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.

  • Marines guide a woman and her child during an evacuation from Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2021, photo by Marine Corps Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Department of Defense

    Commentary

    Afghanistan Was Lost Long Ago

    Aug 30, 2021

    The United States failed to build a lasting state in Afghanistan. Although the mission was not doomed from the start, early miscalculations and critical mistakes made success unlikely.

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a news conference in New Delhi, India, July 28, 2021, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    Biden's Indo-Pacific Policy Blueprint Emerges

    Aug 23, 2021

    The Biden administration has yet to detail its goals in the Indo-Pacific region and how it plans to achieve them. But following recent virtual engagements and U.S. visits to the region, at least three key points have crystallized.

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  • India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a meeting at the United Nations in New York City, New York, September 24, 2019, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    India's Brittle Confidence in America

    Democracies are supposed to get along. But that has not always been the case for the United States and India. From New Delhi's perspective, there are significant irritants in U.S.-India ties. Any of these could derail an otherwise positive relationship.

    May 21, 2021

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a videoconference meeting with members of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Board of Trustees at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, December 24, 2020, photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/Reuters

    Commentary

    Sanctions Targeting Russia's Defense Sector: Will They Influence Its Behavior?

    In response to recent Russian cyber espionage, interference in U.S. elections, and the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, President Biden announced a new round of sanctions and expulsions of Russian officials. But will these sanctions hurt Russia's defense industry enough to curb the Kremlin's behavior?

    May 20, 2021

  • USS Connecticut submarine crew members after surfacing in the Arctic Circle during Ice Exercise, a biennial submarine exercise that promotes interoperability between allies and partners in Alaska, March 7, 2020, photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael B. Zingaro/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Blinken's Arctic Opportunities

    Continued positive U.S. engagement in the Arctic Council could be important for balancing the influence of Russia and China, and in moving toward the Biden administration's climate change goals. Washington's new priority on climate change could be an issue that will now bind, rather than divide, Arctic states.

    May 19, 2021

  • Then vice president Joseph Biden shakes hands with Russian prime minister Vladmir Putin in 2011

    Journal Article

    Expanding the Scope for Statecraft in U.S. Russia Policy

    In the run-up to a summit between the United States and Russia, is it time to revisit core assumptions, and expand the scope for statecraft in U.S. Russia policy?

    May 18, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Flag Lags but Follows: The PLA and China's Great Leap Outward

    This chapter explores how China may protect its overseas interests, analyzes PLA thinking about the security dimensions of the Belt and Road Initiative, and considers three case studies on what securing China's overseas interests involves in concrete terms.

    May 18, 2021

  • A man puts his biometric passport on a scanner at an automatic border control point at Zurich-Kloten airport near Zurich, Switzerland, December 1, 2010, photo by Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

    Commentary

    How the EU Can Overcome Barriers to Using AI in Border Security and Beyond

    Artificial intelligence is increasingly a crucial tool for improvement and innovation in public policy and services. While there are opportunities to harness AI as a tool for improving the effectiveness of border-security functions, there are also barriers to its adoption.

    May 17, 2021

  • A recruit from the presidential regiment waits for a ceremony to take the oath at a military base in Kiev, Ukraine, November 16, 2013, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    How America Can Help Re-Shape the Post-Soviet Countries

    For the post-Soviet states, development could bring better living standards and social conditions and promote more stable politics and inclusive governance. The West would make the most difference by focusing on mid-ranked states, especially those undertaking reforms.

    May 17, 2021

  • Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine labels, March 19, 2021, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Commentary

    Vaccine Patents Debate Risks Becoming a Sideshow

    As COVID-19 cases continue to surge around the world, the debate is raging over whether patents on existing vaccines should be waived. But the global community could view patent waivers as just one of many available tools for speeding up vaccine delivery worldwide.

    May 17, 2021

  • Blog

    Pandemic Education, Working Mothers, Predicting Cyber Threats: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the urban-rural divide in pandemic education, supporting working moms, what makes a good COVID-19 reopening plan, and more.

