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.

  • Commentary

    From the Ashes of Hamas-Israel War, Can Economics Drive Peace?

    The economic costs of the violence in Gaza threaten Israel's economic future. For the Palestinians, the costs may be so large that they undermine the possibility of an independent Palestinian state. But the magnitude of these economic losses may, paradoxically, forge a new pathway toward peace once the fighting stops.

    Nov 28, 2023

  • Report

    National Identity and the Origins of the War in Ukraine

    From the 1990s to the 2022 invasion, Russia's manipulation of Ukraine was based on a post-Soviet Russian identity that was hostile to the European project. Meanwhile, Ukraine formed a national identity that was at odds with Russia's, and it grew stronger and more resistant to Russian influence.

    Nov 29, 2023

Explore International Affairs

  • Workers paint over graffiti depicting jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in Saint Petersburg, Russia, April 28, 2021, photo by Anton Vaganov/Reuters


    Human Rights Issues in Russia May Offer U.S. Leverage

    The 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reminds us of how much human rights diplomacy has reshaped and enriched international relations. Inspired by this, Washington might pursue more proactive human rights diplomacy with Moscow. If the United States takes this path, how might it proceed?

    Nov 20, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    'Israel's 9/11,' Promoting the 988 Hotline, the Future of Space: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on why the Oct. 7 attack wasn't Israel's 9/11, humanity's future approach to space, the pressing need to ensure more people know about the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, and more.

    Nov 17, 2023

  • Viruses and tracking data situated around a digital globe, image by ImageFlow/Adobe Stock


    Making Sense of Pathogen Surveillance

    Pathogen surveillance—collecting and sharing data about infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance—informs key public health decisions. What pathogen surveillance initiatives exist currently? And what are the main challenges they face?

    Nov 15, 2023

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in San Francisco to attend the APEC Summit in San Francisco, California, November 14, 2023, photo by Brittany Hosea-Small/Reuters


    Biden Should Call China's Bluff on Responsible AI to Safeguard the 2024 Elections

    Few in the Biden administration will be surprised to learn that Beijing is lying about its intentions and activities when it comes to influence operations. But lies, maybe even especially blatant ones, present diplomatic opportunity.

    Nov 14, 2023

  • A man passes the front gate of Sejm (lower house of Polish parliament) before the first session of the newly elected Polish parliament in Warsaw, Poland, November 13, 2023, photo by Kacper Pempel/Reuters


    Cherish Allies While You Can: What Should the U.S. Do To Support the Incoming Polish Government?

    Plenty has been said about what lessons Poland's recent elections hold for pro-democracy forces across the wider West, as well as the message this election sends about a feared inevitability of autocracy, and the significance of this opposition win for European security. But what does the election of an opposition alliance mean for U.S. relations with Warsaw?

    Nov 14, 2023

  • Multimedia


    A New Approach to Power Projection: Reversing the Erosion of U.S. and Allied Military Power and Influence

    The RAND National Security Research Division hosted a discussion focused on emerging approaches to projecting power against the United States' most capable adversaries and the implications of these new approaches for defense planning.

    Nov 14, 2023

  • U.S. Coast Guard officers watch over more than 54,500 pounds of cocaine and 15,800 pounds of marijuana seized from multiple interdictions before they are unloaded from the Coast Guard Cutter James at Port Everglades, Florida, February 17, 2022, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters


    Ways to Enhance the U.S. Coast Guard's Interdiction Efforts

    Effective partnerships and investment in technology are essential for successful drug and migrant interception and international fisheries law enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard's efforts could be improved through better information-sharing and leveraging of existing technology, and further interagency and international collaboration and cooperation.

    Nov 14, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Supporting Veterans, Israel-Hamas War, AI and Geopolitics: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on supporting America's veterans, what Israel's ground offensive in Gaza can and cannot accomplish, how AI might affect the rise and fall of nations, and more.

    Nov 10, 2023

  • U.S. Marines run into the ocean during Marine Aviation Support Activity 23 in Palawan, Philippines, July 16, 2023, photo by Lance Cpl. Keegan Jones/U.S. Marine Corps


    China's Gray-Zone Tactics Show the U.S.-Philippine Alliance Is Working

    The United States should continue to offer military assistance and training to the Philippines so that Manila can increasingly counter China on its own while Washington continues to remind and warn Beijing that Article V must not be violated. This is the least risky option that also holds the greatest chance of success.

