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.

  • Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram from 2009 to 2021, speaks in an unknown location in Nigeria in this still image from a video obtained on January 15, 2018, handout from Sahara Reporters via Reuters

    Report

    How to Reduce Violent Nonstate Actors' Abilities to Adapt

    Jun 6, 2022

    Violent nonstate actors—terrorist groups, drug trafficking organizations, and others—pose durable and direct threats to U.S. security interests. Why are they so capable of adapting to changes in their environments, and how might the Army detect and mitigate such adaptations before they occur?

  • 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

    Apr 6, 2022

    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?

Explore Global Security

  • Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani arrives at Palais Coburg for nuclear talks Vienna, Austria, February 28, 2022, photo by Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Renewed Nuclear Deal With Iran: Turning Back the Clock?

    Diplomats from Europe, the United States, Russia, China, and Iran are in Vienna trying to revive the Iran nuclear agreement of 2015. But even if negotiations succeed, the post-deal environment could be much more unstable than it was seven years ago.

    Mar 4, 2022

  • Sweden's Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde, Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Finland's Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen pose during a photo call in Stockholm, Sweden, February 2, 2022, photo by Paul Wennerholm/ TT News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    Finland and Sweden Mull NATO Membership

    After decades of military neutrality between NATO and Russia, recent events saw a potential sea-change in how Finland and Sweden consider their role with the NATO alliance. NATO leadership could start planning now so that if Sweden and Finland make the jump to joining the alliance, they can be welcomed in quickly.

    Mar 3, 2022

  • Destroyed military vehicles on a street, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in the town of Bucha in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, March 1, 2022, photo by Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Ensuring Russia's War with Ukraine Doesn't Morph into Direct Conflict with NATO

    Russia has launched an unprecedented act of aggression against Ukraine. The United States and its allies must respond forcefully. But as they do, they should take into account the possibility of triggering a spiral of escalation that could lead to the only outcome worse than the invasion of Ukraine itself: a hot war between Russia and NATO.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Prioritizing Security Cooperation with Highly Capable U.S. Allies: Framing Army-to-Army Partnerships

    In this report, researchers present recommendations for enabling the U.S. Army to better prioritize and coordinate its security cooperation activities with its allies for coalition operations and engagements in third countries.

    Mar 1, 2022

  • A Chinese H-6 bomber flies over East China Sea, photo by Japan Air Self-Defence Force released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan, July 23, 2019/handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Why China Is Intensifying Its Military Flights Against Taiwan

    On January 23, China repeated its familiar pattern of sending warplanes into Taiwan's airspace. This activity, which has continued in February, rarely has a clear single driver. Instead, there are several factors that should always be considered.

    Feb 21, 2022

  • An SM-3 Block IIA is launched from the USS John Paul Jones during a flight test off Hawaii resulting in the first intercept of a ballistic missile target by the SM-3IIA, February 3, 2017, photo by Missile Defense Agency

    Report

    Instability in the U.S.-Russia Deterrence Relationship

    U.S.-Russian strategic stability is based on mutual vulnerability to retaliation, which eliminates the incentive to strike first. But the United States has developed counterforce capabilities that Moscow fears could be used for a first strike. What could be done to address Russia's concerns and increase stability?

    Feb 17, 2022

  • U.S. Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker/Research Vessel Healy breaking ice in the Arctic, November 30, 1999 , photo by U.S. Coast Guard/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S. Military May Need to Invest More in Arctic Capabilities

    Operating in the Arctic is inherently expensive. Despite this, it could be critical that the United States make the necessary investments to ensure a robust ability to operate in the Arctic to withstand Russian challenges there.

    Feb 10, 2022

  • India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 25, 2021, photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Commentary

    Modi's Foreign-Policy Juggling Act

    India lives in a difficult neighborhood, and there are no easy, straightforward solutions. But thus far—and especially under Modi—India has managed its foreign-policy challenges with remarkable effectiveness. With new partners and by making some tough decisions, there is a very good chance that it will continue to do so.

    Feb 7, 2022

  • The Russian Southern Military District's 150th Rifle Division takes part in a military exercise at Kadamovsky Range, Rostov Region, Russia, January 27, 2022, photo by Erik Romanenko/TASS via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    How to Break the Cycle of Conflict with Russia

    Europe might well be on the brink of a major catastrophe. Until Russia, the United States, Europe, and the states stuck in between them reach a consensus on a revised regional order, post-Soviet Eurasia will remain a source of instability and conflict.

