International Relations


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

    The Fight for Sudan Was Inevitable

    When conflict in Sudan did not end after the 2005 peace agreement, the international community fell into a familiar pattern of never-ending negotiations. But conflict resolution focused on agreements that split power between armed groups rarely leads to sustainable peace. The effects of such misbegotten efforts are plain to see.

    Apr 27, 2023

  • Report

    Weighing Options for Ukraine's Recovery

    In making decisions about reconstruction, the Ukrainian people and their government will face trade-offs regarding timelines, prioritization of efforts, leadership, and funding. Understanding these trade-offs can improve their decisions and contribute to the transparency and integrity of the process.

    May 2, 2023

Explore International Affairs

  • An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft has its landing gear extended to land at the U.S. military airfield at Spangdahlem, Germany, May 17, 2023, photo by Harald Tittel/dpa via Reuters Connect


    Military Assistance to Ukraine Is a Rare Success

    Recently, the United States reversed its longstanding opposition to sending Ukraine F-16 advanced aircraft to aid its fight against Russia. The policy reversal is a smart call. Once the aircraft are delivered and training is complete the jets will help Ukraine defend its territory more efficiently, and might even help end the war.

    May 26, 2023

  • The German Navy's task force supply ship


    Navigating Complex Maritime Security Challenges in the Black and Mediterranean Seas: Insights from the Updated EUMSS

    The European Union understands the rising geopolitical challenges that will affect security in the Black and Mediterranean Seas, both from non-state actors and as a result of state-based competition and conflict. Cooperation with non-EU countries will be critical in promoting maritime security in the region.

    May 25, 2023

  • F-16 fighters from Poland on air policing mission along NATO allied air space, March 24, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters


    F-16s Will Bolster Ukraine's Fighting Force

    F-16s going to Ukraine could help it defend against Russian aerial assaults. But their greatest value may be to augment future Ukrainian counteroffensives aimed at retaking occupied land. This will require training and exercising, but Ukrainian forces are fully capable of mastering it.

    May 25, 2023

  • Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the military parade to mark Victory Day in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2023, photo by EyePress News/Reuters


    A Unique Opportunity Not To Be Squandered: Advancing Our Relationships in Central Asia

    Concerned about Putin's imperialist actions in Ukraine, five nations in Central Asia are looking to the West to offset the political, economic, and security-related pressures they feel from Russia and, increasingly, China. It would be a mistake for the United States not to seize this moment.

    May 25, 2023

  • World map technology background, photo by blackdovfx/Getty Images


    Beyond the 'Mine Shaft Gap': Navigating Threat Perceptions in the Sino-American Rivalry

    In “Dr. Strangelove,” the “mine shaft gap” was an astute satirical concept that reflected the mindset that any perceived disadvantage between the United States and the Soviet Union posed an existential threat. Though fictional, this kind of calculation is not unheard of in real-life, modern-day thinking. Shrewd discernment could help avoid it as the United States pursues its national security objectives.

    May 24, 2023

  • Commercial Book

    Commercial Book

    Age of Danger: Keeping America Safe in an Era of New Superpowers, New Weapons, and New Threats

    An urgent look at how America's national security machine went astray and how it fails to keep us safe — and what we can do to fix it.

    May 24, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Strategic Competition in the Arctic

    The Arctic's strategic significance has been largely overlooked since the closing days of the Cold War. In this article, we begin by briefly characterising the Arctic and its military significance, followed by a brief review of its military history.

    May 23, 2023

  • A B-2 Spirit bomber and F-22 Raptors fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during an interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019, photo by Master Sgt. Russ Scalf/U.S. Air Force


    What Washington Gets Wrong About Deterrence

    The war in Ukraine has depleted American military stockpiles in the short term. But such a shortfall may not necessarily affect U.S. deterrence.

    May 22, 2023

  • Polish and American soldiers take part in NATO's Defender Europe 2022 military exercise at the military range in Bemowo Piskie, Poland. May 24, 2022, photo by Kacper Pempel/Reuters


    Does America Still Need Europe?

    The United States should be discriminating in its choice of global commitments. But if critical U.S. interests are at stake in Europe, then Washington should take the necessary steps to maintain NATO unity and European stability.

