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

  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his 6th State of the Nation address at the House of Representative in Manila, Philippines, July 26, 2021, photo by Lisa Marie David/Reuters

    Commentary

    Duterte's Dalliance with China Is Over

    When Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, he pledged to shift his country's foreign policy away from the United States in favor of China and Russia. His China-friendly policy is now effectively over, and he's doing his best to align the Philippines with the United States once more.

    Nov 2, 2021

  • U.S. and UK military leaders tour Main Operating Base Price, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, April 7, 2013, photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    Reconsidering U.S. Decisionmaking Within NATO After the Fall of Kabul

    With NATO, the United States often tries to have it all: U.S. leadership of the alliance and increased allied burden-sharing. But the recent experience in Afghanistan shows how the form U.S. leadership takes can frustrate allies. Prioritizing allied preferences would help to preserve alliance unity and maybe even strengthen burden-sharing.

    Oct 25, 2021

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's World Trade Centre in Moscow, Russia, June 30, 2021, photo by Alexei Nikolsky/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Neighbors Have More Leverage Than They Think

    While Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia may be top priorities for Russia, Moscow has less room for maneuver than its power might suggest. Some of Moscow's difficulties with neighbors could leave openings for the West.

    Oct 25, 2021

  • U.S. President Joe Biden responds to a question from a reporter in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., September 24, 2021, photo by Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

    Commentary

    Biden Administration Shows Unwavering Support for Taiwan

    Ten months into the Biden administration, it is abundantly clear that the United States will continue to strengthen ties with Taiwan and defend the island if ever attacked by China. Through both word and deed, the United States has continued to demonstrate that Taipei should have no worries about Washington's commitment to the island.

    Oct 20, 2021

  • A new submarine-launched ballistic missile is seen during a test in this undated photo released on October 19, 2021, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Reducing the Role of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Could Make North Korea Happy

    The threats emanating from North Korea pose a useful case study for the potential implications of reducing the role of U.S. nuclear weapons. Additional U.S. nuclear deterrence declaratory strategy, backed up by appropriate nuclear weapon capabilities and planning, may be needed.

    Oct 20, 2021

  • Kim Jong-un speaks to officials at the Defence Development Exhibition, in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on October 12, 2021, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    North Korea's 'Business as Usual' Missile Provocations

    North Korea has revved up its cycle of missile provocations, its go-to method of securing leverage against the United States and South Korea in the on-again off-again nuclear negotiations. How will the United States and South Korea choose to respond?

    Oct 14, 2021

  • U.S. Gen. Charles Flynn (left) speaks with RAND researchers Jennifer Moroney, Michael Mazarr, and Jennifer Kavanagh at an event at RAND's Washington Office, October 7, 2021, photo by RAND Corporation

    Blog

    Gen. Charles Flynn Says Army Has Crucial Role in the Pacific Theater

    What is the U.S. Army's role in an oceanic theater that spans half the globe, where China increasingly asserts itself for strategic advantage? Gen. Charles A. Flynn, head of the U.S. Army Pacific, discussed this and other topics at a recent event at RAND.

    Oct 13, 2021

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    Select RAND Research on China: 1999-2019

    This volume is an important resource for anyone who is interested in gaining an informed understanding of China, a major strategic competitor of the United States in the economic, technological, diplomatic, and security realms.

    Oct 7, 2021

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    Select RAND Research on Counterinsurgency, Stability Operations, Support to Foreign Internal Defense, Nation-Building, and Special Operations: 1962-2019

    This volume is an important resource for those interested in gaining an informed understanding of a persistent, though usually low-level, military threat to U.S. security.

    Oct 7, 2021

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    Select RAND Research on Security Cooperation: 2006-2019

    This volume is a resource for those interested in gaining an informed understanding of security cooperation, a term that refers to the variety of activities that the United States undertakes to strengthen its military partners and partnerships.

    Oct 7, 2021

  • Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division board a U.S. Air Force C-17 at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 30th, 2021, photo by Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett, 82nd Airborne Public Affairs/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    The Big Unanswered Question of the Afghanistan War

    The United States' war in Afghanistan may be over, but the debate over the legacy of America's longest war has just begun. The U.S. defeat raises many questions. For the future of American defense strategy, one big question perhaps stands out above all: Does the United States still have the grit necessary to fight and win long wars?

    Oct 4, 2021

  • Paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division prepare to board a U.S. Air Force C-17 at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 30th, 2021, photo by U.S. Army via Reuters

    Blog

    Panel Discusses Biden Strategy of Diplomacy as Tool of First Resort in the Middle East

    A distinguished panel of Middle East and national security experts expressed concerns about potential side effects of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan on U.S. Middle East policy and encouraged the Biden administration to proactively engage allies in the future.

    Oct 1, 2021

  • Russian soldiers man a checkpoint near the Georgian village of Kekhvi in breakaway South Ossetia, August 21, 2008, photo by Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

    Report

    What Drives U.S. Adversaries to Use Military Forces Abroad?

    Where, how, and how often have China, Russia, and Iran intervened militarily since 1946? A review of their behavior and that of other U.S. adversaries identifies why they initiated military interventions and why they might do so in the future.

    Sep 27, 2021

  • Naval personnel from China's base in Djibouti, participate in a military parade in Djibouti City

    Report

    China's Military Interventions: Patterns, Drivers, and Signposts

    China has undertaken two broad types of military interventions in its post-1949 history. The authors assess which one of two patterns is likely to predominate in China's future and on what factors the answer to this question is likely to depend.

    Sep 27, 2021

  • An Iranian Army soldier gestures during an exercise in Fars province in 2020

    Report

    What Drives Iran's Military Interventions?

    Iran has risen as one of the most significant regional challenges faced by the United States. A RAND report identifies key signposts of Iranian military interventions that can be used as early warning indicators for U.S. military planners.

    Sep 27, 2021

  • Russian soldiers aboard an armoured vehicle in western Georgia in AUgust of 2008

    Report

    What Drives Russia's Military Interventions?

    Russia has engaged in more interventions than any other U.S. competitor since the end of the Cold War. A RAND report analyzes the 25 interventions that Russia has undertaken since 1991.

    Sep 27, 2021

  • The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the ice about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, 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. U.S. forces could benefit from the knowledge and capabilities of partners and allies with extensive Arctic experience.

    Sep 24, 2021

  • 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 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

  • Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks to media after announcing 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