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.

  • The Plight of Refugees

    Multimedia

    The Plight of Refugees During COVID-19

    Jun 18, 2020

    Shelly Culbertson, senior policy researcher with the RAND Corporation, describes how the pandemic is creating additional challenges for the world's seventy-one million refugees, internally displaced persons, and asylum seekers.

  • A map of the continental United States is shown with lines representing COVID-19 importation risk

    Project

    Tracking the Spread of COVID-19 with Air Travel Data

    Jun 5, 2020

    As the pandemic enters a new phase, punctuated by emerging hot spots and continuing global spread, a new RAND tool lets policymakers predict regional risks of importing cases of COVID-19.

Explore International Affairs

  • Balance board with chrome spheres of varied sizes, photo by akinbostanci/Getty Images

    Report

    Measuring Power, Power Cycles, and the Risk of Great-Power War

    Growing concern that U.S. power has been declining relative to that of Russia and China renews long-standing questions about how we should measure national power. Which nations have the most? Which are gaining and losing power, and when might these shifts portend conflict?

    Apr 15, 2020

  • U.S. Army soldiers deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve await aerial extraction via CH-47 Chinook during a training exercise in Iraq, October 31, 2018, photo by 1st Lt. Leland White/U.S. Army National Guard

    Report

    It's Time to Make a Full and Enduring Commitment to Iraq

    American interests will suffer if strategic competition in Iraq is abandoned. U.S. policymakers should pursue a commitment to Iraq before opportunities are lost. The best way to establish that commitment is through robust, long-term, small-footprint assistance to the Iraqi Army.

    Apr 14, 2020

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a drill of long-range artillery sub-units of the Korean People's Army, North Korea, image released by Korean Central News Agency on March 2, 2020

    Commentary

    The Coronavirus and North Korea: Is There a Cure for Kim's Nuclear Blackmail?

    Despite the pandemic, North Korea's recent activities suggest that Kim Jong Un will likely stay the course in his ongoing campaign against the United States and the broader Northeast Asia region.

    Apr 13, 2020

  • The General Assembly Hall at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, September 18, 2015. photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why COVID-19 Will Not Stop Globalization

    Commentators have predicted that the outbreak will upend how we think about the flow of people and goods across borders and leave a markedly different world in its wake. But while COVID-19 will change the mechanics of globalization, it will likely not spell globalization's death knell.

    Apr 13, 2020

  • Report

    U.S.–Japan Alliance Conference: Regional Perspectives on the Quadrilateral Dialogue and the Free and Open Indo-Pacific

    These proceedings capture assessments by regional experts presented at a March 2019 conference on the topic of the "free and open Indo-Pacific" and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue as seen by India, Australia, and Indonesia.

    Apr 13, 2020

  • Family returning home, opening front door, photo by Monkey Business Images/Adobe Stock

    Journal Article

    Understanding the Housing Conditions Experienced by Children in the EU

    Providing quality and affordable housing is an important way to tackle child poverty and minimise the risk of homelessness among children. This policy memo looks at child housing across EU Member States, examining the health risks of inadequate homes and the consequences this can have.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Graphic depicting quantum computing, design by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Article

    Quantum Computers Will Break the Internet, but Only If We Let Them

    Quantum computers are expected to be powerful enough to break the current cryptography that protects all digital communications. But this scenario is preventable if policymakers take actions now to minimize the harm that quantum computers may cause.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Naval ships from India, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and the United States steam in formation in the Bay of Bengal during Exercise Malabar, September 5, 2007, photo by MCSN Stephen Rowe/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    'Quad Plus' Meetings Won't Cover China

    The “Quad” countries met with several non-Quad countries to help each other amid the coronavirus pandemic. For all the good that can come of these countries working together, the Quad Plus, if sustained, may eventually jeopardize the Quad's primary mission: to counter China's assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • A Yars RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile system in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, September 5, 2017, photo by Yuri Kochetkov/Reuters

    Commentary

    New START Is Not NAFTA

    The 2010 New START Treaty with Russia reduces long-range nuclear arms. President Trump may seek a different deal, however, as he did in renegotiating NAFTA. But NAFTA talks succeeded because America had predominant leverage and because Canada and Mexico are friends. Neither holds true with Russia.