    May 22, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Extremism, Medicaid, Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Law: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on addressing domestic extremism, managing reductions in Medicaid enrollment, the effects of Florida's “Don't Say Gay” law, and more.

    May 19, 2023

  • Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen (r) and former Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou in Taipei, Taiwan, May 20, 2016, photo by Tyrone Siu/Reuters


    Upcoming Presidential Election Will Clarify Taiwan's China Policy

    Until the Taiwanese presidential election next January, China, the United States, and many other countries will be watching Taiwan with bated breath. Across the Indo-Pacific region and the world, the hope would simply be that no matter who is elected, peace and stability continue to prevail in the Taiwan Strait.

    May 19, 2023

  • U.S. and Russian flags are seen printed on paper in this illustration, taken January 27, 2022, illustration by Dado Ruvic/Reuters


    U.S. Peacetime Policy Toward Russia: Q&A with Miranda Priebe and Bryan Frederick

    Priebe and Frederick discuss the implications of the findings in their new report, Future U.S. Peacetime Policy Toward Russia: Exploring the Benefits and Costs of a Less-Hardline Approach.

    May 17, 2023

  • Brezhnev and Nixon talk during Brezhnev's June 1973 visit to Washington during the beginning of detente between the United States and the Soviet Union, photo by World History Archive/Alamy

    Research Brief

    What Should Future U.S. Policy Toward Russia Be in Peacetime?

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine has made a constructive U.S.-Russia relationship implausible for the foreseeable future. But once the fighting stops, the United States will continue to face long-term incentives to improve the stability and predictability of its relations with Moscow.

    May 17, 2023

  • Report


    Future U.S. Peacetime Policy Toward Russia: Exploring the Benefits and Costs of a Less-Hardline Approach

    Using four historical case studies, the authors found that limited less-hardline approaches can lead to durable but narrow gains. However, issues left unaddressed by these approaches may still undermine the relationship over the long term.

    May 17, 2023

  • Report


    U.S. Major Combat Operations in the Indo-Pacific: Partner and Ally Views

    This report, one of two, focuses on whether partners and allies have the willingness to support U.S. operations in a major Indo-Pacific conflict. The companion report focuses on technical and operational issues.

    May 16, 2023

  • U.S. President Joe Biden poses with leaders from the U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit in Washington, D.C., September 29, 2022, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


    Chinese Strategy in the Pacific and Implications for the United States

    In recent years, Chinese attention has increasingly included Oceania. What has Chinese strategy been in the Freely Associated States and U.S. territories in the Pacific? What are some policy recommendations for Congress and the U.S. government to consider going forward?

    May 16, 2023

  • Andenes, Norway, <a href=


    What Is Next for the Arctic Council in the Wake of Russian Rule?

    Norway recently took over chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Russia under conditions never before experienced by the organization in its 27-year history. Despite the current uncertainties, there could be ways to move past the stalemate between Russia and the other council members.

    May 15, 2023

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets with Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 15, 2023, photo by Andrew Harnik/Pool via Reuters


    Biden Hopes for Vietnam Breakthrough

    The United States wants to intensify U.S.-Vietnam ties, because the two countries share long-term strategic interests. Vietnam seems perfectly fine with things dragging on for years in their current state, avoiding a final decision, or even getting cold feet in the end. Washington would be wise to manage expectations for now.

    May 12, 2023

  • The U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, September 29, 2017, photo by Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters


    Deterring Threats from Uncertain Origins: Havana Syndrome, SolarWinds, and the Chinese Mafia

    “Havana Syndrome,” an unexplained illness first experienced by U.S. diplomatic personnel in Cuba in 2016, illustrates the challenge of responding to national security threats when those threats—as well as the actors and methods behind them—are ambiguous.

    May 11, 2023

  • French family outside their home destroyed by shelling at La Bassee in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, 1918, photo by Dave Bagnall Collection/Alamy Stock Photo


    Alternative Futures Following a Great Power War: Miranda Priebe and Bryan Frederick in Conversation

    Though not a great power war, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused many to wonder what a true great power war in Europe or the Indo-Pacific would look like, and especially what kind of world would emerge afterwards. Two RAND researchers discuss how their recent report sheds light on this issue.

    May 9, 2023