International Diplomacy


Diplomacy, the practice of international relations, is an area in which RAND has significant research experience. Among RAND's many experts are former ambassadors whose research and commentary on both long-term efforts and current events shed light on how diplomatic ventures can be integral to national security goals and activities, including traditional military interventions, nuclear arms control, and nation-building efforts.

  • Commentary

    The Myth of America's Ukraine Fatigue

    Perceptions that the United States has “Ukraine fatigue” may be more myth than reality. It could be years before any declines in the American public's support for Ukraine actually result in a change of policy.

    Jan 3, 2023

  • Essay

    What Does China's Arctic Presence Mean to the United States?

    China has declared itself a “near-Arctic state,” a designation it invented to push for a greater role in Arctic governance. Although the U.S. sees China as a potentially destabilizing force, engaging with China in the Arctic does not have to be a win-or-lose proposition. There are opportunities to cooperate—on climate change, for example, or pollution control.

    Dec 29, 2022

Explore International Diplomacy

  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden walk through the colonnade of the White House in Washington, D.C., January 13, 2023, photo by Mandel Ngan/Pool/Reuters


    Japan's New Security Policies: A Long Road to Full Implementation

    The historic ambition contained within Japan's new defense strategies is notable. But the reality is that an extraordinary alignment of political, economic, fiscal, and other stars will be necessary for Japan's government to fully implement their stated ambitions over the next 5–10 years.

    Mar 27, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    20 Years After the Iraq War, China-Russia Ties, Correctional Education: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on reflecting on the Iraq War, the pandemic and prison education, North Korea’s latest threats, and more.

    Mar 24, 2023

  • Visitors stand in front of a screen displaying Chinese President Xi Jinping next to a flag of the Communist Party at a military museum in Beijing, China, October 8, 2022, photo by Florence Lo/Reuters


    Why Is China Strengthening Its Military? It's Not All About War

    China's military modernization goals serve a variety of political and military purposes, none of which imply any intent to actually start a war. A grasp of the myriad drivers could help observers more accurately assess the danger posed by the PLA's modernization.

    Mar 24, 2023

  • Police officers escort five people detained in the kidnapping of four Americans in the city of Matamoros, in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, March 10, 2023, photo by Attorney General of the State of Tamaulipas (FGJ)/Handout via Reuters


    Should Mexico's Drug Cartels Be Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations?

    While the outcry over the kidnapping and murder of U.S. citizens by members of the Gulf Cartel in Mexico is understandable, stridency should not preclude strategic assessment. America's problem with drug trafficking is not the lack of statutes, but the magnitude of the problem.

    Mar 22, 2023

  • A statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein remains in front of a destroyed communication center in Baghdad, Iraq, March 28, 2003, photo by Reuters Photographer/Reuters


    Twenty Years After the Iraq War, a Q&A with RAND Experts

    On the 20th anniversary of the war in Iraq, RAND experts discussed what the war means for the people of Iraq and the veterans who fought there, what lessons the U.S. military learned (or did not learn), and what effect it has had on the balance of power in the Middle East and the global reputation of the United States.

    Mar 21, 2023

  • Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar shake hands before the start of G20 foreign ministers' meeting in New Delhi, India, March 2, 2023, photo by Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via Reuters


    India Can Bridge the U.S.-Russia Divide over Ukraine

    No country is as well positioned as India to mediate between Russia and the United States, and bring the Ukraine conflict to an end. Even limited success in ending the war will bolster India's credentials as an emerging great power, capable of accomplishing remarkable things that others cannot.

    Mar 20, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Opioids in America, Silicon Valley Bank, Semiconductors: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on addressing America's illicit opioids problem, Silicon Valley Bank’s demise, Taiwan’s semiconductor dominance, and more.

    Mar 17, 2023

  • Taiwanese domestically-built Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF) take part in the live-fire, anti-landing Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates an enemy invasion, in Taichung, Taiwan, July 16, 2020, photo by Ann Wang/Reuters


    The View of the Taiwan Strait from the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    An October 2022 event gathered experts to examine the view of the Taiwan strait from the U.S.-Japan alliance. Presenters considered the Taiwan strait issue from the perspectives of the United States and Japan.

    Mar 15, 2023

  • Chips being installed on a microprocessor, photo by Hseyin/Adobe Stock


    What Taiwan's Dominance in Semiconductor Production Means for the U.S.

