Global Security

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Global security includes military and diplomatic measures that nations and international organizations such as the United Nations and NATO take to ensure mutual safety and security. RAND provides analyses that help policymakers understand political, military, and economic trends around the world; the sources of potential regional conflict; and emerging threats to the global security environment.

  • Chinese marine surveillance ships cruising in the East China Sea, as the islands known as the Senkaku isles in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China are seen in the background, April 23, 2013, photo by Kyodo/Reuters

    Report

    The Health of U.S. and Partner Deterrence in the Gray Zone

    Apr 19, 2021

    Gray zone aggression, campaigns to achieve political objectives while remaining below the threshold of outright warfare, is on the rise. U.S. and allied deterrent postures are reasonably strong, though mixed, when it comes to China's aggression in the Senkaku Islands, Russia's in the Baltic states, and North Korea's in South Korea.

  • A world map puzzle with a piece on top, photo by Yuriy Panyukov/Adobe Stock

    Report

    A U.S. Grand Strategy of Restraint

    Jan 21, 2021

    Some U.S. policymakers have expressed interest in a realist grand strategy of restraint. Under this approach, the United States would cooperate more with other powers, reduce its forward military presence, and end or renegotiate some security commitments. What are the policy implications of embarking down this path?

Explore Global Security

  • Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft, assigned to the 421st Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, right, fly in formation with two Finnish F-18 Hornets, left, while en route to Turku, Finland, June 13, 2019, photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson

    Report

    Enhancing US-Finnish and regional defence cooperation: An exploratory analysis

    This study examines Finland's defence posture and the transatlantic dimensions of Finnish security policy in the context of a potential crisis in the Nordic-Baltic region.

    Sep 24, 2021

  • The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the ice about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, in the Arctic, October. 3, 2018, photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi/U.S. Coast Guard

    Commentary

    As U.S. Shifts Arctic Strategy to Counter Russia, Allies Offer Valuable Info

    U.S. strategy is shifting toward a renewed focus on the Arctic region, reflecting increasing Russian military activity there. The extreme Arctic environment requires specialized equipment and procedures. U.S. forces could benefit from the knowledge and capabilities of partners and allies with extensive Arctic experience.

    Sep 24, 2021

  • The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, a mausoleum in Pyongyang, North Korea, photo by narvikk/iStock

    Report

    How Does North Korea Evade Sanctions?

    The United Nations has imposed increasingly restrictive sanctions on North Korea after each of the six nuclear weapons tests that it conducted between 2009 and 2016. Enforcement has been mixed and North Korea has become adept at several techniques to evade sanctions.

    Sep 23, 2021

  • Visualization

    Visualization

    Potential Drivers of Crises in the Arctic

    Historically in the Arctic, regional tensions have been resolved before turning into major crises. With the Arctic gaining more attention in recent years, are existing governance mechanisms enough to handle future diplomatic challenges?

    Sep 22, 2021

  • Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks to media after annoucing his withdrawal from the party leadership race in Tokyo, Japan, September 3, 2021, photo by Kyodo/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Instability at the Top Means for Japan's Alliance with the United States

    Having shorter-serving prime ministers tends to minimize Japan's ability to operate as a strategic player. If Suga's resignation is the start of a revolving door, then the implications for Japan's policies and the U.S.-Japan alliance could be significant.

    Sep 22, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe: TFP0036 Tech and the Future of UK Foreign Policy

    This document is RAND Europe's submission to the UK Parliament's call for evidence on how the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office could support the UK's response to the opportunities and challenges presented by new and emerging technologies.

    Sep 21, 2021

  • Taliban flags are seen on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 16, 2021, photo by West Asia News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    China and Pakistan See Eye to Eye on the Taliban—Almost

    Beijing and Islamabad share a long history of cooperation and have much in common on Afghanistan. Both are poised to benefit strategically from the Taliban's success. But the Taliban's resurrection almost certainly will add some stress to an otherwise positive and productive bilateral partnership.

    Sep 21, 2021

  • Russian nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy escorts the LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie in the North Sea Region, March 2, 2021, photo by Rosatom/Pool/Latin America News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    No Need to Read Between the Lines: How Clear Shifts in Nordic Strategies Create Opportunities for the United States to Enhance Arctic Security

    Norway, Sweden, and Finland have dramatically shifted their plans and actions in response to Russian threats in the European Arctic. This change could provide an opportunity for the United States to further strengthen cooperation, enhancing security and better countering Russia in the region.