    May 14, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Deciphering PLA Media Commentaries on North Korea: All Show or Real Talk?

    Does Chinese military commentary represent accurate and authoritative views on policy toward North Korea? Are there certain military officials or publications that we should watch closely?

    May 14, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    China Dictates Terms for Sino-Japanese Relations During First Japanese Foreign Minister Visit in Four Years

    Chinese commentary on Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio's official visit to Beijing in mid-2016 highlighted the sensitivity and difficulty of mending the relationship between Asia's two most powerful countries.

    May 14, 2021

  • U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga hold a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, D.C., April, 16, 2021, photo by Doug Mills/Pool/Sipa USA/Reuters

    Commentary

    What the United States Wants from Japan in Taiwan

    If a Taiwan conflict breaks out, what might the United States request of Japan? For the U.S.-Japan alliance, the answer is critical if the countries want to translate expressions of support into actual planning and preparation.

    May 10, 2021

  • President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at Davao International airport in Davao City in southern Philippines, September 8, 2018, photo by Lean Daval Jr./Reuters

    Commentary

    China Has Lost the Philippines Despite Duterte's Best Efforts

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has time and again underscored his anti-U.S. and pro-Chinese orientation. Duterte now recognizes, in spite of his continued rhetoric to the contrary, that China is no friend.

    May 6, 2021

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts as he attends a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, in this image released by North Korea's Central News Agency on October 10, 2020, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Biden's North Korea Policy Review Is Sparse on Details. Here's One Interpretation

    The Biden administration recently completed its North Korea policy review. Details have been sparse, but based on prior U.S. dealings with the Kims, some informed guesses about Washington's approach towards Pyongyang under the new administration can be had. Here's one.

    May 6, 2021

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: May-June 2021

    The cover story highlights the value of invention, analyzing the economic and social impacts of winners of the Lemelson-MIT Prize. A second feature focuses on human rights abuses against ethnic Uyghurs in China and what we know from satellite images.

    May 6, 2021

  • Royal Australian Navy Able Seaman Marine Technician Joey Mead operates a zodiac as the USNS Mercy transfers cargo aboard the HMAS Labuan , near Timor-Leste, August 15, 2010, photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eddie Harrison/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Australian and U.S. Military Health Professionals Can Help Address Pacific Island Needs

    Australia and the United States can combine their military health capabilities to help improve the long-term health security of Pacific island countries. These partnerships should be carefully planned and focus on enduring engagement.

    May 5, 2021

  • Workers stand near the first shipment of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine delivered under the COVAX scheme, at Benito Juarez's International Airport in Mexico City, Mexico, April 22, 2021, photo by Henry Romero/Reuters

    Commentary

    America Could Do More to Get the World Vaccinated

    After waging its own withering battle with COVID-19, the United States appears to be coming to grips with the pandemic and its economy is recovering. Now could be the time for America to play a greater role in global vaccination, both out of generosity and self-interest.

    May 4, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Tracking Chinese Perceptions of Vietnam's Relations with China and the United States

    This article sheds light on trends in Chinese assessments of U.S.-Vietnam relations and security cooperation to discern patterns in the security dynamics between the three countries.

    May 4, 2021

  • U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet virtually with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 12, 2021, photo by Pool/ABACA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Biden Should Consider Downsides of Stressing National Values in Indo-Pacific

    The Biden administration has argued that the United States must strengthen its Indo-Pacific alliances and partnerships to compete more successfully with China. Will Washington prioritize national interests or national values?

    May 3, 2021

  • Australian soldiers from Battlegroup War Horse take part in the final assault on Williamson Airfield in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Rockhampton, Queensland, during Exercise Hamel, June 27, 2018, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    Defence Mobilisation Planning Comparative Study: An Examination of Overseas Planning

    Against the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, the authors use evidence from several countries to highlight the merits of a 'total defence' approach to mobilisation planning for Australia with the goal of meeting contemporary threats.

    May 3, 2021