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Latest News and Commentary

  • Jason Matheny, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation; Design by Kekeli Sumah/RAND Corporation

    Essay

    'The Future Could Be Brilliant': RAND's CEO Is an 'Apocaloptimist'

    Jason Matheny, RAND's new president and CEO, explains why he's cautiously optimistic about the future of humanity, the importance of public service, and RAND's role in shaping policy solutions.

    Aug 4, 2022

  • The International Space Station, November 25, 2009, photo by NASA

    Commentary

    Russia's Withdrawal from the ISS: Another Sign of Its Space Decline?

    Russia's threatened exit from the International Space Station could simply be more bluster from Moscow at a time of heightened tension between Russia and the West over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But it also appears to be another signal that Russia's profile in space is in decline, a trend that is likely to continue and that the United States could be preparing for now.

    Aug 4, 2022

  • Lila Blanks makes a phone call to her insurance company following the death of her husband, Gregory Blanks, who died from complications from COVID-19, at her home in San Felipe, Texas, February 12, 2021, photo by Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters

    Testimony

    Health Care Affordability: State Policy Options to Control Costs

    When the costs to provide employer-sponsored health insurance increase, it burdens workers and their families. What are some potential policy options to address these high costs, particularly in markets like Texas where 48 percent of people have health insurance through an employer or union?

    Aug 4, 2022

  • A Taliban fighter stands guard near the site where Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a U.S. strike over the weekend, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 2, 2022, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    After the al-Zawahiri Strike, the U.S. May Lack Capabilities in Afghanistan

    The U.S. drone strike that killed al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan took out one of the last remaining key figures behind the 9/11 terror attacks. But it also highlighted how little the United States got out of its 2020 bargain with the Taliban, and raised questions about the U.S. ability to adequately monitor the developing threat from this quarter going forward.

    Aug 3, 2022

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kiribati's President Taneti Maamau shake hands during a signing ceremony in Beijing, China, January 6, 2020, photo by Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/Reuters

    Testimony

    China's Gambit in the Pacific

    The geostrategic dynamics between China, the Pacific Island countries, and the United States and its allies and partners have evolved over the years. What are China's strategic goals for the region? And how could the United States improve its profile as China continues to try to enhance its own?

    Aug 3, 2022

  • A sign advertising for workers outside of a gas station in Danville, Pennsylvania, March 29, 2022, photo by Paul Weaver/Reuters

    Commentary

    Got a Labor Shortage? Make It Easier to Work

    If the United States wants to avoid a long-term worker shortage, it should look to what policy can—but has failed to—fully address. We have a long history using carrots and sticks, but this is a problem we may not be able to cajole or punish our way out of. Finding workers can be as simple as giving more people a chance to work.

    Aug 2, 2022

  • A concerned young woman looks at a pregnancy test, photo by VioletaStoimenova/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Policies That Punish Pregnant Women Backfire

    There is overwhelming evidence and consensus from the medical and public health communities that supportive approaches are what help pregnant women with substance use disorders. Unfortunately, the overturning of Roe v. Wade has opened the door for more policies that police and punish women rather than these solutions that can save lives.

    Aug 2, 2022

  • Ukrainian troops using advanced U.S. M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to attack Russian targets near Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, July 4,2022, photo by Armed Forces of Ukraine/Cover Im via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Could U.S. Weapons Assistance to Ukraine Lead to Russian Escalation?

    The United States and its allies should certainly continue providing Ukraine with the matériel it needs, but they should also—in close consultation with Kyiv—begin opening channels of communication with Russia. An eventual cease-fire should be the goal, even as the path to it remains uncertain.

    Aug 1, 2022

  • Four people having a meeting in a conference room, photo by ljubaphoto/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Seven Ways to Build a Truly Equitable DEI Strategy

    Despite growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) roles worldwide, not much has changed with the power structure in DEI spaces, which still center on the C-suite and tend to be populated with groups that are less knowledgeable on research in DEI. Here are seven strategies for building a more-equitable DEI program.

    Aug 1, 2022

  • Young Black man having blood drawn, photo by miodrag ignjatovic/Getty Images

    News Release

    Predicting Patients' Race and Ethnicity Can Improve Equity in Health Care Delivery

    Algorithms designed to guide medical care can contribute to racially inequitable outcomes, but eliminating information about patient race and ethnicity as an input to algorithms is not the right way to address the issue.

