International Relations

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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.

  • Laurel Miller, senior political scientist at RAND

    Commentary

    A Way Forward in Afghanistan: Q&A with Laurel Miller

    Jun 21, 2018

    As the United States approaches its 17th year of military involvement in Afghanistan, Laurel Miller, a senior foreign policy expert at RAND, describes the current situation and hopes for the future.

  • World flags

    Commentary

    The Need for Superpowers to Embrace a Vision of World Affairs

    Jun 21, 2018

    A superpower promotes a conception of world affairs that attracts others, enabling it to advance its objectives and amplify its values far more than it could on its own. Washington has a significant edge over Beijing in this regard.

Explore International Affairs

  • Teacher has students put chairs on desks at end of day

    Journal Article

    Implementing Evidence-Based Practices Effectively: A Practical Guide

    This policy memo prepared for the European Platform for Investing in Children, provides a short resource guide for child-serving organisations to support effective implementation of evidence-based practices.

    Aug 16, 2018

  • Journal Article

    Key Skills and Competences for Defence: Governmental Domain

    This study, commissioned by the European Defence Agency, identifies key defence skills within the governmental domain and proposes recommendations for their sustainment.

    Aug 16, 2018

  • Father kisses baby son on cheek

    Journal Article

    Paternity and Parental Leave Policies Across the European Union: Assessment of Current Provision

    This policy memo provides an overview of the current paternity and parental leave provisions across EU countries.

    Aug 15, 2018

  • Refugee child in Slovenia

    Journal Article

    Education for Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Europe: Ensuring Continued Access to Education Through National and School-Level Approaches

    This policy memo provides a brief overview of national and school-level approaches to the inclusion of unaccompanied migrant children in formal education systems across EU countries.

    Aug 15, 2018

  • U.S. President Trump arrives to announce his decision to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, May 8, 2018

    Commentary

    Bringing Back Sanctions Will Hurt U.S. Allies and Iran, but Will It Help America?

    What happens if leaving the Iran nuclear deal and applying “maximum pressure” doesn't lead Iran to change its behavior or the regime to collapse? The Trump administration may find that it's much easier to break a deal than to replace it with something better.

    Aug 7, 2018

  • President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit, July 8, 2017

    Commentary

    Navigating Asia's Stormy Seas: Regional Perspectives on U.S.-China Competition

    Many of the key advantages the United States enjoys in a strategic competition with China depend on strong relationships with U.S. allies and partners. Beijing will certainly do its utmost to take advantage of any opportunities presented by concerns about the strength and sustainability of the U.S. role in the region.

    Aug 7, 2018

  • Members of the United Nations Security Council during a meeting at the U.N. headquarters in New York, April 14, 2018

    Commentary

    The Roots—and Purpose—of the Post-War Order

    As the world enters an era of greater international competition, U.S. policymakers should take care not to underestimate the importance of the postwar system. The order is far from a myth; it is the United States' most important competitive advantage.

    Aug 7, 2018

  • The U.S. Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain conducts a patrol in the South China Sea, January 22, 2017

    Commentary

    The Security Risks of a Trade War with China

    As U.S.-China trade tensions continue to rise, many observers are focused on the potential for a full-fledged trade war that could destabilize the world economy. But there are security concerns as well. A China less constrained by and invested in economic ties with the United States could pose a greater challenge to U.S. foreign policy.

    Aug 6, 2018

  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on the Trump administration's Iran policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, May 21, 2018

    Commentary

    Regime Change in Iran: Watch What You Ask For

    Mike Pompeo's speech in May signaled a desire for regime change in Iran, but the U.S. will have to change its approach to shape a positive outcome. This could involve targeting sanctions more narrowly rather than seeking to impoverish the general population. And lifting the ban on Iranian visitors to the U.S. would be a good start.

    Aug 2, 2018

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China's President Xi Jinping, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Brazil's President Michel Temer pose for a group picture at the BRICS summit meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018

    Commentary

    China Prepares for an International Order After U.S. Leadership

    In Beijing's estimation, key geopolitical developments have increased the possibility that China will face a power transition with the United States in coming years. In response, Chinese officials are laying the groundwork to manage that transition and ensure a leading role for their country in the emerging international order.

