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 view from space of the Middle East, West Asia, and East Europe at night, photo by wael alreweie/Getty Images

    Report

    Reimagining U.S. Strategy in the Middle East

    Feb 23, 2021

    Long-standing U.S. policies in the Middle East that rely on defeating threats and keeping partners on "our side" have fallen short. What if the U.S. approach shifted from focusing on the threat of the day to a positive vision of a region supported by increased diplomatic and economic investments?

  • Abstract world map with polygons, photo by imaginima/Getty Images

    Commentary

    U.S. Approach to Strengthening Global Order Will Have to Change

    Feb 9, 2021

    Support for a reformed rules-based order may be the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. But the word “reformed” is crucial in that statement. The U.S. approach to strengthening global order will have to change in ways that will sit uneasily with the expectations and habits of the world's leading power.

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  • Chilean president Sebastián Piñera receives the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in Santiago de Chile, Chile, December 24, 2020, photo by Sebastian Rodríguez/Presidencia/Reuters

    Commentary

    Vaccine Nationalism Has Real Economic Consequences

    Vaccine nationalism, in which countries prioritize their domestic needs at the expense of others, will have significant global economic consequences. Major economies actually have more to gain by helping to make an effective COVID-19 vaccine widely available globally.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • A consignment of USAID medical equipment is offloaded at the Roberts International Airport in Monrovia, August 24, 2014, photo by James Giahyue/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why We 'Send Them Money'

    Why does the United States send foreign countries American taxpayer money? The answer, in short, is because it serves U.S. self-interest to do so. Aid is not some act of charity at the American taxpayers' expense; it can help keep Americans safer, more prosperous, and secure.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and China's Premier Li Keqiang shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China July 4, 2019, photo by Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    China Isn't Backing Down in South Asia

    Much to India's frustration, China's influence is on the rise across South Asia. India will probably have to work overtime, and in concert with like-minded partners such as Australia, Japan, and the United States to complicate and rein in China's successes in the region.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Reflections on the 7th International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy in the Wake of the Covid-19 Outbreak

    In 2019, a conference in Israel showcased new frontiers in technology in healthcare, highlighting research conducted in Israel as well as across the globe.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin during an end-of-year videoconference with members of the Russian government at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, December 24, 2020, photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/Reuters

    Commentary

    Arms Control Held Hostage

    President-elect Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have wisely promised to extend the 2010 New START Treaty, which cuts long-range nuclear arms. The two leaders may also pursue a broader follow-on accord, but frigid U.S.-Russian relations could put this out of reach. Progress on arms control often comes when political winds are warmer.

    Dec 28, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Russia's Cyber Limitations in Personnel Recruitment and Innovation, Their Potential Impact on Future Operations and How NATO and Its Members Can Respond

    This chapter addresses questions arising from the gap that separates Russian cyber personnel and capabilities from its ambitions and what effect this disparity has on future state-backed cyber campaigns.

    Dec 23, 2020

  • Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2020

    Here are the RAND research projects that resonated most in 2020, a year unlike any in living memory. Topics include remote learning, election disinformation, income inequality, and more.

    Dec 21, 2020

  • Lesbian couple view ultrasound of their baby, photo by Teraphim/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What the EU LGBTIQ Strategy Means for Rainbow Families with Children

    Rainbow families can face challenges because of ongoing discrimination against LGBTIQ people. The first EU strategy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, nonbinary, intersex, and queer equality sets out actions and initiatives to ensure the safety and equal rights of LGBTIQ people in the EU.

    Dec 21, 2020

  • Puzzle pieces representing the flags of Japan, France, Germany, the UK, and NATO, images by numax3d, railwayfx/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Japan-Europe Security Ties in the Age of Strategic Competition

    Some of America's strongest allies are its European partners and Japan. In an age of growing strategic competition, how are these allies cooperating with one another? And how might these partnerships affect the United States?

