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.

  • A worker installs Ukrainian and U.S. flags along Pennsylvania Avenue ahead of a visit by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Washington, D.C., December 21, 2022, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Myth of America's Ukraine Fatigue

    Perceptions that the United States has “Ukraine fatigue” may be more myth than reality. It could be years before any declines in the American public's support for Ukraine actually result in a change of policy.

    Jan 3, 2023

  • Drift ice camp in the middle of the Arctic Ocean as seen from the deck of icebreaker Xue Long, July 2010, photo by Timo Palo/Wikimedia Commons

    Essay

    What Does China's Arctic Presence Mean to the United States?

    China has declared itself a “near-Arctic state,” a designation it invented to push for a greater role in Arctic governance. Although the U.S. sees China as a potentially destabilizing force, engaging with China in the Arctic does not have to be a win-or-lose proposition. There are opportunities to cooperate—on climate change, for example, or pollution control.

    Dec 29, 2022

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  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2023

    This issue explores the inadequacies of the current system of space governance; China's presence in the Arctic; abortion in the U.S. post-Dobbs; and the security and technology challenges related to Taiwan's domination of the microchip industry.

    Jan 6, 2023

  • The International Space Station's JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer, August 2022, photo by NASA

    Essay

    The Calls for More Progress on Space Governance Are Growing Louder

    Space may seem infinite, but the narrow band that hugs the Earth, where satellites and space stations operate, is not. Existing space treaties won't be enough to keep satellites safe, to prevent crowding and collisions, and to preserve the promise of outer space.

    Jan 5, 2023

  • A woman using binoculars to look at the stars, illustration by GeorgePeters/Getty Images

    Essay

    What Might Space Look Like in 2050?

    It would not take huge technological breakthroughs to make space and space travel a much bigger part of everyday life. Instead, it would take a steady progression of incremental advances—and one development in particular could provide the tipping point.

    Jan 5, 2023

  • Kim Jong-un conducts a ground test of a high-thrust, solid-fuel engine at the Sohae Satellite Launch Station in Cholsan, North Korea, December 16, 2022, photo by KCNA/Pool/Latin America News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    Japanese 'Counterstrike' May Be Good for ROK Security

    Fully coordinated, the South Korean Kill Chain and Japanese counterstrike capability could be more effective in stopping North Korea from causing damage. And they could be more likely to deter Kim Jong-un, as Pyongyang recognizes that its efforts to militarily dominate the ROK are unlikely to succeed.

    Dec 28, 2022

  • Members of China's research team setting up an ocean profiling float near the icebreaker Xuelong in the Arctic Ocean, August 18, 2016, photo by Wu Yue/Xinhua/Alamy

    Report

    China's Growing Role in the Arctic

    China has become a player in the Arctic region, engaging in economic, scientific, cultural, diplomatic, and military activities. What security risks do China's investments pose, and what could the United States and its partners do to mitigate undesirable Chinese involvement in the region?

    Dec 23, 2022

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shake hands before the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, April 1, 2019, photo by Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    New Zealand Is Done with Speaking Softly to China

    In three short years, New Zealand has gone from saying next to nothing about China to saying quite a lot. What has prompted New Zealand to suddenly take a firmer stand on China?

    Dec 21, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the summit of leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Astana, Kazakhstan October 14, 2022, photo by Turar Kazangapov/Reuters

    Report

    Responding to a Russian Attack on NATO During the Ukraine War

    The Ukraine war has created a unique set of circumstances that make a limited Russian attack against a NATO target plausible. If such an attack were to occur, how might the United States and NATO respond?

    Dec 20, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Evaluatie rijksbrede Brexit-inzet van de Nederlandse overheid: Eindrapport: [Evaluation of the Dutch government's efforts to prepare for Brexit]

    Evaluation of how the Netherlands determined its position in the Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK, to what extent the Dutch government sufficiently prepared for its consequences, and whether public expenditures were effective.