    Nov 7, 2023

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 11, 2023, photo by Johanna Geron/Reuters


    NATO Needs a Plan for Military and Nonmilitary Instruments of Power to Work Together

    To adapt to changes in warfighting, NATO is developing a multi-domain operations warfighting concept. But for this concept to be successful, it must include a plan to manage military operations' increasing reliance on and interaction with nonmilitary instruments of power.

    Nov 6, 2023

  • U.S. service members participate with allies and partners from multiple nations in exercises throughout West Virginia, May and June 2023, photo by Staff Sgt. Jake SeaWolf/U.S. National Guard


    Winning the Irregular World War

    If the United States hopes to prevail in an asymmetrical world war, it must upgrade its abilities to provide self-defense and resistance support to its allies and partners, and better coordinate its disparate efforts to counter Russia and China across departments and agencies.

    Nov 6, 2023

  • A Marine amphibious assault crewman with 3rd Marine Regiment communicates with other AAVs after landing ashore at the Naval Education Training Center in Zambales, Philippines, April 21, 2015, photo by Cpl. Matthew J. Bragg/U.S. Marine Corps


    Inflection Point: How to Reverse the Erosion of U.S. and Allied Military Power and Influence

    U.S. military forces no longer enjoy the kind of comprehensive superiority that was the foundation of victories over adversary states. Re-establishing a credible posture against aggression by highly capable adversaries will call for sustained, coordinated efforts by the United States, its allies, and its key partners to rethink their approaches to defeating aggression and to recast important elements of their military forces and postures.

    Nov 3, 2023

  • A painting of nested human silhouettes


    How Might AI Affect the Rise and Fall of Nations?

    As artificial intelligence continues to advance, geopolitics may never be the same. The AI development path that ultimately unfolds will matter enormously for the shape and contours of the future world.

    Nov 3, 2023

  • Two Japan Air Self Defense Force F-15s fly alongside a U.S. Air Force KC-135 from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, Kadena Air Base, during air refueling training July 30, 2009, photo ny Tech. Sgt. Angelique Perez/U.S. Air Force


    Japan's Play for Today: Too Much? Just Right? Or Never Enough?

    Japan is pushing ahead on a broad array of initiatives meant to strengthen the Self-Defense Forces' deterrent power across multiple domains. But there are bound to be limits in manpower, resources, capacity, or capabilities that will place limits on what the end point of Japan's buildup ultimately looks like.

    Oct 31, 2023

  • Modern medical research laboratory, photo by Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock


    Nations Must Collaborate on AI and Biotech—or Be Left Behind

    As two revolutionary technologies—machine learning and gene editing—converge, forward-looking policy is essential to both mitigate risks and leverage opportunities.

    Oct 31, 2023

  • The South Korean and American flags fly next to each other in Yongin, South Korea, August 23, 2016, photo by Staff Sgt. Ken Scar/U.S. Army


    South Korea Needs Greater Nuclear Assurance

    With growing nuclear threats from North Korea and China, there has been considerable interest in South Korea in developing its own nuclear weapons. But doing so could become a major disaster. The United States should bring greater strategic clarity to its nuclear umbrella commitment to South Korea.

    Oct 29, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Israel-Hamas War, AI and Gene Editing, Social Media Regulation: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the Israel-Hamas war, the convergence of machine learning and gene editing, regulating social media while protecting free speech, and more.

    Oct 27, 2023

  • U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, June 27, 2022, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


    India-Canada Spat Is No-Win Situation for the U.S.

    For the United States, the ongoing diplomatic row between Canada and India is very uncomfortable because Washington has no interest in choosing sides. The best-case scenario for the Biden administration is that Canada and India resolve their differences privately and expeditiously, without any need for U.S. mediation.

    Oct 25, 2023

  • Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, U.S. President Joe Biden, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak deliver remarks on the AUKUS partnership at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, California, March 13, 2023, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters


    AUKUS as Big Science?

    AUKUS—the trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—framed as a multinational quest for discovery rather than a security pact made sensible by deterrence logics, could be a political boon, both diplomatically and domestically.

    Oct 24, 2023

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held the Fifth Enlarged Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, North Korea in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on June 11, 2022, photo by KCNA via Reuters


    What North Korea Is Learning from the Hamas-Israel War

    South Korea and the United States should rein in North Korean nuclear weapon production and prepare to respond to escalated North Korean coercion. While Kim Jong-un probably won't resort to a Hamas-style attack, he certainly shares Hamas' goal of cultivating U.S. reluctance to get involved militarily in the region.

    Oct 24, 2023