Geopolitical Strategic Competition

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  • Commentary

    The Drivers of and Outlook for Russian-Iranian Cooperation

    Russia and Iran's recent cooperation regarding Ukraine has raised concerns that the once wary partners might be moving toward a more comprehensive, strategic alliance. Such a prospect could have significant consequences for the United States' ability to safeguard its interests in the Middle East.

    Oct 4, 2023

  • Research Brief

    How Could the United States Gain Greater Access to Asia During a Conflict?

    Ensuring access to the territories of Indo-Pacific allies and partners in the event of a future conflict with China is a critical concern. How are Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and India likely to make access decisions? And can the United States influence their decisions?

    Nov 28, 2023

Explore Geopolitical Strategic Competition

  • Map of the Spratly Islands, 2015, image by U.S. Department of State

    Commentary

    The Political Geography of the South China Sea Disputes

    Until the early 20th century, the South China Sea was seen as a vital communications and trade passage that was not under the jurisdiction of any country or empire. How did littoral states' claims on its maritime zones and features develop? And what is the likely future of the disputes?

    Oct 19, 2022

  • Digital map of Australia, photo by da-kuk/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Strategic Advantage, Sovereignty and Australia's Geopolitical Identity

    In Australia, which has experienced few national existential crises, there appears to be little understanding of or consideration given to all the nuanced contours of winning. Australia may need to critically assess its strategic traditions to develop a broader conceptualization of how to secure the safety and well-being of the nation and position itself advantageously.

    Oct 18, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Civic Education, Twitter's Bot Problem, Police Reform: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses civic and citizenship education in America, addressing Twitter’s bot problem, why community engagement is key to police reform, and more.

    Sep 30, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Putin's Latest Threats, U.S. Policy in the Middle East, Disaster Recovery: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Russia's troop mobilization and the ongoing war in Ukraine, U.S. policy in the Middle East, building a more diverse teacher workforce, and more.

    Sep 23, 2022

  • Workers make parts for pneumatic guns at one of the eight manufacturers licensed by the Ministry of Public Security in Qingliu county, Fujian province, China, May 26, 2022, photo by Hu Guolin/FeatureChina via AP Images, Workers make parts for pneumatic guns at one of the eight manufa

    Tool

    Where Has China Sent Weapons and Security Contractors?

    China exported weapons to 38 countries from 2018 to 2021. It also exported private security contractors to protect and secure its interests in other countries, such as mining facilities and ports. A map of the exports shows China's expansive influence across Asia and Africa and into Latin America.

    Aug 19, 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

  • 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

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    The Sources of Societal Competitiveness: How Nations Actually Succeed in Long-Term Rivalries

    Seven characteristics are consistently associated with national dynamism and competitive position. This brief summarizes the relationship between a nation's social condition and its global standing and applies the lessons to the United States today.

    Jul 18, 2022

  • Hanging lightbulb with connecting dots in foreground, many hanging lightbulbs out of focus in background, photo by onurdongel/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Embracing Intrinsic Cultural Advantages in Innovation

    The United States has long enjoyed the benefits of novel technology, but it could lose ground soon as other countries advance. Could it be time for the United States to embrace the advantages in innovation that it holds relative to near-peers like China?

    Jul 15, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Overturning Roe, a New Mental Health Hotline, Russia: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how repealing Roe v. Wade could affect women in the military, whether America is prepared to launch a new emergency mental health hotline, Russia's war in Ukraine, and more.

    Jul 1, 2022

  • British and Chinese businessmen shake hands on the earth, Illustration by wenjin chen/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Setting the Direction for the UK's Research Relationship with China

    UK-China research has the potential to sustain the very forms of academic excellence that a more-isolationist approach sets out to protect, while also raising the possibility of bridge-building and tackling shared problems. For this to become a reality, knowledge and understanding of China in the United Kingdom must improve.

    Jun 30, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in the opening ceremony of new healthcare facilities in several regions of Russia, via video link in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 18, 2022, photo by Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/Reuters

    Commentary

    Has the War in Ukraine Damaged Russia's Gray Zone Capabilities?

    Russia's actions are to blame for the damage done to its gray zone capabilities, but it's the West's choice to see whether this respite represents a short-term aberration or presents opportunities for some long-term fixes.

    Jun 22, 2022

  • Two Prominent Computer Engineers Working with Programming Software on Personal Computer. In the Background Scientifically Advanced Research Center.

    Research Brief

    Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of Research Engagement with China

    An independent and evidence-based study into UK academics' research engagement with China explored how and why UK academics engage with China on joint research activities with the goal of better understanding how UK research organizations manage any resulting risks.

    Jun 21, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Exploring Research Engagement with China: Opportunities and Challenges

    This study explores the opportunities and challenges of UK academics' research engagement with China.

    Jun 21, 2022

  • A crowd of people standing in a star formation over a background of red stripes of a U.S. flag, images by adimas and bennymarty/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How a Nation's Social Condition Relates to Its Global Standing

    Certain societal characteristics are associated with national competitive success, including national ambition and will, unified national identity, and shared opportunity. Where does the United States stand in those areas? And what trends are working to weaken traditional U.S. advantages?

    Jun 21, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Gun Policy, China and Taiwan, Russian Propaganda: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on reducing America's unacceptably high rates of gun violence, what would happen if China “quarantines” Taiwan, and Russia's “firehose of falsehood.”

    May 27, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Not So Quiet on the Southern Front

    Australia faces stiff geopolitical competition in Antarctica, and it's not just China and Russia with eyes on the prize.

    May 26, 2022

  • Production line at Eminent Luggage Corp. in Taiwan and a <a href=

    Report

    Implications of a Coercive Quarantine of Taiwan by China

    It's possible that China could enact a quarantine of Taiwan, preventing it from sending exports or receiving imports. Quarantine exploits Taiwan's economic vulnerability but also has consequences for the United States and other allies. How might they respond?

    May 23, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Why Vietnam Might Want to Reconsider Its Russia Policy

    Russia's war in Ukraine has put many countries in a tough spot, pitting them between maintaining healthy ties with Moscow and supporting Western punitive measures. One such nation is Vietnam.

    May 12, 2022

  • Fourth and fifth generation aircraft from eight countries participated in a partnership flight to kick-off Blue Flag 21, over Uvda Air Base, Israel, on Oct. 17, 2021. This biennial training event is essential to building and maintaining defensive interoperability and ensuring Israel’s and other nations’ qualitative edge. Large-force exercises, like Israel-led Blue Flag, allow partner nations to build trust and develop a common understanding of the security environment, photo by Israeli Air Force

    Report

    Security Cooperation in a Strategic Competition

    Neither China nor Russia has a formal doctrine or strategy for security cooperation. How can the United States enhance its security cooperation policies and activities to its competitive advantage?

    Apr 6, 2022