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.

  • Map depicting Russia's gray zone aggression, images by Harvepino and Serdarbayraktar/Getty Images. Design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Understanding Russia's Hostile Measures and How to Counter Them

    Jan 7, 2020

    Russia has used hostile measures to sow disorder, weaken democratic institutions, and undermine NATO cohesion. But it also has a long track record of strategic shortfalls and even ineptitude. Exploring opportunities to deter, prevent, and counter Russia's behavior is critical in both the gray zone and conventional war.

  • U.S. Army soldiers man a defensive position at Forward Operating Base Union III in Baghdad, Iraq, December 31, 2019, photo by Maj. Charlie Dietz/Task Force-Iraq Public Affairs Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Can Iraq Evict U.S. Forces?

    Jan 6, 2020

    The Iraqi parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from Iraq. This vote was nonbinding, and the Iraqi caretaker government cannot pass laws, but it does indicate that a majority in parliament wants U.S. forces to leave.

Explore International Affairs

  • Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen attends a campaign rally ahead of the presidential election in Taipei, Taiwan, December 21, 2019, photo by Tyrone Siu/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Taiwan and Vietnam Could Tell Us in 2020

    While many issues warrant attention in 2020, two that should be near the top of Asia-watchers' lists are Taiwan and Vietnam. Both are on the front lines of Chinese coercion, and their ability to respond, either with or without American support, will set the tone in the Indo-Pacific well beyond 2020.

    Dec 30, 2019

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reads a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump in Pyongyang, photo by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    Stability in Northeast Asia and the North Korean 'Christmas Present'

    North Korea's extreme rhetoric is worrying people in Northeast Asia. Pyongyang is threatening a presumably violent “Christmas gift” to the United States at the same time that Washington's patience with Pyongyang has worn thin.

    Dec 24, 2019

  • Image by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    Most Popular RAND Blog Commentary of 2019

    Terrorism. The humanitarian crisis at the border. How to engage friends and foes on the world stage. Here are the top 10 commentaries that readers engaged with most on The RAND Blog in 2019.

    Dec 23, 2019

  • Darleen Opfer, photo by Grace Evans/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    Learning Is a Lifelong Process: Q&A with V. Darleen Opfer

    As vice president and director of RAND Education and Labor, V. Darleen Opfer oversees a research portfolio that ranges from early childhood education to retirement planning. In this interview, she discusses what she learned from being a teacher, the need for evidence-based practices, and the importance of lifelong learning in today's labor market.

    Dec 23, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Healthcare at the Beginning of Life and Child Survival: Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment in Nigeria

    We study the effects of a cash transfer program in Nigeria in which households were offered a payment of $14 conditioned on uptake of health services.

    Dec 20, 2019

  • Blog

    Artificial Intelligence, Refugees, Global Health Security: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the Pentagon's artificial intelligence strategy, technology's role in the refugee crisis, threats to global health security, and more.

    Dec 20, 2019

  • Montage of best RAND videos of 2019, image by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Multimedia

    Best RAND Videos of 2019

    At RAND, we examine complex issues in dozens of policy areas. And when our researchers aren't busy coming up with solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, sometimes they step in front of the camera to highlight their findings. Here are our top videos of 2019.

    Dec 20, 2019

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees a super-large multiple launch rocket system test in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Commentary

    North Korea Holds Most of the Cards in Nuclear Negotiations

    North Korea has been reminding the United States that the window to negotiate a nuclear deal is closing. Pyongyang will likely continue trying to force Washington's hand into a deal that allows North Korea to keep its weapons while still reaping economic and political concessions.

    Dec 20, 2019

  • U.S. President Jimmy Carter shakes hands with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty on the grounds of the White House, Washington, D.C., March 26, 1979, photo by Warren K. Leffler/Reuters

    Commentary

    Carter's Compromise: Cowardice or Calculation?

    Jørgen Jensehaugen's Arab-Israeli Diplomacy Under Carter is a valuable addition to the literature on American peacemaking efforts that deepens our understanding of the difficult choices future administrations will confront in their effort to defuse the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    Dec 20, 2019

  • Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conduct live-fire, fire and movement drills near Camp Beuhring, Kuwait, March 5, 2017, photo by Sgt. Xzavior McNeal/U.S. Marine Corps photo

    Commentary

    Bad Idea: Assuming the Small Wars Era Is Over

    The national security community doesn't need to deny the potential for future great power conflict—or neglect to prepare for it—in order to acknowledge the enduring reality of asymmetric threats. Containing, resolving, and even preventing smaller conflicts is essential to avoiding bigger ones.

