Politics and Government

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  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the ceremony of the National Army Day parade in Tehran, Iran, September 22, 2019, photo by West Asia News Agency via Reuters

    Report

    Why Iran's Domestic Debates Should Matter to the United States

    Oct 9, 2019

    Iran's internal debates play a critical role in framing, molding, and selling foreign and security policies. Understanding areas of both consensus and division among Iranian elites is key to developing a realistic policy on Iran and ensuring successful engagement in any future negotiations.

  • Bomb blasts and artillery fire thundered across Baghdad as U.S. forces tightened their grip on the capital's fringes and brought up more troops, April 6, 2003, photo by Faleh Kheiber/Reuters

    Commentary

    Changing the Way America Goes to War

    Jun 25, 2019

    America's vast power, and the weakness of most of its enemies, has allowed it to get away with a striking absence of deliberative judgment when deciding on war, as the Iraq case makes clear. But that free pass is coming to an end. It's time for the United States to rethink the way it decides on wars of choice.

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  • Mei-Ling Zhou, a character in the Blizzard-Activision game Overwatch, photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment. ®2016 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Overwatch is a trademark or registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries

    Commentary

    Hong Kong's Digital Protests: Blizzard Case Could Be a Warning for Companies

    Activision Blizzard recently found itself drawn into the political controversy surrounding the Hong Kong protests. The experience could serve as a warning for other companies that could find themselves plunged into crisis-management mode by world events.

    Oct 29, 2019

  • Blog

    The Syria Withdrawal, Climate Policy, Drones: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the effects of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, one expert's take on climate policy, how drones could help get blood to soldiers who need it, and more.

    Oct 25, 2019

  • Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa attends a rally against Western sanctions in Harare, Zimbabwe, October 25, 2019, photo by Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

    Commentary

    Zimbabwe’s Neighbors Express Solidarity Against a False Enemy

    The notion that sanctions are primarily responsible for the economic collapse in Zimbabwe is a useful fiction promoted by that country's authoritarian elite. In reality, the ruling party, in power for 39 years, has no one to blame but itself.

    Oct 25, 2019

  • U.S. President Bill Clinton on his way to making a statement regarding the conclusion of his impeachment trial in Washington, D.C., February 12, 1999, photo by Win McNamee/Reuters

    Commentary

    Memories of an Earlier Impeachment

    What is it like to work in the White House during an impeachment? RAND's Ambassador James Dobbins was special assistant to the president on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton impeachment. Here, he shares insights on the experience.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a news conference after her policy address for 2019, in Hong Kong, China, October 16, 2019, photo by Umit Bektas/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Resolve the Hong Kong Crisis

    Rebuilding trust between the residents of Hong Kong and their government will be an extremely difficult task. But with some reasonable compromises on both sides, Hong Kong has the opportunity to step back from the brink of disaster.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Report

    Evaluating Future Trends in Support of the Air Force Strategic Environment Assessment: Discussion and Results from a Structured Workshop

    This report presents plausible futures based on nine trends in the categories of Geopolitical, Military & Warfare, and Human & Workforce to assist Air Force strategic planning in developing the Air Force Strategic Environment Assessment.

    Oct 21, 2019

  • Iraqis watch as a truck burns on a roadside after an attack by suspected insurgents on a highway west of Baghdad February 15, 2006, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Realities of Civil War

    Civil war is not a pretty thing to see or be a part of. Those understandably engaged with the intense debate over whether or not the president should be impeached should not suggest that impeachment would result in civil war in our country. There are peaceful means available for us as Americans to follow in order to solve the problems at hand.

    Oct 9, 2019

  • Detail of the english word "democracy" highlighted and its definition from the dictionary, photo by Lobro78/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Can the United States Support Democracies in the Former USSR?

    The West has only modest capacity to influence circumstances in most post-Soviet countries. In Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova, however, the West has the potential to make a real difference by supporting civil society and improved governance.

