International Affairs


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

Explore International Affairs

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum during a two day state visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, December 13, 2023, photo by Thinh Nguyen/Reuters


    Vietnam's Show of Welcome for Xi Reflects Growing Self-Confidence

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping's recent visit to Vietnam aimed to reinvigorate bilateral ties, but produced mixed outcomes. Hanoi and Beijing signed a number of substantive bilateral deals, but Vietnam is also strengthening partnerships with other strategically significant nations, complicating any future Chinese aggression.

    Dec 20, 2023

  • Satellite image of a tropical storm, photo by mikolajn/Getty Images

    News Release

    Number of People Affected by Tropical Cyclones Has Increased Sharply Since 2002

    The number of people affected by tropical cyclones has nearly doubled from 2002 to 2019, reaching nearly 800 million people in 2019.

    Dec 20, 2023

  • Then–Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga attends a the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo, Japan, July 2, 2021, photo by Masanori Genko/The Yomiuri Shimbun via Reuters Connect


    PALM10: Japan's Chance to Engage with Pacific Island Countries

    Next year, Japan will host the 10th triennial Pacific Island Leaders Meeting (PALM10), the “cornerstone” of Japan's diplomacy toward the Pacific Island countries. As China attempts to increase its influence in the region, Japan must marshal a strategic response that connects these states to its broader objectives in the Indo-Pacific.

    Dec 19, 2023

  • A Russian tank with Russian currency burning in the foreground


    What Is the Invasion of Ukraine Costing Russia?

    As of September 2022, Russia's military costs of its invasion of Ukraine reached $40 billion. GDP losses in 2022 were between $81 billion and $104 billion. Russia can sustain these costs for at least several years but over the long term its economy and standard of living are likely to decline.

    Dec 18, 2023

  • Photos by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters, Carlos Barria/Reuters, Florence Lo/Reuters, skynesher/Getty Images, Ronen Zvulun/Reuters, Lucy Nicholson/Reuters, Geber86/Getty Images, image by Haley Okuley/RAND


    Looking Back on the Big Policy Stories of 2023

    As 2023 draws to a close, RAND president and CEO Jason Matheny highlights areas where RAND is tackling the most urgent and complex problems we face. Each is a small reminder that where there are thoughtful people working tirelessly to find solutions, there is hope.

    Dec 14, 2023

  • A Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 taxies for take off in the snow


    Insights from the Plan Blue 21 Game: Examining the Role of Sensing and Partner and Allied Contributions to Competition with Russia in the Arctic

    This report describes the 2021 U.S. Air Force–sponsored Plan Blue game, which examined competition against Russia in the Arctic with a focus on the role of sensing in competition and featured robust participation from regional partners and allies.

    Dec 14, 2023

  • Plant engineer Holger Stählke programs automatic sampling at Nordwasser for the examination for pathogens in Germany, March 24, 2022, photo by Bernd Wüstneck/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/Reuters


    Testing the Waters: Using Wastewater Surveillance as an Early Warning System

    A global consortium to fund sentinel and community surveillance systems and enable global data sharing was established at a recent wastewater surveillance conference. Success will require bringing together the knowledge being amassed to combat the fracturing of pathogen surveillance and to enable effective early warning between countries.

    Dec 13, 2023

  • Newly recruited fighters who joined a Houthi military force intended to be sent to the Gaza Strip march during a parade in Sanaa, Yemen, December 2, 2023, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters


    A Precarious Moment for Yemen's Truce

    The truce in Yemen is imperfect, but it is the only barrier currently preventing the country from sliding back into widespread war. A comprehensive negotiation process is the most viable option for peace in Yemen in the near term, and the only barrier to the humanitarian devastation that a full-scale resumption of the war in Yemen would surely bring.

    Dec 13, 2023

  • Unloading a truck at White Beach, Japan


    Assessing the Value of Overseas Military Campaigning in Strategic Competition

    The authors examine trade-offs between the contributions of campaigning instruments to U.S. strategic goals and their costs. They provide the foundations of a decision-support tool to inform U.S. Department of Defense campaign planning.

