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.

  • Commentary

    Why Russia Doesn't Want War Between Israel and Iran

    Moscow stands to lose a great deal if the Israel-Hamas conflict escalates into a wider war. While Russia would prefer the West distracted, a direct Israel-Iran conflict would expose Russia's vulnerabilities in the Middle East.

    Apr 12, 2024

  • Report

    Success and Failure of Great Powers in Long-Term Rivalries

    What does success or failure in a rivalry look like, and what varieties of success can great powers aspire to? Historical examples of strategic success and failure in great power rivalries offer lessons for the United States and its rivalry with China.

    Apr 10, 2024

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  • Report

    Report

    Emerging Technology and Risk Analysis: Additive Manufacturing

    Additive manufacturing is increasingly important for licit and illicit uses. This report focuses on illicit commercial use, particularly counterfeiting, because of its potentially significant effects on economic prosperity and national security.

    Feb 15, 2024

  • A U.S. Army soldier and members of the Lithuanian Parliament take a close-up look at M1A2 Abrams tanks during a tour of Camp Herkus, Lithuania, January 4, 2024, photo by Staff Sgt. Oscar Gollaz/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    From Forward Presence to Forward Defense: NATO's Defense of the Baltics

    The Baltic states remain vulnerable to a potential Russian military attack due to their geography. They are watching closely as NATO begins pivoting its posture of deterrence by punishment to deterrence by denial.

    Feb 14, 2024

  • Presidential candidate Alexander Stubb attends his election reception in Helsinki, Finland, February 11, 2024, photo by Lehtikuva/Emmi Korhonen via Reuters

    Commentary

    How Finland Approaches Its New NATO Role Is a Key Decision for the New President

    Finland's presidential election is complete, and Alexander Stubb is the winner. As the president holds executive power to set foreign and security policy, as well as commanding the military, NATO countries are watching closely to see which course their newfound ally will chart.

    Feb 14, 2024

  • A container ship passes an oil platform at the Gulf of Suez towards the Red Sea before entering the Suez Canal, outside of Cairo, Egypt September 1, 2020, photo by Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

    Commentary

    Middle East–China Trade Prospects Remain Robust Despite Red Sea Crisis

    Disruptions to shipping through the Red Sea and Suez Canal are likely to have only modest effects on Chinese goods trade with most of the Middle East but could lead to significant costs for China's global trade.

    Feb 9, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Opportunities and Challenges of AUKUS

    President Biden's approval of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act will facilitate key aspects of the AUKUS technology cooperation partnership. The partnership will benefit each participant, but is not without its challenges.

    Feb 9, 2024

  • Stylized U.S. and Russian flags

    Research Brief

    The Day After: Postwar U.S. Strategy Toward Russia

    How should the United States deal with Russia after the war in Ukraine finally ends? And how might U.S. policy during the conflict shape the postwar world?

    Feb 9, 2024

  • The flags of the united States, Russia, and Ukraine on a cracked wall.

    Report

    Planning for the Aftermath: Assessing Options for U.S. Strategy Toward Russia After the Ukraine War

    Although there is no end in sight to the Russia-Ukraine war, U.S. policymakers should begin considering postwar Russia strategy now. The authors review U.S. strategic options and trade-offs that different choices pose for long-term U.S. interests.

    Feb 9, 2024

  • NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 4. 2023, photo by IMAGO/Thomas Trutschel/Reuters

    Commentary

    Four NATO Defense Priorities for the Upcoming Washington Summit

    The upcoming NATO summit in Washington, D.C., offers an opportunity for the alliance to prioritize new and transformational capabilities. With them, NATO can continue to provide deterrence and defense for its member state populations into the future, just as it has done for the past 75 years.

    Feb 8, 2024

  • Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2023, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Good and the Bad for Biden in Southeast Asia

    Since entering office in 2021, one of the Biden administration's foreign-policy priorities has been a more effective Indo-Pacific strategy to compete with China, especially in Southeast Asia. Three years on, the administration's policy has bright spots, but still lacks a clear strategy for the region.

    Feb 8, 2024

  • Fijian law enforcement officers working with the U.S. Coast Guard board a vessel suspected of illegal fishing off the coast of Fiji, April 18, 2022, photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn/U.S. Coast Guard

    Commentary

    IUU Fishing: A Maritime Security Threat Requiring Unique Solutions

    Fish depreciate, have tighter profit margins than drugs, and have a consumer base that can impact demand. Using the weak points in illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing business models to decrease profitability won't solve IUU fishing worldwide, but it can decrease IUU fishing.

