Geopolitical Strategic Competition

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  • Commentary

    Why Would Nations with Incentives to Avoid War Fail to Do So?

    It's tempting to think that interdependence between the United States and China has reached a level in which armed conflict between them is unthinkable. Unfortunately, history gives us little reason to be confident that peace is inevitable simply because the degree of interdependence is strong.

    Feb 23, 2024

  • Report

    How U.S. Rivals Think About Competitive Advantage

    China's and Russia's conceptions of societal sources of competitive advantage rely on powerfully centralized efforts that reflect decisive degrees of national unity, coordination, and will. The nature of this thinking poses greater risks to U.S. deterrence policy than differences in military power.

    Mar 12, 2024

Explore Geopolitical Strategic Competition

  • World map with chess pieces with flags of Russia, China, and the United States, photo by theasis/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Need to Think More Clearly About 'Great-Power Competition'

    Today's world order is increasingly defined by competition between the United States and a host of major powers, especially China and Russia. Who is America's principal competitor and over what is it competing? What is America’s ultimate objective? And how will it prepare its economy and its society for infinite competition of an indefinite nature?

    Feb 11, 2019

  • Tug of war, photo by artisteer/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Rethinking the Regional Order for Post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia

    Disputes over regional order in post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia are at the core of the breakdown in Russia-West relations. What could return regional stability, facilitate conflict resolution, restore economic links, and reduce tensions?

    Jun 13, 2018

  • China's flag made over digital tiles

    Report

    China's Role in the International Order

    China's engagement with the postwar order remains a complex, often contradictory work in progress. China will likely demand more influence in the international system as a condition for its support. What will this mean for U.S. policy?

    May 21, 2018

  • A B-1B Lancer unleashes cluster munitions

    Commentary

    Cluster Munitions and Rearming for Great Power Competition

    The United States might need Cluster munitions, anti-personnel landmines, and tactical nuclear weapons to deter or defeat aggression. If policymakers choose to lift bans on these munitions, the ensuing policy restrictions might be tailored to address where these capabilities are necessary.

    May 9, 2018

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Study Examines Ways U.S. Can Better Counter Political Warfare

    The United States needs to improve the ways it combats adversaries adept at using political warfare tactics to achieve their goals and undermine U.S. interests and allies.

    Apr 5, 2018

  • Chess board made out of a world map

    Report

    Countering Modern Political Warfare

    Both state and nonstate actors—including Russia, Iran, and ISIS—practice political warfare in unique ways. How can the United States, along with its allies and partners, respond to or engage in this type of conflict to protect U.S. interests?

    Apr 5, 2018

  • Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service soldiers perform reloading drills with their M-4 rifles during refit training near Baghdad, Iraq, July 13, 2016

    Commentary

    Managing Chaos in an Era of Great Power Competition

    As Washington policymakers seek a new strategic course, U.S. national security strategy should not neglect the importance of competition short of armed conflict. A U.S. strategy that incorporates this perspective from the beginning could manage chaos at a reasonable cost.

    Sep 5, 2017

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to journalists following a live nationwide broadcast in Moscow, June 15, 2017

    Commentary

    Strengthening Strategic Stability with Russia

    Strategic stability between the United States and Russia is eroding, but the two countries still share a deep interest in avoiding nuclear war. Strengthening stability will be challenging. Meaningful progress will require courage and sacrifices on both sides.

    Jul 7, 2017

  • World puzzle

    Report

    Choices for America in a Turbulent World

    Today, the United States faces no existential threat. Rather, it confronts an unusually wide and diverse array of challenges. What strategic choices does it have in dealing with these challenges—and tomorrow's?

    Jul 23, 2015

  • Report

    Syria as an Arena of Strategic Competition

    Less than two years since the beginning of the uprising in Syria, localized protests have morphed into full-blown civil conflict, and external actors have become involved as well. RAND conducted an analytic exercise to generate a greater understanding of the parties and issues in play, including the actors, their motivations, and potential impact of their activities.

    Mar 18, 2013

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    Mark Cozad

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