International Affairs


RAND's international affairs research comprises a range of cross-cutting issues, including global economies and trade, space and maritime security, diplomacy, global health and education, nation building, and regional security and stability. RAND also analyzes the policies and effectiveness of international organizations such as the UN, NATO, European Union, and ASEAN.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with scientists, representing the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Novosibirsk, Russia February 8, 2018, photo by Sputnik Photo Agency/Reuters


    Free Lunches for Adversaries

    Feb 13, 2018

    When leaders take actions that are unpopular with wide audiences, propagandists have it easy. While Western leaders should not make propaganda potential the primary factor when weighing policy decisions, neither should they wholly disregard the opportunities that unpopular policies will offer adversaries.

  • Blue globe puzzle, photo by gmutlu/Getty Images


    Testing the Value of the Postwar International Order

    Jan 8, 2018

    The postwar order offers significant value to U.S. interests and objectives and is worth the investment. It represents a leading U.S. competitive advantage. At a time of growing rivalry, nationalism, and uncertainty, a functioning multilateral order will be essential.

Explore International Affairs

  • Journal Article

    Current and Future Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment in the European Union: An International Comparative Study

    This study describes how cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment is carried out in practice across Europe.

    Mar 15, 2018

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to the crowd during a military parade in Pyongyang, April 15, 2012


    What Will Kim Jong Un Want and What He Might Give

    Verifiable denuclearization is an impossible goal, not just because Kim Jong Un may not agree, but because such a deal couldn't be fully verified if he did. But this doesn't mean there is no deal worth making for America.

    Mar 12, 2018

  • A display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran, September 27, 2017


    Can Europe Save the Iran Nuclear Deal?

    In mid-January, President Trump threatened to withdraw from the Iran agreement if Europe does not “fix” it within four months. There are viable steps Europe could take to address Trump's concerns about the deal—on missile development, inspections, and sunset clauses. But if the United States withdraws, Europe could still work with other international powers to keep the deal alive.

    Mar 12, 2018

  • U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 5, 2018


    Gaza on the Brink

    The combined risk of violence and pandemic in Gaza makes this small coastal enclave a ticking time bomb. While neither Israel nor the U.S. has the solutions to all of Gaza's water and health woes, the United States' decision to withhold funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency could only make things worse.

    Mar 9, 2018

  • Report

    Getting Out from "In-Between": Perspectives on the Regional Order in Post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia

    The perspectives collected in these conference proceedings explore alternatives to the current approaches to the regional order for the states "in between" the West and Russia -- Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

    Mar 8, 2018

  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) meets with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the State Department in Washington, U.S., February 8, 2018


    Book Review: Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony

    In Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony Kori Schake discusses the world's peaceful transition from British Empire to United States preeminence. She also considers the implications of her analysis for the present dynamics between a preeminent United States and a resurgent China.

    Mar 7, 2018

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly in Moscow, Russia March 1, 2018


    Could Putin's Speech Signal the Erosion of Nuclear Nonproliferation?

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has linked the development of new nuclear weapons capabilities to the United States' refusal to collaborate on arms control. Perhaps before Russia goes down this path, another attempt at dialogue would be beneficial as both nations have expressed a shared interest in limiting nuclear proliferation.

    Mar 7, 2018

  • Report

    Strategic Warning on NATO's Eastern Flank: Pitfalls, Prospects, and Limits

    Russian military modernization raises concerns about the Intelligence Community's (IC's) ability to warn of Russian aggression, particularly on NATO's eastern flank. Using themes from past events, the report makes recommendations to improve warning.

    Mar 7, 2018

  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a speech about her vision for Brexit at Mansion House in London, Britain, March 2, 2018


    A Brexit Do-Over?

    European Union member states have a method for dealing with unsatisfactory referendums, called a do-over. A Brexit do-over would be complicated—all 27 other EU members would have to agree—but since Britain leaving is also disadvantageous for the rest of the EU, they have incentives to welcome back the prodigal.

    Mar 6, 2018

  • Brochure

    Preparing for Major Challenges to National Security: Arroyo Center 2016-2017

    RAND Arroyo Center prepared this report for the U.S. Army to summarize four major threats to national security -- those represented by Russia, North Korea, the Middle East, and China.