    Dec 18, 2019

  • A refugee mother looks at her smartphone after arriving by rubber raft from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos near the port city of Mytilene, Greece, March 9, 2016, photo by Kay Nietfeld/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

    Report

    How Technology Could Better Serve Refugees and Those Who Help Them

    There are 71 million forcibly displaced people in the world, many of whom live in developing countries. Refugees and the agencies that assist them have turned to technology as a vital resource, but gaps remain. How can tech be developed and used more strategically in humanitarian settings?

    Dec 17, 2019

  • The national flag of Taiwan on a large number of metal containers for storing goods stacked in rows on top of each other. Conception of storage of goods by importers, exporters, photo by Sova Vitalij/AdobeStock

    Journal Article

    Trade Relations Between Taiwan and South Asia Under the New Southbound Policy

    This paper provides an assessment of Taiwan's global status as an economy, to discover where its global comparative advantages lie, then assesses its economic relations with South Asia.

    Dec 13, 2019

  • Colonies of E. coli bacteria grown on a Hektoen enteric agar plate, photo by CDC via Reuters

    Report

    New Perils for Global Health Security

    There are two main threats to global health security. The first is the presence of slow-burn problems that may not receive enough attention—until it's too late. The second: emerging technologies that have beneficial uses but can also be weaponized.

    Dec 13, 2019

  • A fighter loyal to Libya's U.N.-backed government looks at a room burned during clashes with troops loyal to Khalifa Haftar in Tripoli, Libya, May 28, 2019, photo by Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

    Commentary

    Can Anything Stop the Flow of Advanced Weapons into Libya?

    Weapons proliferation has been a security concern for Libya and its neighbors since the revolution of 2011. If foreign arms transfers into Libya aren't reduced, the country's security situation will continue to deteriorate, giving militant groups a chance to increase their lethality and further destabilize the region.

    Dec 13, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Measuring Labour Mobility and Migration Using Big Data: Exploring the Potential of Social-Media Data for Measuring EU Mobility Flows and Stocks of EU Movers

    Researchers investigated the use of social media data to offer real-time estimates that will serve as early warnings about changes in EU mobility. The team successfully used the data to apply a working model for measuring stocks of EU migrants.

    Dec 12, 2019

  • U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev have a few final words after a marathon meeting to conclude their mini-summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, October 12, 1986, photo by Denis Paquin/Reuters

    Commentary

    Return of Nuclear Doomsday

    Elder statesmen are again warning of nuclear dangers. But have they risen? Maybe, but they remain only faint echoes of Cold War era risks, creating an opportunity to deliberately and carefully take steps to avoid future risks.

    Dec 12, 2019

  • Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrives for a meeting among remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal at U.N. headquarters in New York City, September 25, 2019, photo by Yana Paskova/Reuters

    Commentary

    Understanding Iran's Nuclear Escalation Strategy

    Throughout 2019, Iran has gradually reduced its compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. What are its goals in doing this? Why has it adopted this strategy? And perhaps most importantly, how far does Iran intend to go?

    Dec 12, 2019

  • An activist outside the Dutch embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, holds a banner that says not to listen to Russian propaganda, February 5, 2016, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Report

    How to Counter Russia's Gray Zone Tactics

    Russia uses gray zone tactics—ambiguous actions that target domestic or international public opinion—across Europe. Wargames found that vulnerability to these tactics varies. And they can be countered by hardening Western societies against Russian propaganda and attempts to undermine democracy.

    Dec 11, 2019

  • Report

    Gaming Gray Zone Tactics: Design Considerations for a Structured Strategic Game

    The RAND Arroyo Center developed a strategic-level structured card game examining a gray zone competition between Russia and the West in the Balkans to better understand the nature of a gray zone competition with Russia.

    Dec 11, 2019

  • People walk near a burned bank, after protests against increased fuel prices, in Tehran, Iran, November 20, 2019, photo by Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Reuters

    Commentary

    Don't Expect a Thaw in Iran

    Iran's recent protests could mark the beginning of a new chapter in Iran's domestic politics. Whatever happens inside the country, though, it will not likely change Iran's foreign policy.

    Dec 11, 2019