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

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  • Composite of flags, photo by khvost/Getty Images

    Report

    Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition

    Why do external states provide military support to parties to a civil war? A quantitative analysis and case studies of China, Iran, and Russia examine the causes and likely future trends in proxy wars.

    Mar 9, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition: Military Implications

    The authors examine the military implications of intrastate proxy wars (civil wars in which at least one local warring party receives material support from an external state) via a literature review and four case studies.

    Mar 9, 2023

  • A Ukrainian flag flutters in the wind affixed to a tank overlooking Bakhmut, Ukraine, January 10, 2023, photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: The End and Beyond

    We don't know yet know how the war in Ukraine may end. Despite heavy casualties, neither side is visibly falling apart or appears ready to back down. While no scenario can be excluded, the unequal strategic situation pushes future war scenarios toward variations of a stalemate.

    Mar 8, 2023

  • An employee walks past a part of Gazprom's Power Of Siberia gas pipeline at the Atamanskaya compressor station outside the far eastern town of Svobodny, in Amur region, Russia, November 29, 2019, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: The Economic Fallout

    Before Russia invaded Ukraine, projections estimated global economic growth in 2022 would be around 5 percent. But the war in Ukraine contributed to slowed economic growth in 2022 and a slowed recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the broader consequences for the global economy?

    Mar 7, 2023

  • The Foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine meet for talks at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Antalya, Turkey, March 10, 2022, photo by Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Ukraine Should Not Close Off Routes to the Negotiating Table

    Ukraine and Russia will probably eventually return to the table—perhaps not this month or even this year—and therefore it is important to debate ideas for how to get there, not to dismiss them.

    Mar 7, 2023

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu shake hands at a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, June 8, 2022, photo by Umit Bektas/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: Two Areas of Contention—Turkey and the Balkans

    Turkey is navigating a narrow path between its NATO commitments and its relationship with Russia. The Western Balkans remain an arena of competition between pro-Russian and pro-Western elements. It's not clear how events might play out, but there are indications and track records.

    Mar 6, 2023

  • Russian nuclear forces launch a Yars ICBM during strategic deterrence forces exercises in Russia, October 26, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Putin Could Escalate with Nuclear Testing

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has put the world on notice that Russia might resume nuclear explosive testing. He may see this as bolstering his scare tactics over Ukraine by signaling a possible willingness to use nuclear weapons. While testing could also help Russia improve its nuclear arms, politics rather than technology are likely to drive any decision to test.

    Mar 6, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Strategic advantage in a competitive age: Definitions, dynamics and implications

    SONAC commissioned RAND Europe to refine their working definition of strategic advantage. The team developed case studies and conducted expert workshops to explore the types of advantage and how actors seek to maintain and exploit their advantages.

    Mar 6, 2023

  • COVID-19 viruses floating around an image of the world made up of icons of people, image by denisismagilov/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Quantifying the link between COVID-19, conflict risk, and the global economy

    Our research suggests that COVID-19 will significantly increase the risk of civil conflict in African countries. We estimate this effect will, in turn, have negative global repercussions via international trade losses.

    Mar 3, 2023

  • The National Assembly of South Korea, Yeouido, Seoul, photo by Vincent_St_Thomas/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Nuke for a Nuke? Public Debate and Political Party Views on Nuclear Acquisition in South Korea

    There is a high level of uncertainty and a lack of clarity surrounding the issue of South Korean nuclear acquisition. What political, security, and strategic factors are key to guiding this debate in Seoul?

    Mar 2, 2023

  • Flags fly outside NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 16, 2022, photo by Yves Herman/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: NATO's Future

    Security issues have again become paramount among NATO members, making the alliance far more relevant. But NATO's southeastern flank is soft and the war in Ukraine has exposed its fault lines.

    Mar 2, 2023

  • Ukrainian soldiers prepare a tank for combat in the fronlines of Bakhmut, Donbass, December 11, 2022, photo by Celestino Arce/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Does Russia's War on Ukraine Mean for the International Order?

    Russia's war on Ukraine has shown the danger of Russian revanchism and the risk of living next door to a power that embraces war as a coercive tool. It has also highlighted the West's role as a major protector of the democratic world.

    Mar 2, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at a training center for mobilised reservists, in Ryazan Region, Russia, October 20, 2022, photo by Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: A Bleak Outlook for Russia

    Whatever may happen in Ukraine or in Russia, things will never be the same. A Russian failure in Ukraine could lead to escalation and a world-changing wider war, or it could lead to dramatic changes within Russia. Either outcome would make for a very different world.

    Feb 28, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    A Quantitative Analysis of the Costs of Corruption in the EU

    The aim of this report is to quantify the economic and societal losses due to corruption in the European Union, and to identify potential for action at EU level, to address the challenges identified.

    Feb 28, 2023

  • Russian reservists recruited to support the military campaign in Ukraine walk towards a banner with a portrait of Russian President Putin during a ceremony before their departure in Omsk, Russia, January 6, 2023, photo by Alexey Malgavko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: Escalation

    If Russian forces remain unable to defeat Ukraine, and Putin remains unwilling to back down, what escalation options does Russia have left?

    Feb 27, 2023

  • U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in New York, New York, September 22, 2022, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Philippines Is America's New Star Ally in Asia

    The election of the Philippines' new president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., in May 2022 has proven exceptionally significant for Washington's security alliances in the Indo-Pacific. Marcos has prioritized the maintenance of healthy ties to the United States, marking a sharp departure from the foreign policy of his predecessor.

    Feb 24, 2023

  • A pair of Ukrainian Su-25 jet fighters fly low near the town of Kramatorsk, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, June 24, 2022, photo by Marko Djurica/Reuters

    Commentary

    Deciding Whether to Send Fighter Jets to Ukraine

    Supplying military equipment to another country's forces can be far from straightforward. The logistical, operational, and technical considerations are immensely complex, and any offer made by NATO allies to Ukraine might best come with a credible plan for deployment and effect—not just a cheque that cannot be cashed.

    Feb 24, 2023

  • A Ukrainian national flag flutters near buildings destroyed by Russian military strikes in Borodianka, Ukraine, February 15, 2023, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine

    One year ago, Russian ground forces, following a lengthy military buildup, invaded Ukraine. Today, the war continues, with no clear end in sight. How does this end?

    Feb 24, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at a training center in Ryazan Region, Russia, October 20, 2022, photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Three Vladimir Putins

    What happens next in the war in Ukraine depends almost exclusively on the mindset, will, and decisions of Vladimir Putin. The various descriptions of Putin suggest three different characters: strongman Putin, messianic Putin, and rational Putin. We may take more comfort in the last. We probably shouldn't.

    Feb 22, 2023

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Promoting Strong International Collaboration in Quantum Technology Research and Development

    The author discusses (1) the strategic importance of (and challenges of) strong research collaboration with U.S. allied and partner nations and (2) five key policy areas in this space. He also proposes a desired end state for this cooperation.

    Feb 22, 2023