International Affairs

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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.

  • Report

    Can National Dynamism Be Renewed?

    America's competitive position is threatened both from within and outside. Can great powers that begin to stagnate or even decline recapture energy and competitive advantage? History offers lessons for what the United States can do to renew its standing.

    Apr 30, 2024

  • Commentary

    Here's What Ukraine Needs in Missiles, Shells, and Troops to Win. It's Completely Doable

    After two years of the Russia-Ukraine war with still no end in sight, NATO members have begun asking what it will take to turn the tide in Ukraine's favor. To fully expel Russian forces in the next two years, U.S. support and broad NATO investments will be required.

    May 2, 2024

Explore International Affairs

  • RS-24 Yars, a Russian MIRV-equipped thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile in central Moscow, Russia, May 7, 2023, photo by Vlad Karkov / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    How Western Nuclear Inaction Could Embolden the Kremlin

    The Kremlin might be emboldened by the weak pushback from the United States and NATO against its heightened nuclear saber-rattling, increasing nuclear dangers. NATO allies might explore more effective ways to reduce these risks.

    May 16, 2024

  • U.S. soldiers and sailors assemble a floating pier off the shore of Gaza in the Mediterranean Sea, April 26, 2024, photo courtesy of CENTCOM

    Commentary

    The Future of Army Watercraft—What Are the Takeaways from the Voyage to Gaza?

    The future of the U.S. Army watercraft program hinges on making sound, informed decisions based on a comprehensive understanding of its strategic relevance and potential. As the Army navigates these uncharted waters, it should ensure it's steering the program in the right direction.

    May 16, 2024

  • A mother brings her malnourished baby to the Child In Need Institute emergency ward in Kolkata, India, June 4, 2009, photo by Andrew Aitchison/Alamy

    Article

    An Affordable Diarrhea Treatment Could Save Thousands of Children's Lives

    Diarrhea kills by dehydration. The discovery that salts plus glucose and water can keep patients alive has been hailed as one of the greatest medical advances of the past century. Yet health care providers from south Asia to sub-Saharan Africa don't prescribe them enough.

    May 15, 2024

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Beijing, China, March 21, 2017, photo by Etienne Oliveau/POOL New/Reuters

    Commentary

    China Is Burning All Its Bridges with Israel

    Over the last three decades, China and Israel developed close economic, technological, security, and diplomatic ties. Beijing's surprising response to Hamas' attacks and to Israel's reprisal campaign have completely changed the picture.

    May 15, 2024

  • Air Force Staff Sgt. Dave Servida directs weapons cargo bound for Ukraine onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, August 19, 2022, photo by Airman 1st Class Cydney Lee/U.S. Air Forc

    Commentary

    National Security Memorandum 20 and the Challenge of Operational End-Use Monitoring

    The U.S. Department of Defense's internal efforts to address civilian harm due to U.S. military operations should be closely integrated with the goal of increasing accountability in arms transfer decisions. Making conditions associated with the transfer of U.S. arms more explicit is an important first step in being able to enforce them.

    May 13, 2024

  • A child plays at a camp of displaced people in Harad District, Yemen, March 3, 2020, photo by Mohammed Alwafi/Xinhua/Alamy

    Q&A

    What Went Wrong in Yemen: Q&A with Alexandra Stark

    Peace talks in Yemen have stalled and the Houthis, who control much of the country, are now attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea in a show of support for Gaza. How did things go so wrong? And how might the United States play a more effective role throughout the region?

    May 8, 2024

  • An image taken from the International Space Station shows orange swaths of airglow hovering in Earth’s atmosphere, photo by NASA

    Report

    Promoting Stability in Outer Space

    As the United States and its chief rivals, China and Russia, build capabilities in outer space, what can be done to mitigate the risk of unintended military escalation in this increasingly important domain?

    May 8, 2024

  • Report

    Report

    Burdensharing and Its Discontents: Understanding and Optimizing Allied Contributions to the Collective Defense

    RAND researchers constructed a Burdensharing Index to aid in measuring and analyzing the contributions that U.S. allies make to the collective defense of the post–World War II liberal international order.

    May 7, 2024

  • EV battery pack automated production line equipped with orange robot arms, photo by Ivan Milovanov/Adobe Stock.

