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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 Ukrainian service member looks on outside the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine, as Russia's attack continues, June 19, 2022, photo by Oleksandr Ratushniak/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Case for Cautious Optimism in Ukraine

    Aug 9, 2022

    While the outcome of the war in Ukraine is by no means clear, the balance of materiel, manpower, and willpower all seem to make the case for cautious optimism. Although Ukraine is unlikely to throw Russia back to its borders any time soon, the war will likely trend in Ukraine's favor in the coming months. But only if the West does not blink first.

  • The International Space Station, November 25, 2009, photo by NASA

    Commentary

    Russia's Withdrawal from the ISS, Another Sign of Its Space Decline?

    Aug 4, 2022

    Russia's threatened exit from the International Space Station could simply be more bluster from Moscow at a time of heightened tension between Russia and the West over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But it also appears to be another signal that Russia's profile in space is in decline, a trend that is likely to continue and that the United States could be preparing for now.

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  • A still frame from a short film created by artist-in-residence V+J. The video summarizes RAND’s 2021 paper on geoengineering as a tool to address global warming.

    Project

    The Risks of Geoengineering

    Geoengineering—the intentional manipulation of the climate—could help curb global warming, but it could also have world-altering consequences. In a new animated video, RAND artists-in-residence Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre take a lighthearted look at this serious issue.

    Apr 27, 2022

  • Ukrainian national flags fly over graves of fallen soldiers at a cemetery in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 24, 2022, photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

    Commentary

    Geostrategic Consequences of Russia's War Against Ukraine

    After two months of fighting in Ukraine, some longer-term geostrategic consequences are coming into focus. Russia may emerge as a massive loser. Perhaps not since the collapse of the USSR has European security been so challenged. But Ukraine and its Western partners are showing that aggression in Europe may not pay.

    Apr 26, 2022

  • Representatives from the United States, Canada, Lithuania, NATO, and Ukraine discuss the noncommissioned officer development-training course at the Office of Defensive Cooperation in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2016, photo by Staff Sgt. Adriana M. Diaz-Brown/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    The Value of Institutional Capacity Building Through Professional Military Education

    Security cooperation rarely makes headlines. But it enhances the security of the United States and its allies and partners in an effective and cost-effective way, and may deserve more attention and support.

    Apr 25, 2022

  • Blog

    Responding to Russian Cyberattacks, Rebuilding Ukraine, Climate Change: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the U.S. could respond to Russian cyberattacks, what it will take to rebuild Ukraine after the war, why U.S. employers still have the power over workers, and more.

    Apr 22, 2022

  • Multimedia

    Current Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Policy in the Middle East

    The RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP) hosted a roundtable conversation featuring former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Ambassador (ret.) Ryan Crocker, Former Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman, Esq., and CMEPP Director Linda Robinson. These panelists explored the challenges and opportunities for U.S. policy in the Middle East 20 years after 9/11.

    Apr 22, 2022

  • Photorealistic 3d illustration of a satellite orbiting the Earth, photo by imaginima/Getty Images

    Commentary

    U.S. Decision on ASAT Testing a Positive Step Towards Space Sustainability

    The United States recently committed not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing. This sets an important example others might follow and takes an important first step towards a binding, international ban.

    Apr 21, 2022

  • Building cranes and power lines connecting high-tension electricity pylons next to a construction site in Kyiv, Ukraine, July 10, 2020, photo by Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Rebuilding Ukraine

    By leveraging better investment conditions and reforms and broad international support, Ukraine could carry out a well-executed reconstruction program once the fighting ends. It might repair much of the war damage and help Ukraine move into the ranks of faster-growing European economies.

    Apr 18, 2022

  • Blog

    Russian Mercenaries, Online Extremism, the Commercial Space Market: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Russia's use of mercenaries, understanding how extremist movements operate online, trends in the commercial space market, and more.

    Apr 15, 2022

  • Aerial view of Los Angeles City Hall at sunset in Los Angeles, California, photo by simonkr/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Supporting the People of Ukraine Through Sister Cities

    The Los Angeles City Council recently voted to adopt the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as a Los Angeles sister city, which could speed the flow of goods and services to the war-torn Ukrainian capital.

    Apr 14, 2022

  • A Russian Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system drives during a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, May 7, 2021, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Commentary

    Book Review: 'Escalation and Deescalation of Crises, Armed Conflicts, and Wars'

    The evolving crisis in Ukraine has generated much discussion about whether Moscow would escalate the conflict, whether in frustration at the slow progress of its military operations, or in response to actions of other states, even possibly resorting to nuclear weapons. But what do Russian sources suggest about escalation?