    Sep 15, 2021

  • U.S. and Japanese military commanders visit the Misawa Air Base during Keen Sword/Orient Shield 21 in Aomori, Japan, October 28, 2020, photo by Sgt. Raquel Birk/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Japan's Potential Acquisition of Ground-Launched Land-Attack Missiles: Implications for the U.S.-Japanese Alliance

    If Japan acquired ground-based strike capabilities, it would have significant consequences for the U.S.-Japanese alliance. American and Japanese policymakers may need to have a new and expanded set of conversations about how such capabilities would be used and how the alliance could adjust to incorporate them.

    Sep 9, 2021

  • A NATO helicopter flies over the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, June 29, 2020, photo by Omar Sobhani/Reuters

    Commentary

    Lessons from Afghanistan

    The British invaded Afghanistan multiple times from 1839 to 1919. These wars offer wider context for understanding America's intervention in that same nation—and its ultimate failure.

    Sep 3, 2021

  • Navy Cmdr. Ryan T. Easterday, commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, observes from the bridge wing as the ship sails in the South China Sea, Oct. 20, 2020, photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Markus Castaneda/U.S. Department of Defense

    Commentary

    Reinforcing U.S. Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific After the Fall of Afghanistan

    China and North Korea are seizing on the U.S. departure from Afghanistan to press their own political warfare messages. What can the United States do to mitigate the impact of the Taliban takeover on America's interests in the Indo-Pacific?

    Sep 3, 2021

  • Marines guide a woman and her child during an evacuation from Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2021, photo by Marine Corps Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Department of Defense

    Commentary

    Afghanistan Was Lost Long Ago

    The United States failed to build a lasting state in Afghanistan. Although the mission was not doomed from the start, early miscalculations and critical mistakes made success unlikely.

    Aug 30, 2021

  • Syrian refugee children in the Ketermaya refugee camp, outside Beirut, Lebanon on June 1, 2014, photo by Dominic Chavez/World Bank

    Report

    New Solutions Are Urgently Needed for Displaced Populations

    Among the 80 million people who are displaced globally are 30 million refugees. They are living in limbo without full citizenship rights. And their host countries are experiencing ever-greater political and economic strains. The need to find both durable and interim solutions is critical.

    Aug 26, 2021

  • A U.S. Marine escorts Department of State personnel to be processed for evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 15, 2021, photo by Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marines via Reuters

    Commentary

    Afghanistan Withdrawal Says Little About U.S. Commitments Elsewhere

    The United States is a nation which sees that it is in its vital interest to deter autocrats from adventurism and challenges to the world order. Drawing lessons from the narrow case of Afghanistan to speak about broad U.S. resolve or credibility comes with an inherent risk that adversaries may choose to ignore at their own peril.

    Aug 25, 2021

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a news conference in New Delhi, India, July 28, 2021, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    Biden's Indo-Pacific Policy Blueprint Emerges

    The Biden administration has yet to detail its goals in the Indo-Pacific region and how it plans to achieve them. But following recent virtual engagements and U.S. visits to the region, at least three key points have crystallized.

    Aug 23, 2021

  • RAF A400M Atlas transport aircraft carrying out a series of spectacular test landings and take offs on a beach, UK MOD photo by Andrew Linnett/Open Government Licence

    Report

    Strategic Airlift in Africa: Understanding Challenges and Opportunities for the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) and Member Nations

    The Movement Coordination Centre Europe commissioned RAND Europe to conduct a scoping study to understand constraints of operating in Africa, as well as barriers to the efficient coordination of airlift and other logistic support in the continent. This narrated presentation describes the project, including key findings.

    Aug 20, 2021

  • People try to get into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2021, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Q&A

    Collapse in Afghanistan: Early Insights from RAND Researchers

    The sudden end to America's longest war came as the Taliban rolled into Kabul and the government collapsed. RAND researchers share their thoughts on how to help displaced Afghans, whether the country could again become a safe haven for terrorists, and the geopolitical implications of the collapse.

    Aug 17, 2021

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin holds a meeting with the Russian Security Council

    Report

    Russian Grand Strategy: Rhetoric and Reality

    What is Russia's declared grand strategy? How do its actions and resource decisions match its declarations? The authors of this report offer answers to these questions and suggest implications for U.S. policymakers.

    Aug 16, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Human Rights in the Digital Age

    This report provides an overview of human rights in the digital age (HURDA), the trends and challenges associated with them and the capacity-building approaches that have been adopted to foster and protect them.

    Aug 4, 2021

  • Topographic map showing Russia and the Arctic region, image by FrankRamspott/Getty Images

    Report

    Exploring Gaps in Arctic Governance

    Conditions in the Arctic region are evolving, driven by such factors as climate change, economics, and geopolitics. What are the risks that come with these changes—and how could governance in the Arctic adapt to mitigate them?

    Jul 27, 2021