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.

Explore International Diplomacy

  • diplomacyU.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Central Asian states' foreign ministers in Astana, Kazakhstan, February 28, 2023, photo by Olivier Douliery/Pool/Reuters


    A Case for Greater U.S. Engagement in Central Asia

    Central Asia's souring relations with Russia and growing skepticism of Chinese influence have created a rare and valuable window of opportunity for the United States to bolster its image through greater long-term investment in the region.

    Sep 11, 2023

  • A USCG helicopter hovers above Coast Guard Fast Response Cutter Donald Horsley


    Priorities for the Safety and Security of the Maritime Environment

    With 95,000 miles of shoreline, the United States is a maritime nation. This Perspective summarizes key existing and emerging maritime safety and security topics for policymakers, and highlights considerations for technological modernization and strategic partnerships.

    Sep 6, 2023

  • Report


    Proposals to Address Political Interference: Outcomes of a Trilateral Dialogue

    These proceedings reflect discussions among U.S., Russian, and European Union nongovernmental experts who were convened in 2020–2021 to discuss mutual concerns regarding political interference and to find common ground on measures to address them.

    Sep 5, 2023

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign the New START Treaty at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, April 8, 2010, photo by Jason Reed/Reuters


    Hard Times for U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control

    New START is slated to expire in February 2026 and cannot be extended. The next chapter in U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control, if there is to be one, may not be written until rulers in Moscow ease repression at home, pull troops out of Ukraine, and recognize the mutual benefits of reducing, rather than stoking, nuclear tensions.

    Aug 28, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    The War in Ukraine, Income Share Agreements, the Tech 'Cold War': RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on why Ukraine isn’t like World War I, an alternative to student loans, the tech “Cold War

    Aug 25, 2023

  • A U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat on a waterway in a coastal area.


    The Safety and Security of the U.S. Maritime Environment

    The safety and security of the United States is directly tied to the safety and security of its maritime environment. This video explores opportunities and threats in this space, which are constantly evolving because of changes in economics, geopolitics, society, demography, and other factors.

    Aug 24, 2023

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India (r) meets Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, June 1, 2023, photo by ANI/Reuters


    India Is Pushing Back Against China in South Asia

    The jostling between India and China for influence in South Asia will likely prove crucial to the fate of U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy. The good news, at least for now, is that New Delhi has been mostly successful in pushing back against Beijing's rising influence across the region.

    Aug 21, 2023

  • Flags of United States and China on computer processors, photo by kritsapong jieantaratip/Getty Images


    Winning the Tech Cold War

    Emerging technologies increasingly make it possible for machines to innovate much faster and more efficiently than humans ever could. The Pentagon can draw some important lessons for technology competition with China by looking at the U.S.-Soviet race to develop nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

    Aug 17, 2023

  • USA map composed of stick figures in red and blue, image by bamlou/Getty Images


    Toward a New Paradigm in U.S. Foreign Policy: Harnessing the Power of American Society in Pursuit of U.S. National Security Objectives

    In this Perspective, the authors call for a new “whole of America” paradigm for U.S. foreign policy that leverages the nation’s governments, businesses, civil society, and academic institutions to defend core U.S. principles of democracy and freedom.

    Aug 17, 2023

  • Google sign is seen at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China, July 6, 2023, photo by Aly Song/Reuters


    Rethinking Who's Winning the U.S.-China Tech Competition

    The competition between the U.S. and China is a multi-dimensional contest involving technological, economic, military, and political elements. To accurately assess a nation's standing, the focus should shift from measures (raw numerical data) to metrics, which offer meaningful interpretations of these numbers.

    Aug 16, 2023

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for a ceremony at the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tiananmen Square to mark Martyrs' Day, in Beijing, China September 30, 2021, photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    Journal Article

    Xi's Cautious Inching Towards the China Dream

    Beijing’s current strategy for ensuring CCP rule through mid-century and beyond heavily emphasizes domestic threats.

    Aug 11, 2023

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins (l) and Chinese Premier Li Qiang shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, June 28, 2023, photo by Pool/Reuters


    New Zealand's New Prime Minister Is Making Nice with China

    There is little question that New Zealand will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy, albeit perhaps a quietly Western-aligned one, when it comes to China. Washington should not become disillusioned with Wellington, but it should not hold high expectations about cooperation on China issues either.

    Aug 9, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Ukrainian Refugees, U.S. and Allied Defense Strategy, Threats from AI: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on supporting Ukrainian refugees, the future of U.S. and allied defense strategy, existential threats posed by artificial intelligence, and more.

    Aug 4, 2023

  • Multimedia

    A Better Future for Ukraine and Its Partners

    This video includes the proceedings from a RAND National Security Research Division event held on July 17, 2023. Panelists discussed the latest developments from NATO, and looked ahead to the post-war reconstruction in Ukraine. Guest speakers include former President of the World Bank Group Robert Zoellick, former Ukraine Minister of Finance Natalie Jaresko, and former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and Lt. Gen., U.S. Army (Ret.) Douglas Lute.

    Aug 2, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with service members at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 27, 2023, photo by Mikhail Tereshchenko/Sputnik/Pool via Reuters


    It Should Not Have Been a Surprise: The Threat from Putin's Russia

    The recent NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, left the world asking a hard question: “Are we in a new Cold War with Russia?” Our answer is to a different, and harder, and more important question: Is Russia already at war with the West?

    Aug 1, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, Neurodiversity, Russia's 'Forever War': RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on public reports of unidentified aerial phenomena, neurodiversity and national security, Ukraine's path to victory, and more.

    Jul 28, 2023

  • Smoke rises in Omdurman during clashes between the Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the army as seen from Khartoum North, Sudan, April 15, 2023, photo by Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters


    Fighting in Sudan Is Creating a Rift Among U.S. Security Partners

    While the national security community often focuses on strategic competition between the United States and its near-peer adversaries, the conflict in Sudan is a good reminder that regional powers are also engaged in competition for influence and resources.

    Jul 20, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe: ARC0008 The Evolving Security Environment in the Arctic

    This evidence addresses the Arctic's changing environment, characterised by climate change and militarisation, and its impact on the UK.

    Jul 20, 2023

  • A U.S. Army staff sergeant and a Canadian army engineer demonstrate to Ukrainian combat training center engineers how to clear a room after using explosives to breach a door during training at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, near Yavoriv, Ukraine, February 23, 2017, photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones/U.S. Army


    Making Military Aid Work

    Security cooperation and military aid efforts can fail, but they can also exceed expectations and provide strategic benefits. Ukraine appears to be one such success. For a relatively modest investment between 2014 and 2021, the United States has reaped a substantial gain in terms of Ukraine's military capacity and efficacy.

    Jul 17, 2023