    Dec 13, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Evolution of the Post-Quantum Cyber Environment

    This article examines the impacts quantum computing and international competition on technical standards will have on the security and safety of the future international cyber environment.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • An employee of the Chinese AI firm Megvii speaks during an organized media tour to the Zhongguancun National Innovation Demonstration Zone Exhibition Center in Beijing, China, February 10, 2022., photo by Florence Lo/Reuters


    China's AI Exports: Developing a Tool to Track Chinese Development Finance in the Global South — Technical Documentation

    This report is the technical documentation for a tool that tracks Chinese government–supported development finance projects that used or enabled artificial intelligence technology in the Global South between 2000 and 2017.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • A man looks at surveillance cameras displayed at Huawei's booth at the security exhibition in Shanghai, China, May 24, 2019, photo by Aly Song/Reuters


    China's AI Exports: Technology Distribution and Data Safety

    The authors analyze a new project finance dataset on China's development-funded artificial intelligence (AI) export projects — adding interview-based country case studies — to better understand China's AI exports and their impact on developing countries.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • Surveillance cameras are seen in front of a Huawei logo in Belgrade, Serbia, August 11, 2020, photo by Marko Djurica/Reuters


    China's AI Exports Database (CAIED)

    The China AI Exports Database (CAIED) tracks Chinese government-supported development finance projects that utilized or enabled Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the Global South between 2000 and 2017.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese, U.S. president Joe Biden, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida, and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi at the Quad Leaders' Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2022, photo courtesy of the Official Website of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet


    America's Indo-Pacific Alliances Are Astonishingly Strong

    As 2023 draws to a close, U.S. alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific are just about the deepest and most robust they have been in all their history. The United States will likely continue to bolster and expand its network to complicate and deter future actions that China and North Korea might take to threaten, undermine, or otherwise undo the Indo-Pacific order.

    Dec 8, 2023

  • Utility services workers work to restore heating networks in preparation for the heating season in Kharkiv, Ukraine, August 14, 2023, photo by Vyacheslav Madiyevskyi/Reuters


    Resilient Reconstruction in Ukraine

    Kyiv may be prudent to invest in resilience as it rebuilds energy and other utilities, transport, economic and health infrastructure, and housing. Doing so could put Ukraine in a stronger position during the war and give it a jump start on peacetime rebuilding.

    Dec 7, 2023

  • U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hand with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Woodside, California, November 15, 2023, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters


    The Nuclear Shadows of the Ukraine War as Seen Through a Chinese Lens

    China-U.S. relations are once again on an upward trajectory after the meeting between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the APEC summit. But the good news should not obscure lingering bilateral tensions with respect to nuclear weapons.

    Dec 6, 2023

  • Technicians working at the construction site of the Chongqing section of the Baihetan-Jiangsu ultra-high-voltage UHV power transmission project over the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China, December 5, 2021, photo by IMAGO via Alamy


    China's Global Energy Interconnection Initiative

    China aims to build a worldwide power grid that addresses the growing demand for electricity while supporting the transition to net zero. Could the potential global security implications of a super grid governed by China outweigh its benefits?

    Dec 5, 2023

  • Chinese special forces commandos take part in a joint escort exercise during a military drill coded Peace and Friendship 2015, in the Malacca Strait, September 19, 2015, photo by Xinhua/Alamy


    Disrupting China's Military in Competition and Low-Intensity Conflict

    There are certain tasks required for China's military to execute key competition and low-intensity conflict missions. Those tasks have potential vulnerabilities that the United States could leverage to disrupt China's strategic goals and constrain its ability to harm U.S. interests.

    Dec 5, 2023

  • Report


    Strategic Disruption by Special Operations Forces: A Concept for Proactive Campaigning Short of Traditional War

    RAND researchers develop a new concept for strategic disruption by special operations forces, exploring how disruptive campaigns can frustrate an adversary’s preferred strategy and enable friendly gains across multiple instruments of national power.

    Dec 5, 2023

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks on as a rocket carrying what North Korea claims is spy satellite Malligyong-1 is launched in a location given as North Gyeongsang Province, North Korea, November 21, 2023, photo by KCNA/Reuters


    North Korea's Satellite Launch: Part of a Bigger Problem for Kim Jong-un?

    On November 21, North Korea made its third attempt of 2023 to launch a reconnaissance satellite despite this launch violating multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and despite the urging of many other countries. It may well have been a desperate move by North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.

    Dec 4, 2023