    Sep 16, 2019

  • People carry banners and Algerian national flags during a protest calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit, in Algiers, Algeria, March 22, 2019, photo by Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

    Commentary

    African Dictators Have Been Losing Power—Some to Democratic Governments. Militaries Can Tip the Scales Toward Democracy

    Africa's security forces most often make headlines when they commit atrocities, crack down on protesters, or seize power in coups. But Africa's troops can also contribute to democracy and peace when they lay down their arms or refuse orders to turn their guns against the people.

    Sep 16, 2019

  • China and Taiwan flags on a chess board, photo by Kagenmi/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Tale of Two Cities China Ignores at Its Peril

    Beijing may believe that, eventually, Taiwanese politics will turn in its favor. But it should consider experiences from the other two territories currently living under the formula—Hong Kong and Macau—to better understand why “one country, two systems” will never work in Taiwan, regardless of politics.

    Sep 12, 2019

  • Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is welcomed at Robert Mugabe International Airport, to return home after hearing the news of the death of former President Robert Mugabe, in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, September 6, 2019, photo by Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Ethiopia Sailed While Zimbabwe Sank

    At a time when outside powers are calibrating how they respond to political transitions around the world, the divergent paths of Ethiopia and Zimbabwe illustrate their precariousness and offer lessons for how the international community can support democratization processes in Africa and beyond.

    Sep 9, 2019

  • Kashmiri women walk past an Indian security personnel during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the government, in Srinagar, August 11, 2019, photo by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

    Commentary

    India and Kashmir, Now One

    In a legally risky move that's already having consequences on the ground, the Modi government scrapped the part of the Indian constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir special autonomous status. How consequential is this? And how should the international community react?

    Aug 13, 2019

  • Indian security personnel stand guard along a deserted street during restrictions in Jammu, August 5, 2019, photo by Mukesh Gupta/Reuters

    Commentary

    Kashmir's Democracy—and the World's

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi just changed the status of the restive Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This may be the most important event in an enormously volatile part of the world since the end of the last century, with repercussions that will extend far beyond Kashmir itself.

    Aug 8, 2019

  • Boris Johnson arrives at the Conservative Party headquarters after being announced as Britain's next prime minister, London, July 23, 2019, photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Challenging Moment for Boris Johnson

    As Britain's next prime minister, Boris Johnson will bring advantages, and disadvantages, in seeking to lead the United Kingdom through a period as challenging as the Suez Crisis or (perhaps) the darkest days of World War II.

    Jul 23, 2019

  • Arthur Brooks, author and Pardee RAND alumnus, discussing his new book at RAND's headquarters in Santa Monica, California, May 17, 2019, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    New Book by Arthur Brooks Tells Americans to Answer Hate with Love

    Arthur Brooks spoke at a RAND event to discuss his new book, Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt. He stressed that we don't have to disagree less but that we have to disagree better.

    Jul 8, 2019

  • Protesters break the windows of the Legislative Council building on the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong, July 1, 2019, photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

    Commentary

    Beijing Won't Allow Its Hong Kong Integration Experiment to Fail

    Recent events in Hong Kong have posed the stiffest challenge yet to Beijing's sovereignty. If sustained, they could push China to react to protect its national interests.

    Jul 3, 2019

  • The purported wreckage of an American drone is seen displayed by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran, June 21, 2019, photo by Meghdad Madadi/Tasnim News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Flawed Logic of Proportionality

    President Trump halted a retaliatory strike against Iran on the basis that it would have claimed many Iranian lives and was not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. There are many good reasons to avoid attacking Iran, but if Washington must resort to force in the future, it should avoid the flawed logic of proportionality.

    Jul 1, 2019

  • A protester poses for a portrait during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, February 2, 2019, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Should the United States Do About Venezuela?

    If it becomes evident that Maduro isn't about to fall, then the Trump administration should revisit its sanctions and rescind those that weigh most heavily on the Venezuelan people, while targeting and isolating the regime.

    Jun 24, 2019