    Apr 8, 2020

  • Report

    Chasing Multinational Interoperability: Benefits, Objectives, and Strategies

    National defense policies have focused on the importance of multinational interoperability to meeting U.S. defense goals. By recounting both their literature review and interviews, the authors describe potential benefits of interoperability.

    Apr 8, 2020

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan hit a gong at the fourth Israel-China Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation meeting in Jerusalem, October 24, 2018, photo by Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

    Report

    Security Risks of China's Investments in Israel

    Chinese investments in Israeli high-tech companies and major infrastructure projects present distinct concerns for Israel and the United States. They could lead to leaks of sensitive technology and cyberespionage. And these risks could affect the U.S.-Israel relationship.

    Apr 7, 2020

  • A Chinese flag flutters on a fishing boat while a China Coast Guard patrols at the disputed Scarborough Shoal April 5, 2017, photo by Erik de Castro/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Short History of China's Fishing Militia and What It May Tell Us

    China's armed fishing militia plays an instrumental role in Beijing's strategy to enforce its sovereignty claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Why did Beijing create a maritime militia to begin with and how has it evolved over time? What does this history suggest about its future?

    Apr 6, 2020

  • Trucks wait to cross the Afghanistan-Iran border in Zaranj, Afghanistan, May 10, 2011, photo by Sgt. Mallory VanderSchans/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    Does the U.S. Deal with the Taliban Present Opportunities for Iran in Afghanistan?

    Iran is watching closely as the United States and the Taliban negotiate an end to America's operations in Afghanistan. If the expected withdrawal of significant U.S. forces destabilizes Afghanistan, how much will Tehran assert its influence over its neighbor to the east?

    Apr 6, 2020

  • Blog

    COVID-19's Effects on Mental Health, Food Access, and Education: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on COVID-19 and mental health, food security challenges during the pandemic, supporting children while schools are closed, and more.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • A Sabre short-range ballistic missile launches in June 2017 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, for a test of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement, an advanced missile defense system, photo by U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Maximizing Bargaining Leverage with Beijing: Developing Missiles as Bargaining Chips

    Arms negotiations may offer the only way to reduce the grave threat posed to the United States and allied security by China's missiles. U.S. owned and operated missiles could provide the best bargaining chips.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • A check point in a residential area blocked by barriers in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 3, 2020, photo by Aly Song/Reuters

    Journal Article

    Strengthening China's Public Health Response System: From SARS to COVID-19

    A commentary on China's attempts to strengthen its public health system between the initial Coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent recurrence.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • A woman wearing a face mask walks through a residential area blocked by barriers in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 3, 2020, photo by Aly Song/Reuters

    Journal Article

    Public Mental Health Crisis During COVID-19 Pandemic, China

    Public mental health interventions should be formally integrated into public health preparedness and emergency response plans.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • South Korea and U.S. Special Forces during a joint military exercise in Gangwon province, South Korea, November 7, 2019, photo by Capt. David J. Murphy/U.S. Air Force/Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S.–South Korea OPCON Transition: The Element of Timing

    As Washington and Seoul continue to examine the feasibility and conditions for wartime operational control transition, decisionmakers will likely face political pressure on timing. It may well be to the advantage of both allies that the determination of the transfer be driven by a hard, thorough diagnosis of military capabilities against emerging threats.

    Apr 2, 2020

  • The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort passes the Statue of Liberty as it enters New York Harbor during the COVID-19 outbreak, March 30, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Commentary

    After COVID-19: America Needs to Reengage with the World, Not Retreat

    The COVID-19 pandemic should lead to a further strengthening of the national and international response capacity. The alternative of erecting barriers and closing America off to the world would leave it more vulnerable to the next big shock.

    Apr 1, 2020

  • An empty market after a curfew was imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, March 18, 2020

    Commentary

    Economic Consequences of COVID-19 in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. National Security

    The global COVID-19 pandemic will have a dramatic effect on economies across the globe. But the Middle East may be particularly affected, given the simultaneous fall in oil prices. The economic consequences of this pandemic are also likely to affect U.S. interests in the region.

    Apr 1, 2020