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

  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Emmanuel Macron, and Olaf Scholz meet at Elysee Palace in Parisé, photo by Ukrainian Presidency via ABACAPRESS.COM/Reuters

    Commentary

    Europe: Ukraine's Essential Ally

    While the United States is Ukraine's primary military backer, Europe is sharing the war's overall burden, sanctioning Russia, arming Ukraine, and helping prepare it to join the European Union, as well as absorbing huge economic costs. Europe's partnership with the United States on Ukraine may be Western diplomacy's finest hour since the Berlin Wall fell.

    Apr 10, 2023

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Whither the Liberal International Order? Does an Attenuated Liberal International Order Affect the Propensity, Incidence, and Intensity of Conflict?

    Seeks to understand and anticipate the impact of an attenuated or weakened Liberal International Order on propensity, incidence, and intensity of conflict.

    Apr 5, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    India-China Border Tensions and U.S. Strategy in the Indo-Pacific

    India-China border intrusions and clashes have become more frequent and threaten to lead to all-out conflict between the two Asian giants.

    Apr 5, 2023

  • Finland's flag is raised at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 4, 2023, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Finland Joins NATO, Sweden's Accession Remains Uncertain

    Finland is at long last joining NATO, having applied together with Sweden last year in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Finland's accession represents a boon to NATO, a radical change in Finnish foreign and security policy, and another unplanned setback for Russia.

    Apr 4, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Scottish Affairs Committee: Scotland's Role in UK Defence of the North Atlantic and Arctic Amid Rising Geopolitical Tensions

    The aim of this evidence is to analyse the UK's national security priorities in the North Atlantic and the High North and how to develop Scotland's role as an asset in the pursuit of these priorities.

    Apr 4, 2023

  • U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 10th Mountain Division stand security at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 15, 2021, photo by Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marines via Reuters

    Commentary

    Why U.S. Military Interventions Fail and What to Do About It

    There will always be situations in which military intervention is the best or only option for the United States. But policymakers must also recognize that in many cases, the best response to a crisis or potential threat is to take no military action at all and rely instead on diplomacy or sanctions—or simply learn to live with an elevated threat.

    Mar 30, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Study Strengthening the Fight Against Organised Crime: Assessing the Legislative Framework

    This study looks at three 'tools' that Member States can deploy in the fight against serious and organised crime. The report describes the current state of play and outlines possible policy solutions to address challenges identified.

    Mar 29, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Norway's Next Long-Term Defence Plan: An Allied Perspective

    As Norway contemplates the priorities for its next Long-Term Defence Plan (LTP), it finds itself in a Europe, a NATO, and a global environment that have all changed markedly since the last iteration of the Plan was released in 2020.

    Mar 28, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Reflecting on One Year of War: The Role of Non-Military Levers

    One year after Russia's illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine, this article examines the role of non-military levers (e.g., diplomatic, information, economic) in the conflict so far.

    Mar 28, 2023

  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden walk through the colonnade of the White House in Washington, D.C., January 13, 2023, photo by Mandel Ngan/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    Japan's New Security Policies: A Long Road to Full Implementation

    The historic ambition contained within Japan's new defense strategies is notable. But the reality is that an extraordinary alignment of political, economic, fiscal, and other stars will be necessary for Japan's government to fully implement their stated ambitions over the next five to ten years.

    Mar 27, 2023

  • Visitors stand in front of a screen displaying Chinese President Xi Jinping next to a flag of the Communist Party at a military museum in Beijing, China, October 8, 2022, photo by Florence Lo/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Is China Strengthening Its Military? It's Not All About War

    China's military modernization goals serve a variety of political and military purposes, none of which imply any intent to actually start a war. A grasp of the myriad drivers could help observers more accurately assess the danger posed by the PLA's modernization.

