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Latest News and Commentary

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visit the Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province, Syria, December 11, 2017, photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik Photo Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Risky Game Plan for Syria

    It will take time to assess the extent to which Russia has “won“ in Syria. Absent a peaceful end to the conflict and an infusion of large-scale Western aid, downside risks for Russia could take some of the bloom off of its rose in Syria.

    Oct 29, 2019

  • An elderly couple leaves an evacuation center as a wildfire forces the center itself to be evacuated, Poway, California, October 21, 2007, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Commentary

    Turning Off Power to Combat Wildfires Could Harm the Very People Who Need Protection

    Intentionally shutting off power may be a practical way to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires. But is it worth the risks? Until more thoughtful and comprehensive decisions are made, planned power outages need to be planned better.

    Oct 28, 2019

  • People walk on the street, where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his caliphate back in 2014, in the old city of Mosul, Iraq, October 27, 2019, photo by Abdullah Rashid/Reuters

    Commentary

    Baghdadi's Death Will Make Global Affiliates More Independent

    The recent death of Islamic State leader and self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a major blow to the Islamic State. Baghdadi held a kind of elusive charisma for the organization. He will be replaced, but this does not mean that the Islamic State will simply go back to business as usual.

    Oct 28, 2019

  • Group of women jogging together at park, photo by Ridofranz/Getty Images

    News Release

    Americans May Not Be Too Busy to Exercise After All

    Americans average more than five hours of free time each day, with men generally having a bit more than women. But instead of being physically active during that time, they spend most of it looking at screens.

    Oct 28, 2019

  • A man prays at a memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, following a mass shooting there four days earlier, October 31, 2018, photo by Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

    Commentary

    One Year After Tree of Life, We Still Aren't Talking Enough About Violent White Supremacy

    In the year since a gunman killed 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the conversation about white supremacy has grown louder. But the United States still has a long way to go in dealing with this threat.

    Oct 27, 2019

  • Blog

    The Syria Withdrawal, Climate Policy, Drones: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the effects of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, one expert's take on climate policy, how drones could help get blood to soldiers who need it, and more.

    Oct 25, 2019

  • Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa attends a rally against Western sanctions in Harare, Zimbabwe, October 25, 2019, photo by Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

    Commentary

    Zimbabwe’s Neighbors Express Solidarity Against a False Enemy

    The notion that sanctions are primarily responsible for the economic collapse in Zimbabwe is a useful fiction promoted by that country's authoritarian elite. In reality, the ruling party, in power for 39 years, has no one to blame but itself.

    Oct 25, 2019

  • A woman walks along a road covered in smog due to a forest fire in Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan province, Indonesia, September 6, 2019, photo by Antara Foto Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    Uncovering the Links Between Fires and Public Health in Equatorial Asia

    Fires in Indonesia, if left unchecked, could cause an average of 36,000 premature deaths annually across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Researchers built a tool that models the effect of the fires on public health.

    Oct 25, 2019

  • Illustration of a large gavel crashing down on self-driving cars, illustration by Chris Philpot

    Essay

    Who's Responsible When Your Car Gets Hacked?

    Cars are becoming "fast, heavy artificial intelligences on wheels," a RAND report cautions, and that means they're becoming vulnerable. Potentially billions of dollars ride on the question of who has the legal responsibility to keep hackers from grabbing the wheel or cutting the brakes.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • U.S. President Bill Clinton on his way to making a statement regarding the conclusion of his impeachment trial in Washington, D.C., February 12, 1999, photo by Win McNamee/Reuters

    Commentary

    Memories of an Earlier Impeachment

    What is it like to work in the White House during an impeachment? RAND's Ambassador James Dobbins was special assistant to the president on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton impeachment. Here, he shares insights on the experience.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a news conference after her policy address for 2019, in Hong Kong, China, October 16, 2019, photo by Umit Bektas/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Resolve the Hong Kong Crisis

    Rebuilding trust between the residents of Hong Kong and their government will be an extremely difficult task. But with some reasonable compromises on both sides, Hong Kong has the opportunity to step back from the brink of disaster.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Hands holding up a globe, photo by RapidEye/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Economic Experiments for Global Impact

    Implementing effective solutions for global socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation is a daunting challenge. However, RAND has seen over its decades of work in this area that data-based decisions can improve the welfare of the world's most vulnerable populations.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Artificial intelligence concept, photo by kentoh/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Military Deception: AI's Killer App?

    Contrary to the promise that AI would deliver an omniscient view of everything happening in the battlespace—the goal of U.S. military planners for decades—it now appears that technologies of misdirection are winning. Military deception, in short, could prove to be AI’s killer app.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Senior Policy Researcher Benjamin Preston, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    The Science of Climate Policy: Q&A with Benjamin Preston

    Benjamin Preston, a senior policy researcher and director of RAND's Community Health and Environmental Policy Program, specializes in climate risk and adaptation, disaster recovery, and resilience. In this Q&A, he discusses common misperceptions about climate change and how to decarbonize the U.S. economy.

    Oct 22, 2019

  • A woman with cancer faces away from the camera, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Treating Breast Cancer Is Not Just About the Disease: Its Wider Impacts Need to Be Considered, Too

    Successes in the early treatment of breast cancer are to be celebrated. But those achievements need not limit the development of further and better treatment for patients. Understanding the disease's wider effects could help bring this about.

    Oct 22, 2019

  • Digital concept of a brain, photo by Vertigo3d/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Our Future Lies in Making AI Robust and Verifiable

    We are hurtling towards a future in which AI is omnipresent. This AI-enabled future is blinding in its possibilities for prosperity, security, and well-being. Yet, it is also crippling in its fragility. What might it take for it all to come to a screeching halt?

    Oct 22, 2019

  • A convoy of U.S. vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, in Erbil, Iraq October 21, 2019, photo by Azad Lashkari/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Syrian Withdrawal: Where Things Stand

    Without an orderly process for its national security decisions, the Trump administration has defaulted to the worst option regarding Syria. The sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces has left an opening for Russia to exploit. It also left the Kurds, a U.S. partner, to fend off a Turkish assault.

    Oct 21, 2019

  • A convoy of U.S. vehicles after withdrawing from northern Syria, on the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq, October 21, 2019, photo by Ari Jalal/Reuters

    Commentary

    How the U.S. Withdrawal from Syria Provides a Boost to ISIS

    President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria could provide the ISIS terrorist group with the time and space to regrow its organization and extend its networks throughout the Middle East. The longer-term strategic effects of the decision could reverberate in the region for years to come.

    Oct 21, 2019

  • Teacher helps students resolve conflict, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Restorative Justice Isn't a Panacea, but It Can Promote Better Relationships Among Students

    Restorative practices aren't necessarily a cure-all. But if implemented well, they can contribute to an overall solution. Teaching children to treat one another with respect has the potential to make schools safer and to help kids get along better throughout their lives.

    Oct 21, 2019

  • A senior black man visits with a woman to complete the census, photo by adamkaz/Getty Images

    News Release

    RAND Corporation Will Lead Effort to Measure Success of California Census Participation Effort

    The RAND Corporation will lead a project to measure the success of California's unprecedented efforts to get the state's residents to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census.

    Oct 21, 2019

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