    Feb 7, 2022

  • Boys gather near a building damaged by a U.S. drone air strike targeting suspected al Qaeda militants in Shabwa, Yemen, February 3, 2013, photo by Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Trying to Forestall the Next Civilian Casualty Horror

    After civilians are injured or killed, the U.S. Defense Department isn't doing enough to learn from its own failures. The Pentagon needs to devote resources and senior leader attention to an issue that has historically lacked both. Civilian protection should become the singular priority for a critical mass of people across the organization.

    Feb 3, 2022

  • 24 Commando Royal Engineers delivering ice survey training to members of the U.S. Marine Corps during Winter Deployment 21 in the Arctic, February 24, 2021, photo by UK MOD/© Crown copyright 2021

    Commentary

    A United Strategy Could Reap Rewards for the United Kingdom in the High North

    The multifaceted nature of Arctic policies, stretching from climate security and scientific cooperation to economic development and conflict mitigation, may require a whole-of-government approach from the United Kingdom. Such an approach could be necessary for the United Kingdom to appear a credible partner to Arctic countries and other third parties.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • Flags wave outside the Alliance headquarters ahead of a NATO defense ministers meeting, in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021, photo by Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

    Commentary

    Should NATO Close Its Doors?

    In their current confrontation with Russia, the United States and its allies are defending a dangerously anachronistic principle: that all of Russia's European neighbors should be free to seek NATO membership and that NATO should be free to incorporate them. But maintaining this open-ended process of NATO expansion is likely to produce further conflicts.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • 30 Cdo RN, 30 Commando Royal Marines, Viking Squadron, Commando Logistic Regiment, Arctic, Armoured Support Group Royal Marines, Bardufoss, CETUS 20, Ex Cold Response, Norway, Personnel Carrier, Royal Marine Exercise, Royal Marine Unit, Snow and Ice Training, Viking, Weather, Climate, Snow, Snowing, Snowy, Cold, Freezing, Ice, Icy, Terrain, Environment, Landscape, Scenery, Wooded, Woods, Forest, International Training, Survival Training, Cold Weather Training, Arctic Survival Training, Action, Driving, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Personnel, Non-Identifiable, Unit, 3 Commando Brigade, 3 Cdo Bde RM, Equipment, Vehicles, Viking (BvS10), Armoured Personnel Vehicle

    Research Brief

    UK Strategy for the High North: Navigating a changing environment out to 2050

    This report offers a perspective on how the UK could maximise its influence in the High North through enhanced cooperation across government and within multilateral fora in order to tackle environmental and geopolitical changes in the region.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • Pattern featuring the flags of the United States, Russia, and China, image by Getty Images/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Crossroads of Competition: China, Russia, and the United States in the Middle East

    This report details the political, economic, and military interests and activities of China and Russia in the Middle East and identifies where those efforts contest, intersect, or complement U.S. interests and activities.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    UK strategy for the High North: Policy Levers to Influence Developments out to 2050

    This report offers a perspective on how the UK could maximise its influence in the High North through enhanced cooperation across government and within multilateral fora in order to tackle environmental and geopolitical changes in the region.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • News Release

    News Release

    Pentagon Processes on Civilian Casualties Inconsistent, in Need of Reform

    Lessons from U.S. military strikes that caused civilian casualties are not shared across the Department of Defense (DoD) in a way that meaningfully reduces future civilian casualties.

    Jan 27, 2022

  • An armoured vehicle of the Syrian Democratic Forces is seen along a road at the frontline in Raqqa, Syria, October 8, 2017, photo by Erik De Castro/Reuters

    Report

    Pentagon Processes on Civilian Casualties Inconsistent, in Need of Reform

    The Department of Defense has committed to civilian-harm policies and processes, but inconsistencies remain. The Pentagon is not adequately organized or resourced to sufficiently assess, reduce, and respond to civilian-harm incidents. Reform will require institutional, not just operational, changes.

    Jan 27, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 23, 2021

    Multimedia

    Has the Kremlin Taken Too Much Risk?

    RAND adjunct senior fellow William Courtney suggests that Russia may have taken too much risk by threatening to invade Ukraine and explains what's at stake for the nation.

    Jan 26, 2022

  • Ukraine soldiers engaging in military training in various unknown locations, January 20, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine: A Silver Bullet?

    U.S. military assistance to Ukraine now will at best be marginal in affecting the outcome of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. It might be morally justified to help a U.S. partner at risk of aggression. But given the scale of the potential threat to Ukraine and its forces, the most effective way Washington can help is to work on finding a diplomatic solution.

    Jan 21, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Estimating Nuclear Proliferation and Security Risks in Emerging Markets Using Bayesian Belief Networks

    Estimating future nuclear proliferation risk using expert elicitation.

    Jan 21, 2022