    Feb 8, 2024

  • A welder works on a Cougar H 4 X 4 MRAP vehicle at the factory in Ladson, S.C.

    Commentary

    Reform the Budget Process to Strengthen U.S. Global Leadership

    As the U.S. government confronts two near-peer challengers in China and Russia, along with mounting conflict in the Middle East, ensuring stability, predictability, and some measure of flexibility in the U.S. defense budget is more important than ever. Yet the U.S. budgeting system is in a state of disarray.

    Feb 7, 2024

  • Unrecognizable person taking toxic samples, photo by SrdjanPav/Getty Images

    Report

    Attributing Biological Weapons Use

    Why is attribution of biological weapons use so important? And how can the U.S. Department of Defense better support investigations into deliberate biological incidents?

    Feb 6, 2024

  • Colorful data science illustration behind the AUKUS logo, images by NicoElNino/Adobe Stock and Australian Department of Defence

    Report

    AUKUS Collaboration on Responsible Military AI

    Collaborating with allies and partners is important to the advancement of military artificial intelligence. What are the challenges that could inhibit or prevent the co-development of AI between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS) as they face rising threats from China?

    Feb 6, 2024

  • The deck of the USS Donald Cook

    Journal Article

    A Security Strategy for the Black Sea

    This report outlines the strategic setting, regional challenges and threats, key planning assumptions, risk and risk mitigation, and finally DIME-based recommendations for enhancing security and stability in the Black Sea region.

    Feb 5, 2024

  • Soldiers from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force during a United Nations peacekeeping mission

    Journal Article

    The Future of Multilateral Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention

    The multilateral system, defined as the set of rules, norms, and institutions that together constitute the world's governance architecture, is not static. Several drivers of change threaten to erode hard-earned gains the system has delivered.

    Feb 5, 2024

  • Typhoons at RAF Coningsby in Linconshire, United Kingdom, December 9, 2022, photo by Joe Giddens/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    Lessons for Industrial Resilience: The UK's Typhoon Export Conundrum

    If Turkey steps back from its pursuit of the Typhoon, it would join India, South Korea, Finland, the UAE, and Switzerland on the list of countries to decline acquisition of the four-nation collaborative platform jointly exported by the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The United Kingdom and Germany have the most to gain, or lose, from the Typhoon's success.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • A Ukrainian serviceman drives an M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle at a position near Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, June 26, 2023, photo by Rfe/Rl/Serhii Nuzhnenko via Reuters

    Commentary

    Upping the Ante on Western Weapons Could End the Stalemate in Ukraine

    The Russo-Ukrainian war might be at a strategic tipping point. The ground fight in Ukraine's east is stalemated, but Russian sea and air power in Crimea is diminished. The future flow of Western aid may be less certain. To address these challenges, the West might escalate support for Ukraine's military and signal firmness to Moscow.

    Jan 30, 2024

  • Report

    Report

    Allied by Design: Defining a Path to Thoughtful Allied Space Power

    In this report, the authors evaluate the U.S. Department of Defense space enterprise and the interest, potential, and perspectives of six allies to recommend opportunities for a more effective approach to allied space power.

    Jan 30, 2024

  • Planet Earth with U.S. and allies' flags around it, design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND from photos by Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Charting a Path to Thoughtful Allied Space Power

    U.S. policy statements stress that close cooperation with allies is central to U.S. strategy, especially in space. But allies have grown increasingly vocal about a gap between what the United States says and what it does to make tangible progress toward allied space cooperation. How can that be improved?

    Jan 30, 2024

  • A large phytoplankton bloom north of the Scandinavian Peninsula in the Berents Sea, August 3, 2023, Photo courtesy of European Union, Copernicus Sentinel-3 imagery

    Commentary

    Assessing the Value of Publicly Funded Earth Observation Programmes in the United Kingdom

    Satellite-based earth observation (EO) technologies play a critical role across the world, from monitoring climate change to assessing the situation during crises such as extreme weather events. As the United Kingdom invests in space technology and participates in international agreements, effectively demonstrating the value of these investments remains a top priority.

    Jan 23, 2024