    Aug 2, 2018

  • A desk with 3D printing technology on top

    Commentary

    Downloadable Guns and Other 3-D Printing Security Threats

    Americans may soon be able to legally access blueprints for 3D-printed guns. The growing opposition to them shows that potential security threats do not have to be inevitable. The security challenges inherent in 3D printing could be addressed, while the development of industry norms can still be shaped.

    Jul 31, 2018

  • NATO helicopters land at Afghan and U.S. Special Forces base in Deh Bala district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, July 7, 2018

    Commentary

    Lives on the Line: The A2AD Challenge to Combat Casualty Care

    Countries such as Russia and China continue to develop and expand the ability to integrate long-range strike, anti-ship, anti-air, space and cyber abilities. Provision of medical support could be a worthy priority for NATO planners when considering deterrence of and defense against near-peer or peer adversaries.

    Jul 31, 2018

  • Top view of a young man with a stack of overdue bills

    Commentary

    What Keeps Millennials Awake at Night Could Change Over Time

    Millennials are less worried than baby boomers about national security topics and more worried about kitchen table issues, such as making ends meet each month and paying off debts. But this may have less to do with the fact that they are millennials and more to do with the fact that millennials are young.

    Jul 30, 2018

  • A simple radiation warning design on a concrete wall

    Commentary

    Is Nuclear Terrorism Distracting Attention from More Realistic Threats?

    A nuclear terrorist attack is currently not a realistic threat. It would require an unprecedented level of sophistication from terrorists. The majority of terrorist attacks are conducted with conventional explosives.

    Jul 27, 2018

  • Bridge stretching across the Vistula River during the joint NATO exercise Anakonda 2016, near Chelmno, Poland, June 7-17, 2016

    Commentary

    Exploring the Allied Decisions on Military Mobility in Europe

    Debates about defense expenditure and concerns over NATO unity overshadowed decisions on defense and deterrence in Europe made during the recent NATO summit and European Council meetings. Both events brought significant and tangible conclusions with potential impacts on defense, deterrence, and readiness in Europe.

    Jul 27, 2018

  • Flags of the world

    Commentary

    Attempts to Order Geopolitics Have a Sobering History

    Past efforts to introduce world order have resulted less from foresighted statecraft than from cataclysmic upheavals such as World War II. If the current international system erodes, what might have to happen for a new one to emerge?

    Jul 25, 2018

  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, May 27, 2018

    Commentary

    Making Sense of South Korea's Cautious Optimism on North Korea

    South Korea is cautiously optimistic that North Korea will denuclearize, and it hopes that this will lead to the normalization of relations. The vast majority of U.S. observers believe that the North is bluffing. Seoul and Washington should continue to strive for transparency about the future of the peninsula.

    Jul 24, 2018

  • U.S. Army personnel with members of the Special Rescue Unit, Bureau of Fire Protection, National Capital Protection at Camp Aguinaldo, Manila, Philippines

    Report

    Assessing, Monitoring, and Evaluating Army Security Cooperation: A Framework for Implementation

    To help the Army increase the effectiveness of its security cooperation activities, this report examines when Army security cooperation can have the greatest impact, and how the Army should assess, monitor, and evaluate security cooperation.

    Jul 24, 2018

  • Globe on chess board

    Report

    Proposing a New American Approach to Political Warfare

    U.S. adversaries employ a blend of political, economic, cyber, and military tools. To address these nonconventional threats, America should consider developing a capability to orchestrate all elements of national power, both in war and in peace.

    Jul 24, 2018

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talk as they visit the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, China, April 27, 2018

    Commentary

    Is India the Weakest Link in the Quad?

    India's sustained membership in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue would fit with the goal of balancing against China to deter it from further militarizing the Indo-Pacific. But New Dehli may be getting cold feet.

    Jul 23, 2018