    Mar 2, 2018

  • Chinese New Year parade in Australia


    Beijing's Influence Operations Target Chinese Diaspora

    China's efforts to gain support in and control diaspora communities threaten to worsen inter-ethnic tensions, aggravate political and social polarization, and harm civil rights and freedoms of citizens in other countries. Such activities merit close attention by democratic governments seeking to counter China's influence operations.

    Mar 1, 2018

  • european flags on poles


    RAND Europe Improves Policy and Decision Making in Europe and Around the World

    RAND Europe is an independent not-for-profit research institute with offices in the UK and Belgium. Its research portfolio complements RAND's and also includes choice modeling, evaluation and performance management, innovation and technology, and much more.

    Mar 1, 2018

  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announces North Korea-related sanctions, Washington, D.C., February 23, 2018


    North Korean Sanctions to Make for Interesting U.S.-China Trade Talks

    With one of China's top officials arriving in Washington for trade talks, this might not be the best time to impose additional tariffs on Chinese exports, as the Trump administration has been threatening.

    Feb 28, 2018

  • Trade ministers and delegates from the remaining members of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) attend the TPP Ministerial Meeting during the APEC 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam November 9, 2017


    The Danger of Might Without Power

    A more forceful U.S. posture in the Asia-Pacific would likely strengthen America's long-term position in the region. The effort should rehabilitate key bilateral alliances, especially with Tokyo and Seoul, and compete with or at least supplement the roster of economic initiatives that China is advancing across the region.

    Feb 28, 2018

  • A U.S. Marine with a Marine special operations team assists with security during a construction project for an Afghan Local Police checkpoint in Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 30, 2013


    In Afghanistan, A Protracted Stalemate

    The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for over 16 years, at a cost of over $1 trillion. But the Taliban now controls more territory than at any point since the U.S.-led invasion. This should give pause to observers who believe that the United States is, or will soon be, poised to turn the tide in Afghanistan.

    Feb 26, 2018

  • An M1A1 Abrams tank from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division rolls out of a motor pool during a convoy operation during exercise Allied Spirit VIII at the U.S. Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Jan. 25, 2018


    Preparing for the NATO Summit: Why Military Mobility Should Be on Top of the Agenda

    The issue of improving military mobility in Europe has recently gathered momentum. However, due to the complexity of the issue, it remains to be seen what specific progress will be made by the NATO Summit. It also remains to be seen how the new EU initiatives will complement NATO's requirements.

    Feb 26, 2018

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) shakes hands with Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif (L) at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on September 8, 2017 in Beijing, China


    What Next for China-Pakistan Relations?

    The recent downgrade in U.S.-Pakistan relations will present both opportunities and challenges for China. Beijing can use the recent strain to promote a new model of international development, but must be wary of becoming the sole external power responsible for maintaining stability in the region.

    Feb 26, 2018

  • U.S. Army soldiers load military vehicles onto trains at Camp Carroll in Chilgok, South Korea, during the annual Key Resolve/Foal Eagle military exercises, March 6, 2012


    Joint Military Exercise Can Be a Bargaining Chip with North Korea

    Since 1976, the United States and South Korea have scheduled large-scale joint military exercises each year. Postponing the exercises this year has led to some signs that North Korea might be open to diplomacy. Delaying the exercises further could lead to direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

    Feb 23, 2018

  • Refugees and migrants arrive on an overcrowded boat on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 10, 2015


    We Are Almost Dead: The Politics of Migrants and Refugees in an Unequal World

    People move, and always have moved, in search of better lives for themselves and their children. Why else would someone leave everything behind and brave the seas? What else is worth the risk? Jonathan Blake discusses books that examine people's need for refuge.

    Feb 23, 2018

  • U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in attend short track speed skating events in Pyeongchang, February 10, 2018


    At Olympics, U.S. and Korean Leaders Revive Familiar Roles

    The current spate of North-South Korean diplomacy could be short-lived, giving way to resumed tensions and mounting fears of war. It seems possible, however, that South Korean President Moon Jae-in will succeed in brokering direct talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

    Feb 22, 2018