    Mar 24, 2023

  • Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy at the Friends of Ireland Caucus St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon in Washington, March 17, 2023, photo by Yuri Gripas/Sipa USA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Juggled Plan for McCarthy-Tsai Meeting Does Taiwan No Favors

    Instead of traveling to Taiwan like Nancy Pelosi did, U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is abiding by the advice of President Tsai Ing-wen to skip the trip. They will meet in California. This could be seen as a major victory for China's aggressive stance toward U.S. ties with the island and could embolden Beijing.

    Mar 24, 2023

  • A Polish Air Force MiG 29 Fulcrum fighter aircraft takes off from Malbork military airfield in Malbork, Poland, March 20, 2023, photo by IMAGO/BjÃ⁋rn Trotzki via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    What Difference Will Polish and Slovakian Fighter Jets Make to Ukraine?

    The news that Poland and Slovakia are to deliver MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine signals a departure from the longstanding stance of the international community, which had hitherto resisted Kyiv's calls for more combat aircraft. While this donation will be welcomed in Ukraine, it could raise political and practical issues the West must address to maximize the benefits and mitigate the risks.

    Mar 23, 2023

  • Police officers escort five people detained in the kidnapping of four Americans in the city of Matamoros, in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, March 10, 2023, photo by Attorney General of the State of Tamaulipas (FGJ)/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Should Mexico's Drug Cartels Be Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations?

    While the outcry over the kidnapping and murder of U.S. citizens by members of the Gulf Cartel in Mexico is understandable, stridency should not preclude strategic assessment. America's problem with drug trafficking is not the lack of statutes, but the magnitude of the problem.

    Mar 22, 2023

  • A statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein remains in front of a destroyed communication center in Baghdad, Iraq, March 28, 2003, photo by Reuters Photographer/Reuters

    Q&A

    Twenty Years After the Iraq War, a Q&A with RAND Experts

    On the 20th anniversary of the war in Iraq, RAND experts discussed what the war means for the people of Iraq and the veterans who fought there, what lessons the U.S. military learned (or did not learn), and what effect it has had on the balance of power in the Middle East and the global reputation of the United States.

    Mar 21, 2023

  • Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar shake hands before the start of G20 foreign ministers' meeting in New Delhi, India, March 2, 2023, photo by Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    India Can Bridge the U.S.-Russia Divide over Ukraine

    No country is as well positioned as India to mediate between Russia and the United States, and bring the Ukraine conflict to an end. Even limited success in ending the war will bolster India's credentials as an emerging great power, capable of accomplishing remarkable things that others cannot.

    Mar 20, 2023

  • Taiwanese domestically-built Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF) take part in the live-fire, anti-landing Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates an enemy invasion, in Taichung, Taiwan, July 16, 2020, photo by Ann Wang/Reuters

    Multimedia

    The View of the Taiwan Strait from the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    An October 2022 event gathered experts to examine the view of the Taiwan strait from the U.S.-Japan alliance. Presenters considered the Taiwan strait issue from the perspectives of the United States and Japan.

    Mar 15, 2023

  • Chips being installed on a microprocessor, photo by Hseyin/Adobe Stock

    Report

    What Taiwan's Dominance in Semiconductor Production Means for the U.S.

    Semiconductors have become an integral part of nearly every industry. Production of the highest-end semiconductors exists almost entirely in Taiwan. If China were to unify with Taiwan, there are no good short-term options for responding to the disruption that would cause to the global semiconductor supply chain.

    Mar 13, 2023

  • An Australian Army S70A-9 Black Hawk helicopter prepares to land on the flight deck of the Royal Australian Navy dock landing ship HMAS Choules in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, July 14, 2013,,photo by ABIS Cassie McBride/Australian Defense Force

    Commentary

    Is Australia's Defense Strategy Based on a Mistaken Assumption?

    The concept of “impactful projection” has become a topic of heightened interest in the Australian strategic discourse, as pundits wait on further information from the Defense Strategic Review. But is the concept underpinned by a fundamentally mistaken assumption?

    Mar 10, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition: Overarching Findings and Recommendations

    This report synthesizes the findings and recommendations from two companion reports on intrastate proxy wars: civil wars in which at least one local warring party receives material support from an external state.

    Mar 9, 2023