    Semiconductors have become an integral part of nearly every industry. Production of the highest-end semiconductors exists almost entirely in Taiwan. If China were to unify with Taiwan, there are no good short-term options for responding to the disruption that would cause to the global semiconductor supply chain.

    Mar 13, 2023

  • An Australian Army S70A-9 Black Hawk helicopter prepares to land on the flight deck of the Royal Australian Navy dock landing ship HMAS Choules in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, July 14, 2013,,photo by ABIS Cassie McBride/Australian Defense Force


    Is Australia's Defense Strategy Based on a Mistaken Assumption?

    The concept of ”impactful projection“has become a topic of heightened interest in the Australian strategic discourse, as pundits wait on further information from the Defense Strategic Review. But is the concept underpinned by a fundamentally mistaken assumption?

    Mar 10, 2023

  • Composite of flags, photo by khvost/Getty Images


    Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition: State Motivations and Future Trends

    The authors used quantitative analysis and case studies of China, Iran, and Russia to examine the causes and likely future trends in proxy wars: civil wars in which at least one local warring party receives material support from an external state.

    Mar 9, 2023

  • Report


    Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition: Overarching Findings and Recommendations

    This report synthesizes the findings and recommendations from two companion reports on intrastate proxy wars: civil wars in which at least one local warring party receives material support from an external state.

    Mar 9, 2023

  • Report


    Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition: Military Implications

    The authors examine the military implications of intrastate proxy wars (civil wars in which at least one local warring party receives material support from an external state) via a literature review and four case studies.

    Mar 9, 2023

  • A Ukrainian flag flutters in the wind affixed to a tank overlooking Bakhmut, Ukraine, January 10, 2023, photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters


    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: The End and Beyond

    We don't know yet know how the war in Ukraine may end. Despite heavy casualties, neither side is visibly falling apart or appears ready to back down. While no scenario can be excluded, the unequal strategic situation pushes future war scenarios toward variations of a stalemate.

    Mar 8, 2023

  • The Foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine meet for talks at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Antalya, Turkey, March 10, 2022, photo by Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect


    Ukraine Should Not Close Off Routes to the Negotiating Table

    Ukraine and Russia will probably eventually return to the table—perhaps not this month or even this year—and therefore it is important to debate ideas for how to get there, not to dismiss them.

    Mar 7, 2023

  • Report


    Strategic advantage in a competitive age: Definitions, dynamics and implications

    SONAC commissioned RAND Europe to refine their working definition of strategic advantage. The team developed case studies and conducted expert workshops to explore the types of advantage and how actors seek to maintain and exploit their advantages.

    Mar 6, 2023

  • Russian nuclear forces launch a Yars ICBM during strategic deterrence forces exercises in Russia, October 26, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters


    Putin Could Escalate with Nuclear Testing

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has put the world on notice that Russia might resume nuclear explosive testing. He may see this as bolstering his scare tactics over Ukraine by signaling a possible willingness to use nuclear weapons. While testing could also help Russia improve its nuclear arms, politics rather than technology are likely to drive any decision to test.

    Mar 6, 2023

  • Ukrainian soldiers prepare a tank for combat in the fronlines of Bakhmut, Donbass, December 11, 2022, photo by Celestino Arce/Reuters


    What Does Russia's War on Ukraine Mean for the International Order?

    Russia's war on Ukraine has shown the danger of Russian revanchism and the risk of living next door to a power that embraces war as a coercive tool. It has also highlighted the West's role as a major protector of the democratic world.

    Mar 2, 2023

  • The National Assembly of South Korea, Yeouido, Seoul, photo by Vincent_St_Thomas/Getty Images


    A Nuke for a Nuke? Public Debate and Political Party Views on Nuclear Acquisition in South Korea

    There is a high level of uncertainty and a lack of clarity surrounding the issue of South Korean nuclear acquisition. What political, security, and strategic factors are key to guiding this debate in Seoul?

    Mar 2, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at a training center for mobilised reservists, in Ryazan Region, Russia, October 20, 2022, photo by Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters


    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: A Bleak Outlook for Russia

    Whatever may happen in Ukraine or in Russia, things will never be the same. A Russian failure in Ukraine could lead to escalation and a world-changing wider war, or it could lead to dramatic changes within Russia. Either outcome would make for a very different world.

    Feb 28, 2023