International Diplomacy

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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.

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

    Commentary

    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

    Commentary

    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

    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

    Commentary

    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

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

    Commentary

    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

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

    Commentary

    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

  • 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

    Commentary

    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

  • U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in New York, New York, September 22, 2022, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Philippines Is America's New Star Ally in Asia

    The election of the Philippines' new president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., in May 2022 has proven exceptionally significant for Washington's security alliances in the Indo-Pacific. Marcos has prioritized the maintenance of healthy ties to the United States, marking a sharp departure from the foreign policy of his predecessor.

    Feb 24, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    One Year of Russia's War in Ukraine: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the one-year anniversary of Russia's war in Ukraine: What has stood out to RAND experts so far? And what are they watching as the conflict continues?

    Feb 24, 2023

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Promoting Strong International Collaboration in Quantum Technology Research and Development

    The author discusses (1) the strategic importance of (and challenges of) strong research collaboration with U.S. allied and partner nations and (2) five key policy areas in this space. He also proposes a desired end state for this cooperation.

    Feb 22, 2023

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

    Commentary

    The Three Vladimir Putins

    What happens next in the war in Ukraine depends almost exclusively on the mindset, will, and decisions of Vladimir Putin. The various descriptions of Putin suggest three different characters: strongman Putin, messianic Putin, and rational Putin. We may take more comfort in the last. We probably shouldn't.

    Feb 22, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Exploring Chinese Thinking on Deterrence in the Not-So-New Space and Cyber Domains

    This conference volume chapter explores evolving Chinese thinking on space and cyber deterrence. Besides nuclear deterrence, the space and cyber domains are viewed by China as its main means of strategic deterrence.

    Feb 21, 2023

  • Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, participates in a welcome ceremony with his Chinese counterpart Gen. Fang Fenghui at the Ba Yi, Aug. 15, 2017.

    Report

    Assessing the Prospects for Great Power Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

    This report, part of a four-part series, describes the potential for U.S. cooperation with China or Russia in the Indo-Pacific across seven issues, including securing a free and open Indo-Pacific and the denuclearization of North Korea.

    Feb 20, 2023

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    Report

    Vanishing Trade Space: Assessing the Prospects for Great Power Cooperation in an Era of Competition — A Project Overview

    To what extent can the United States still cooperate with China and Russia even in this era of strategic competition? This report, the first of a four-part series, presents the overarching findings of a study that explored this question.

    Feb 20, 2023

  • Report

    Assessing the Prospects for Great Power Cooperation in Europe and the Middle East

    This report, part of a four-part series, describes the potential for U.S. cooperation with China or Russia in Europe and the Middle East across seven issue areas.

    Feb 20, 2023

  • Two tanks in magenta facing opposite directions with a soldier standing on top, on a neon green background, photo illustration by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Commentary

    One Year After Russia's Invasion of Ukraine: Experts React

    We asked nearly 30 RAND experts to highlight takeaways from the first year of Russia's all-out war—and share what they're watching as the conflict in Ukraine grinds on. Here's what they said.

    Feb 20, 2023

  • USCGC Kimball encountered a People's Republic of China Guided Missile Cruiser approximately 75 miles north of Kiska Island, Alaska, September 19, 2022, U.S. Coast Guard photo

    Commentary

    Great Power Competition Is on the Arctic Agenda

    Despite its military problems in Ukraine, Russia remains a formidable potential adversary in the Arctic. And there is a growing realization that China is not going away in the Arctic, bringing both of the United States' strategic competitors into Alaska's backyard. Can great power politics be checked at the door of the Far North?

    Feb 16, 2023

  • Satellite image shows the advance of China on the border with India, in the western Himalayas, June 24, 2020, photo by MAXAR Technologies via Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Preparing for the Next India-China Border Crisis

    Mounting tensions between India and China due to Chinese encroachment on their disputed border affect the United States and its Indo-Pacific strategy. Washington should assist New Delhi in deterring further Chinese attempts to nibble away at Indian territory and be ready to respond quickly in case events spiral out of control.

    Feb 15, 2023

  • A blue furry monster known as the 'Brexit Monster' makes an appearance in the port of Rotterdam, Netherlands, December 1, 2020, photo by Bart Biesemans/Reuters

    Commentary

    How the Dutch Approached Brexit

    The impact of Brexit on the Netherlands is significant. The Dutch government would have preferred the UK to stay in the EU. But despite all this, the Netherlands approached Brexit with relative clarity of purpose and the administration of the program brought a satisfactory outcome.

    Feb 9, 2023

  • U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol arrive for a state dinner at the National Museum of Korea, in Seoul, South Korea, May 21, 2022, photo by Lee Jin-man/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S. Cannot Count on South Korea's Yoon to Line Up Against China

    South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol wants South Korea to become a global pivotal state that plays a valuable role in the international community. Turning this into reality will inevitably mean striking a balance between the United States and China.

    Feb 9, 2023