    Dec 19, 2022

  • A soldier's hands on a battery, photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah M. McClanahan/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Critical Material Supply Chains Should Be More Resilient

    The COVID-19 pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine highlight the vulnerabilities of supply chains that are dependent on foreign inputs. How can the U.S. Department of Defense increase the resilience of its supply chains for materials essential to national security?

    Dec 15, 2022

  • (l-r) Moderator Jamie Morin and panelists Bruce McClintock, Debra Emmons, and Marin Halper at the West Coast Aerospace Forum in Santa Monica, California, December 2, 2022, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    Can the War in Ukraine Help the United States Address Security Concerns in the Indo-Pacific?

    Even as the Russian military continues to struggle in Ukraine, Air Force leaders and top national security experts at the 2022 West Coast Aerospace Forum warned not to expect similar outcomes in a potential conflict with China. The 7th annual event focused on applying lessons learned from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

    Dec 14, 2022

  • The Nobel certificate and medal is seen on the empty chair where Nobel Peace Prize winner jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo would have sat, near a portrait of Liu, at Oslo City Hall, December 10, 2010, photo by Heiko Junge/Scanpix Norway/Reuters

    Report

    How to Counter China's Economic Pressure Campaigns

    China's rise has been accompanied by belligerent use of its economic leverage to shape the political and strategic decisions of other countries. The United States could help its treaty allies and partners—and the international system more broadly—by organizing a multilateral response.

    Dec 14, 2022

  • An Algerian corvette fires a Chinese-made anti-ship missile, photo by Hakim Djebbour/Wikimedia (CC by 4.0)

    Tool

    Mapping Chinese and Russian Military and Security Exports to Africa

    Military weapons exports and private military and security contractors are important tools for projecting a country's influence around the world. How have China and Russia employed these tools across Africa in recent years?

    Dec 13, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    The Racial Wealth Gap, the Effects of Long COVID, Teacher Diversity: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on understanding the racial wealth gap, why long COVID may threaten the U.S. economy, what prevents people of color from becoming and staying teachers, and more.

    Dec 9, 2022

  • Chinese tanks at the Army Institute in Kampong Speu province, Cambodia, March 12, 2015, photo by Pring Samrang/Reuters

    Commentary

    How China Is Building Influence Through Arms Sales

    China may be using arms sales to strengthen alliances around the South China Sea and counter the United States' regional alliances. Beijing's security relationships around the South China Sea could be a harbinger of what it might replicate in Africa and possibly Latin America.

    Dec 9, 2022

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, December 6, 2021, photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Sipa USA via Reuters

    Commentary

    India Upholds the Rules-Based Liberal International Order—But in Its Own Way

    Contrary to continued U.S. questions about the degree of New Delhi's commitment to the liberal international order, India has shown that it is committed in its own, sometimes limited way. Of course, securing Indian national interests will always be paramount. U.S. policymakers might recognize that any additional pressure is likely to be counterproductive.

    Dec 9, 2022

  • A People's Liberation Army (PLA) delegation (right) visits a United States military facility

    Report

    Implications of a Global People's Liberation Army: Historical Lessons for Responding to China's Long-Term Global Basing Ambitions

    The authors examine three case studies among the United States' competitors to help anticipate what Chinese overseas access and basing might look like in the 2030s while assessing U.S. risks and opportunities posed by Chinese military expansion.

    Dec 8, 2022

  • The foundation stone laying ceremony of the support base of China's PLA in Djibouti, August 1, 2017, photo by Xinhua/Alamy

    Report

    What Are China's Global Basing Ambitions?

    China appears likely to seek military access and basing in its immediate vicinity and in the Middle East, but parts of Africa and the Indo-Pacific are also of interest. The United States should carefully prioritize where to resist Chinese access and basing and where to reinforce U.S. relationships.

    Dec 8, 2022

  • A Chinese military parade featuring mounted infantry flying the Chinese flag

    Report

    The People's Liberation Army's Search for Overseas Basing and Access: A Framework to Assess Potential Host Nations

    Using a framework of 17 indicators, the authors assess and rank potential host nations for Chinese overseas basing and access. They recommend steps to better understand China's overseas plans and to prioritize risks to U.S. forces.

    Dec 8, 2022