Laws and Customs of War

  • An ethnic Uyghur boy stands at the door of his home as Chinese security forces secure the area in Urumqi, China, July 10, 2009, photo by Nir Elias/Reuters

    Essay

    China's Disappeared Uyghurs: What Satellite Images Reveal

    At least one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have vanished into a sprawling network of camps and prisons in China's far west. Satellite images show brightly lit compounds, wall after wall of barbed wire, and a sudden rush to build what appear to be fortified preschools.

    Apr 29, 2021

  • A perimeter fence around what is officially known as a vocational skills education center in Dabancheng in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, September 4, 2018, photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

    Commentary

    Upcoming Summit an Opportunity for Japan to Reconsider Whether to Join Rest of G-7 in Sanctioning China Over Genocide

    Japan has been lukewarm in its response to global condemnation of China's crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang. What options might President Biden have to encourage Japan to reconsider its position as he hosts his first in-person summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga?

    Apr 15, 2021

  • A 2009 satellite image of southern China depicting the aftermath of a landslide

    Journal Article

    Explaining Variation in the Growth and Decline of Detention Facilities Across Xinjiang

    This report, the final in our series, explores trends in the growth and decline of nighttime lighting over detention facilities across Xinjiang.

    Feb 26, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Have Any of Xinjiang's Detention Facilities Closed?

    This report, the second in a three-part series, employs a novel empirical approach to systematically assess the current operating status of known detention facilities in Xinjiang using nighttime lighting.

    Feb 26, 2021

  • This striking photograph features two of China's most populous cities-Beijing and Tianjin-both located in the northern part of the country near the Bohai Gulf

    Journal Article

    Investigating the Growth of Detention Facilities in Xinjiang Using Nighttime Lighting

    This first report introduces our methodological approach and uses nighttime lighting data to investigate the rapid, coordinated growth of detention facilities in Xinjiang over the last decade.

    Feb 26, 2021

  • United States Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) listens as he is introduced at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, October 28, 2008

    Commentary

    McCain's Heroism

    John McCain's heroism will forever punctuate America's memory of the Vietnam War, reminding us both of the horrors of war and the human potential to transcend them. His heroism also stands out because of how it empowered him as a congressman and senator to do things others could not.

    Aug 27, 2018

  • Report

    Report

    The moral component of cross-domain conflict

    The study considers the body of work on morality and armed conflict in the future operating environment and provides insights on the ways in which new ways of fighting may challenge traditional moral principles.

    Oct 20, 2016

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Rules for Targeted Killing Using Drones Need Clarifying

    Current U.S. policies on using drones for targeted killing are characterized by ambiguities in interpretations of international law and too many generalities, despite recent efforts by the Obama administration to clarify the policies.

    Sep 8, 2016

  • A U.S. Air Force remotely piloted aircraft

    Report

    Clarifying the Rules for Using Drones in Targeted Killing

    U.S. international legal policies involving the use of drones in targeted killing need more clarity, specificity, and consistency. Policymakers must define an approach that protects civilians and human rights, while allowing latitude to fight terrorism.

    Sep 8, 2016

  • Report

    Report

    The Continued Evolution of U.S. Law of Armed Conflict Implementation: Implications for the U.S. Military

    RAND researchers examine potential strategic, technological, and normative trends that may affect the future evolution of U.S. policies that implement the Law of Armed Conflict, and assess the resulting implications for the U.S. military.

    Nov 9, 2015

  • U.S. Army General receives a mountaintop briefing from American and Afghan Special Forces on Camp Moorehead, Afghanistan

    Commentary

    The U.S. Military: Between a Rock and a Repulsive Place

    There is a reasonable argument that the best route to address pedophilia and other human rights violations by Afghan forces is to remain engaged, and to make U.S. support conditioned upon remediation and accountability, as the Leahy law requires.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (L) discusses a report on the CIA's anti-terrorism tactics on the floor of the U.S. Senate as Senators Debbie Stabenow (rear) and Patty Murray look on, Washington, December 9, 2014

    Commentary

    Why the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA May Both Be Right

    Given that many questions of fact regarding the CIA's program of enhanced interrogation techniques can probably never be conclusively answered, the real issue comes down to a value judgment: whether inflicting physical pain on prisoners is an acceptable means of reducing the risk of terrorist attacks.

    Dec 12, 2014

  • Mark Hulkower and fellow defense attorneys speak to members of the media outside of the U.S. District Court after five Blackwater security guards were charged with killing 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 20 others in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad

    Commentary

    The Future of Blackwater and Other Guns for Hire

    The story of how private military security companies came to play a pivotal role in wartime operations is an important one, and Ann Hagedorn, a former reporter for the Journal, was right to take it on.

    Oct 28, 2014

  • Free Pussy Riot demonstration in Berlin

    Commentary

    What Pussy Riot Teaches Us

    The global attention drawn by Pussy Riot shows what is possible in an interconnected world, writes Olga Oliker. Opposition movements in Russia and elsewhere may take note and think about how to better harness such possibilities in the future.

    Aug 20, 2012

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    Iran's Human Rights Abuses

    Testimony presented before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on The Middle East and South Asia, provides insight into the Islamic Republic of Iran's human rights abuses, the Iranian regime's behavior in light of the Arab Spring, and the current state and future prospects of the opposition Green Movement.

    Sep 22, 2011

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Prisoner of War, Detainee Operations Need More Advance Planning

    Prisoner-of-war and detainee operations are a crucial component in the successful prosecution of a conflict -- particularly in counterinsurgency operations -- and should be upgraded to receive more attention and better advance preparation.

    Jun 9, 2011

  • Report

    Report

    U.S. Prisoner of War, Detainee Operations Need More Advance Planning

    Prisoner-of-war and detainee operations are a crucial component in the successful prosecution of a conflict — particularly in counterinsurgency operations — and should be upgraded to receive more attention and better advance preparation.

    Jun 9, 2011

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    China's Responsibility to Protect: The Nation Can Help Citizens in Myanmar, Sudan

    Of all countries remiss in their responsibility to protect human rights, China bears special scrutiny because of its influence with the Myanmar and Sudanese regimes, writes David C. Gompert.

    Jun 17, 2008

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Report Examines Need to Hold Down Civilian Deaths in U.S. Military Operations

    February 15, 2007 News Release: RAND Report Examines Need to Hold Down Civilian Deaths in U.S. Military Operations.

    Feb 15, 2007

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Issues 'The Beginner's Guide to Nation-Building'

    February 12, 2007 News Release: RAND Issues 'The Beginner's Guide to Nation-Building'.

    Feb 12, 2007