    Dec 21, 2020

  • Blog

    Americans' Financial Struggles, COVID-19 Vaccinations, Virtual Schools: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Americans' ongoing financial struggles, how we can learn from the first phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, why virtual schools may be here to stay, and more.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • Otto von Bismarck and Napoleon III after the Battle of Sedan in 1870, Painting by Wilhelm Camphausen/Public Domain

    Commentary

    Thinking in (Napoleonic) Times: Historical Warnings for an Era of Great-Power Competition

    Over the last several years, great-power competition has become a major topic of discussion, prompting policymakers, scholars, and pundits alike to look to the past for lessons to explain the emerging contest between the United States and China. Considering how a variety of historical powers have faced rising challengers can aid our understanding of the challenges ahead.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    The economic benefits of equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines

    Researchers used a global macroeconomic model to examine the economic effects of vaccine nationalism. This brief highlights the cost to 30 high-income countries if low and middle-income countries miss out on initial access to COVID-19 vaccines.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • In the foreground, an early warning aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force

    Report

    Regional Responses to U.S.-China Competition in the Indo-Pacific: Australia and New Zealand

    In this report, the authors assess the perspectives of Australia and New Zealand as they implement their responses to China's more assertive foreign and security policy behavior in the Indo-Pacific and to a more competitive U.S.-China relationship.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers a televised address to the nation at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, December 14, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/ReutersU.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers a televised address to the nation at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, December 14, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Taiwan Can Feel at Ease with Joe Biden as U.S. President

    Joe Biden's win in the U.S. presidential election is causing thinly veiled heartburn in Taipei. But concerns that the incoming Biden administration might rethink Taiwan policy in favor of better relations with China are probably misguided.

    Dec 15, 2020

  • HMS Westminster departs Reykjavik for Exercise Trident Juncture, photo by PO Jim Gibson RNR/Public Domain

    Multimedia

    Defence Challenges and Opportunities for Norway

    Ruth Harris, research director for the Defence, Security, and Infrastructure group at RAND Europe, is joined by senior political scientist Stephen Flanagan and international defence researcher Gene Germanovich in a discussion about their study on enhancing deterrence and defence on NATO's northern flank.

    Dec 14, 2020

  • The USS John S. McCain conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force fast combat support ship JS Omi, November 28, 2020, photo by MC2 Markus Castaneda/U.S. Navy

    Report

    Japan's Ability and Willingness to Assist U.S. Forces in the East China Sea

    Should a conventional high-end contingency erupt in the East China Sea between the United States and China, Japan could support the U.S. military. But that assistance would be limited, in terms of capabilities, existing legal restrictions, and political realities.

    Dec 14, 2020

  • Blog

    Civic Education, 'Vaccine Nationalism,' Polar Icebreakers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to revive civic education in America's public schools, the costs of "vaccine nationalism," why the United States needs more polar icebreaking ships, and more.

    Dec 11, 2020

  • U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers a speech at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, November 25, 2020, photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Issues Will Biden Prioritize in the Indo-Pacific?

    The security challenges facing the incoming Biden administration are likely to remain largely the same as those in 2020. The increasing geopolitical, military, and economic heft of the Indo-Pacific region means the United States will likely continue to prioritize this region in 2021.

    Dec 10, 2020

  • President-elect Biden announces his key health team nominees and appointees in Wilmington, DE, December 8, 2020, photo by CNP/InStar/Cover Images/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Biden's Africa Strategy Might Look Like

    Biden's election may present Washington with a welcome opportunity to reset its relationship with sub-Saharan Africa. It could behoove U.S. policymakers to engage with the region to ensure that the United States will be positioned to take full advantage of whatever opportunities arise, and, when necessary, do whatever might be possible to avert unfavorable outcomes.

    Dec 10, 2020

  • UK Royal Navy 3 Commando Brigade land in Norway as part of demanding winter exercises, photo by PO Phot Si Ethell/Royal Navy Open Government License

    Commentary

    Standing Together on NATO's North Flank: UK-Norwegian Defence Cooperation

    The UK and Norway share a long and close history, bound by shared experiences as seafaring nations whose political, cultural, and economic development have been shaped in part by their exploitation of the North Sea and North Atlantic. Much could remain to be gained from continuing to deepen and evolve their longstanding partnership to meet the new challenges of the 21st century.

    Dec 9, 2020