    Apr 11, 2022

  • Natural gas compressor station in Rippien, Sachsen, Germany, March 29, 2022, photo by Sylvio Dittrich/IMAGO/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia Does Not Seem to Be After Ukraine's Gas Reserves

    There seems to be very little reason to believe that the true stakes of the war in Ukraine are the country's natural gas reserves, as some have speculated. Ukrainian gas fields appear too small to justify the costs of the invasion, too hard to keep, and almost impossible for Russia to exploit.

    Apr 11, 2022

  • Blog

    Employing Insurgency in Ukraine, U.S. Hospital Prices, Reaching the Middle Class: RAND Weekly Recap

    This week, we discuss the potential value of an insurgent campaign in Ukraine; addressing L.A.’s housing crisis; lessons from the 2017 battle for Raqqa; a look at U.S. hospital prices; Americans’ options for reaching the middle class; and how to help single mothers get out of poverty.

    Apr 8, 2022

  • People walk in Red Square on a sunny day in Moscow, Russia, March 30, 2022, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia and Ukraine: The Economic Consequences of Peace

    Amid some hopeful signs in Russian-Ukrainian ceasefire talks, it may be useful to keep in mind that the West could gain substantial economic leverage to influence outcomes during and after Russia's war against Ukraine. How it uses this leverage could have far-reaching consequences.

    Apr 8, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan during a meeting in Moscow, Russia, February 24, 2022, photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Most of the Indo-Pacific Tiptoes Around Russia

    Since the start of Russia's increasingly brutal war in Ukraine, the West has ramped up pressure on the rest of the world to condemn Moscow's belligerence and join sanctions against Russia and its regime. In the vast Indo-Pacific region, however, the West's message has fallen flat.

    Apr 7, 2022

  • A street in Moscow, Russia, April 26, 2020, photo by Latin America News Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Tragic Failure to Reform Its Economy

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine and resulting sanctions will likely devastate Russia's economy. If the country had taken a more productive economic course over the past two decades, it might be looking toward a different future—one in which economic reforms had more tightly integrated Russia with the economically advanced countries, enhanced Russian influence and power, and built global trust.

    Apr 7, 2022

  • Fourth and fifth generation aircraft from eight countries participated in a partnership flight to kick-off Blue Flag 21, over Uvda Air Base, Israel, on Oct. 17, 2021. This biennial training event is essential to building and maintaining defensive interoperability and ensuring Israel’s and other nations’ qualitative edge. Large-force exercises, like Israel-led Blue Flag, allow partner nations to build trust and develop a common understanding of the security environment, photo by Israeli Air Force

    Report

    Security Cooperation in a Strategic Competition

    Neither China nor Russia has a formal doctrine or strategy for security cooperation. How can the United States enhance its security cooperation policies and activities to its competitive advantage?

    Apr 6, 2022

  • The U.N. Security Council meeting room at the United Nations in New York City, March 11, 2022, photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Commentary

    Is There a Future for Multilateralism?

    The rise in the use of informal arrangements and the proliferation in the use of regional arrangements have weakened multilateral institutions. Multilateralism's failure, if it happens, could raise significant challenges on how to address global public issues.

    Apr 4, 2022

  • Ukrainian servicemen stand by a destroyed bridge as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in the town of Irpin outside Kyiv, Ukraine, April 1, 2022, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Ukraine War's Three Clocks

    As the war in Ukraine creeps into its second month, perhaps the most common question is: How will it end? Ultimately, the answer comes down to three internal clocks—Ukraine's, which is counting down in years, Russia's, in months, and the United States and NATO's, which is stalled at the moment but could restart quite quickly.

    Apr 1, 2022

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping walk down the stairs as they arrive for a BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil, November 14, 2019, photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

    Report

    Understanding the Emerging Era of International Competition Through the Eyes of Others: Country Perspectives

    The authors examine the nature of the emerging era of international competition, assess the perspectives of the major powers—beginning with the primary challengers to the U.S.-led international order—and evaluate various characteristics for each country.

    Mar 31, 2022

  • The destruction on Al-Qouatli street in Raqqa, Syria, photo by Abood Hamam

    Report

    Efforts to Avoid Civilian Casualties in Raqqa Were Considerable but Insufficient

    The 2017 battle to liberate Raqqa, Syria, from ISIS is a cautionary tale in 21st-century conflicts. U.S. strategic choices likely increased civilian harm despite considerable efforts to avoid civilian casualties by both U.S. and coalition forces. What lessons can be applied to future operations?

    Mar 31, 2022