    Aug 1, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Talking to Russia, Racial Bias, Mine-Hunting Dolphins: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on preventing escalation of the war in Ukraine, how racial bias compounds over time, why the Navy should stick with its mine-hunting dolphins, and more.

    Jul 29, 2022

  • A Ukrainian serviceman lights a candle at the spot where a child was killed by a Russian cruise missile strike in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, July 15, 2022, photo by Maxym Marusenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Might Russia Turn to Terror Bombing Civilians in Ukraine?

    Recent Russian missile attacks against civilian targets in cities far away from the front lines have killed scores of Ukrainians, leading to widespread outrage. These events raise the question of whether the war in Ukraine is entering a new phase in which terror attacks might become common.

    Jul 29, 2022

  • An inside look at an ion trap within Quantinuum's quantum computer, which processes data using trapped-ion technology, Broomfield, Colorado, December 6, 2021, photo by Quantinuum/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Hack Post-Quantum Cryptography Now So That Bad Actors Don't Do It Later

    The U.S. government should consider offering a public cash bounty to anyone who can crack the new forms of encryption that are being rolled out to defend against quantum computers. If a bounty helps catch a vulnerability before it's deployed, then the modest cost of the bounty could prevent much higher costs down the line.

    Jul 28, 2022

  • A suited man's hand reaching for the receiver of a red phone, photo by urbancow/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Another 'Hotline' with China Isn't the Answer

    While well-intentioned, another U.S.-PRC hotline would give false hope that the two countries would resolve disputes more rapidly during a crisis. The United States is better off changing its expectations, understanding how the PRC views crisis communications, and shifting the focus to the internal, inter-agency process by which U.S. policymakers would coordinate in a crisis with Beijing.

    Jul 27, 2022

  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping, before a meeting in Beijing, China, April 25, 2019, photo by Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    China's Military Aid Is Probably Less Than You Think

    The first comprehensive assessment of Chinese military aid shows that China's $560 million total during 2013–2018 pales in comparison to the U.S. total of over $35 billion in the same period. This should offer advantages in the intensifying U.S.-China strategic competition.

    Jul 26, 2022

  • U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris virtually addresses the Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit in Suva, Fiji, July 13, 2022, photo by Ben McKay/AAPIMAGE via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    China's Pacific Push Is Backfiring

    Beijing has had only limited success in spreading its influence in the Pacific, with the notable exceptions of the Solomon Islands and Kiribati. To be sure, other victories should be expected to follow. The overall picture, however, is far more challenging for China.

    Jul 26, 2022

  • Veterans at a job fair, May 27, 2020, photo by John Steve/U.S. Department of Labor

    Q&A

    The Mutual Rewards of Hiring a Veteran: Q&A with Kyleanne Hunter and Kayla Williams

    July 25 is National Hire a Veteran Day, and its purpose is to encourage employers to look to this diverse pool of workers to fill positions. Employers stand to benefit from the experience and skills that veterans acquire during military service. For veterans, a fulfilling career can ease the transition to civilian life.

    Jul 25, 2022

  • A destroyed Russian tank by the roadside near Huliaipole, Zaporizhzhia Region, southeastern Ukraine, June 29, 2022, photo by Dmytro Smolyenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Lessons the United States Learned, and That Russia Did Not

    As dissimilar as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may be to the war in Ukraine, those conflicts taught the United States a few important lessons, often the hard way. As a result, the U.S. military probably would have avoided the problems that beset the Russians in Ukraine—not in spite of the global war on terrorism, but because of it.

    Jul 25, 2022

  • A woman holding her baby in her arms looks at a view of Seoul shrouded by fine dust during a polluted day in Seoul, South Korea, March 5, 2019, photo by Kim Hong-ji/Reuters

    Commentary

    South Korea's Extraordinary Fertility Decline

    The complicated history of family planning as well as socioeconomic and political factors may all play roles in depressing birth rates in South Korea. But the nation's fertility decline is just one piece in a complicated gender puzzle.

    Jul 22, 2022

  • Gen. Martin E. Dempsey receives a capabilities brief on the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program in San Diego, California, March 12, 2012, photo by PO1 Joshua Scott/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Why It Makes Sense to Keep Mine-Hunting Dolphins on the Navy's Payroll

    Mine-hunting dolphins—none of whom have ever been harmed by a mine—make the seas safer for naval ships and other vessels. Yet budget cuts could spell the end of the program that trains them.

    Jul 22, 2022

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    Communications Assistant