    Commentary

    Balancing the risks and benefits of the European Economic Security Strategy: The case of the electric vehicles industry

    This perspective reflects on the EU's economic security approach using the EV industry as a case study. It emphasises the need to balance opportunities and risks, which can be anticipated with tools like tabletop exercises and quantitative models.

    May 3, 2024

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a military demonstration in North Korea, in this picture released by the Korean Central News Agency on March 16, 2024, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Short-Term Gain for Long-Term Pain: Why a North Korea Deal Could Come at a High Price

    Kim Jong-un may be prepared to reduce his provocations and provide a more peaceful atmosphere on the Korean peninsula in exchange for what would be longer-term gains for Pyongyang. But is short-term peace worth making it possible for North Korea to establish a dominant position on the Korean peninsula in the coming years?

    May 2, 2024

  • Residents of the Malfety neighborhood work on the construction of an irrigation canal in Fort Liberté, Haiti, April 27, 2024, photo by Ricardo Arduengo/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Can Stop Haiti's Free Fall?

    A new Haitian transitional council faces serious challenges in seeking an end to violence, the establishment of a representative government and, ultimately, an enhanced potential for long-term stability, but the island nation's civil society, its youth, and its diaspora could offer a level of hope.

    May 1, 2024

  • Report

    Report

    U.S. Alliance and Partner Networks: A Network Analysis of Their Health and Strength

    To determine how much the United States can rely on its network of allies and partners, researchers compared global networks of diplomatic, military, and economic elements of national power in 1989, 2000, and 2017 on a variety of factors.

    Apr 30, 2024

  • Map of East Asia with a magnifying glass highlighting North Korea and South Korea, photo by stuartbur/Getty Images

    Announcement

    Miyeon Oh Named RAND's New Korea Policy Chair

    Miyeon Oh, a defense researcher with deep expertise in Indo-Pacific geopolitical, economic, and security issues, has joined nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND as its Korea Policy Chair.

    Apr 29, 2024

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during а meeting of the Federal Assembly's Council of Legislators in Saint Petersburg, Russia, April 26, 2024, photo by Alexey Danichev/Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    Bringing Russia to Its Knees

    By accusing the West of plotting against Russia, the Kremlin likely hopes to distract Russian citizens from its own flawed actions. But the true damage to Russia has been self-inflicted.

    Apr 29, 2024

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (r.) meets with New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., April 11, 2024, photo by Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department

    Commentary

    New Zealand Becomes the Latest Country to Pivot to the U.S.

    Wellington's strategic pivot is good news for Washington and its allies. But the United States should temper its expectations: New Zealand is likely to continue to preserve productive relations with China while it emphasizes the importance of stronger security ties with the United States.

    Apr 26, 2024

  • Vehicles and equipment are loaded onboard MV Anvil Point at the Sea Mounting Centre in Marchwood near Southampton, UK, February 13, 2024, photo by Ben Birchall/Reuters

    Commentary

    The UK Is Boosting Defence Spending. But Will It Boost Defence?

    The UK Prime Minister recently announced a defence spending increase to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2030. The announcement sends important signals about the United Kingdom's intent and commitment to defence and security, but, if followed through, will the spending increase significantly boost UK defence?

    Apr 26, 2024

  • Apparent remains of a ballistic missile lie in the desert after a massive missile and drone attack by Iran on Israel, near the southern city of Arad, April 24, 2024, photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Iran-Israel War Is Just Getting Started

    The long, mostly covert war between Israel and Iran has come out of the shadows since Hamas's attack. If the United States and Europe want to prevent a regional war, then they need to convince Iran to rein in its proxies and do something about its nuclear program. Otherwise, the conflict will spiral.

    Apr 25, 2024

  • A Ukrainian serviceman prepares shells to fire an L119 howitzer towards Russian troops near Bakhmut in Donetsk region, Ukraine, January 25, 2024, photo by Inna Varenytsia/Reuters

    Commentary

    EU Should Buy Ammo Outside of the Bloc to Quickly Resupply Ukraine

    More than two years since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the situation on the eastern front now looks dire, with Ukrainian defenders running out of ammunition quickly and Western unity in question. The Czech Republic has a plan that could help resupply Ukrainian forces with artillery shells.

    Apr 25, 2024