collage of 2018 best RAND video images

    Multimedia

    Best RAND Videos of 2018

    RAND research yields findings that run the gamut of potential applications and promising policy solutions. Here, we highlight three of 2018's most captivating videos featuring RAND research and its potential to inform policy.

    Dec 19, 2018

  • Former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea is seen on a television screen as he waits for a verdict in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 16, 2018

    Commentary

    Does Nuon Chea Still Have No Regrets?

    Nuon Chea was convicted of genocide in a tribunal in Phnom Penh in November for his role in the Cambodian genocide. Shelly Culbertson relays the story of her trip to interview him at his home in Pailin in 2003.

    Dec 19, 2018

  • Vape liquids for sale in New York, New York, September 20, 2018

    Commentary

    Vaping May Have Its Place, Just Not With Teens

    While e-cigarettes may be a “safer” option for adult smokers, they are not safe for young people. Teens who vape are significantly more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes in the future.

    Dec 17, 2018

  • Pittsburgh Police stand with a group of Pitt students

    Article

    Helping Police Find Better Strategies to Fight Crime

    Which policing strategies are the most effective? A new RAND toolkit aims to help law enforcement agencies identify the best approach for the situation, and the key steps to success.

    Dec 14, 2018

  • U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a working dinner after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 1, 2018

    Commentary

    The Trump-Xi Meeting at G-20: Kicking the Can Down the Road

    Much was expected of the discussion at the 2018 G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires between the United States and China on their ongoing trade war. However, nothing of significance emerged. With signs of a global economic slowdown surfacing earlier than expected, the failed outcomes of this meeting could come back to haunt world leaders.

    Dec 14, 2018

  • A guide explains the interior of a home designed by students of Middlebury College competing in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, September 26, 2011

    Commentary

    Can Innovative Financing by the Public and Private Sectors Build on Momentum in Energy Efficiency Improvements for Affordable Multifamily Housing?

    Nearly one in three American households in 2015 reported difficulty paying their energy bills or sustaining adequate home heating and cooling. Emerging models of energy services and financing show promise, and could identify creative ways to increase access to funding that could preserve and improve home affordability for millions of Americans.

    Dec 12, 2018

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