RAND Review: Iran, Mexico, Veterans

In This Issue (Volume 36, Number 1: Spring 2012)

RAND Review: Spring 2012

An Iranian worker stands beneath portraits of the late Iranian revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, right, and the current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, left, overlooking a production line at a carbon fiber factory in Tehran on August 27, 2011. Carbon fiber is a material under a United Nations embargo because of its potential use in Iran’s nuclear program.

Cover Story

Our cover story discusses how the United States should address the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, and an accompanying sidebar and graphic show how trends in word usage on Twitter correlated with the protests surrounding the 2009 Iranian presidential election.

How to Defuse Iran’s Nuclear Threat: Bolster Diplomacy, Israeli Security, and the Iranian Citizenry

The authors argue that there are alternatives to military action that are more likely to dissuade Iran from producing, testing, and deploying nuclear weapons, while also promoting a more democratic and responsible Iranian regime.

Prolific Profanities Seemed to Predict Prominent Protests

Twitter and other social media reportedly played a big role in the protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Analysis of word usage in millions of tweets about the election and its aftermath reveals that spikes in the use of swear words could forecast the outbreak of large-scale protests.


Chance of a Generation: In an Aging Mexico, a Moment of Opportunity to Boost Social Security

  • By Emma Aguila
  • and Arie Kapteyn
Elderly Mexico

Mexico is facing the demographic and epidemiological challenge of providing financial security and adequate health care to millions of elderly citizens.

Calls of Duty: America Weighs Its Obligations to Veterans and Their Families

Call of Duty

Ten RAND authors highlight seven ways in which the United States can help to ensure that veterans and their families receive health care, employment and education opportunities, and other benefits.

Window on the World

Mexicans Work and Work, But Will Retirement Work for Them?

Window on the World

An infographic portrays the demographic transition underway in Mexico, as its population ages rapidly over the next few decades.


In Broad Daylight: New Calculator Brings Crime Costs — and the Value of Police — Out of the Shadows


An infographic presents findings from RAND’s Cost of Crime Calculator — the new tool, by quantifying the tangible and intangible costs of crime, can help cities decide how best to invest their crime-control dollars.

Online Exclusives

The Individual Mandate for Health Insurance in the U.S.: Likely Effects of the Mandate's Potential Elimination

a stethoscope and a United States flag

Eliminating the requirement that all Americans have health insurance would sharply lower the number of people gaining coverage, but would not dramatically increase the cost of buying policies through new insurance exchanges.

Cost of Crime Calculator

riot police

Cost-of-crime and police effectiveness research can be used to measure how changing the size of police departments will affect overall crime costs to society.

Using Twitter to Track Public Sentiment in Iran After the Contested 2009 Election

illustration of protesters

An analysis of more than 2.5 million tweets discussing the Iran election holds promise for such policy uses as assessing public opinion and forecasting events such as large-scale protests.

Resilient Communities: Creating Resilient Coastal Communities

resilient communities podcast logo

Recent research has helped New Orleans address the challenge of reducing flood risk and is relevant to many other coastal communities that are concerned with water resources, infrastructure planning, rising sea levels, and flooding.

Publisher's Page

Michael D. Rich

A Flood of Innovation: Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan

RAND computer models and empirical analyses are helping protect and restore the Louisiana coast.

Message from the Editor

John Godges

Good News Beneath the Surface

Careful analysis reveals encouraging news about two serious problems that might otherwise seem intractable.


A Forum for RAND Guest Voices

Andreas Schleicher

Getting Schooled: How the United States Ranks Among Other Countries in Educational Achievement

Andreas Schleicher of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development provides a global perspective on what drives high-performing educational systems.