Since 1945, the United States has pursued its interests through the creation and maintenance of international economic institutions, global organizations including the United Nations and G-7, bilateral and regional security organizations including alliances, and liberal political norms that collectively are often referred to as the “international order.” In recent years, rising powers have begun to challenge aspects of this order. The purpose of this report is very specific: to evaluate the order’s value — to assess its role in promoting U.S. goals and interests, and to measure its possible economic benefits in a number of specific areas. To answer the question of the order’s value, we first had to define the components of the order that we proposed to evaluate for possible value to U.S. interests. We then reviewed broad assessments of the order, as well as detailed empirical work on its specific components. The resulting analysis produced five major findings: the postwar order offers significant value to U.S. interests and objectives; specifically in quantifiable and return-on-investment terms, the order contributes to outcomes with measurable value and appears to have a strongly positive cost-benefit calculus; the postwar order represents a leading U.S. competitive advantage; if the United States wants to continue to lead globally, some form of order is vital; and a functioning multilateral order will be essential to deal with emerging security and economic issues. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
This report assesses trends in armed conflict, the incidence of which has declined in recent decades. Key political, economic, and strategic factors, including the deterrent effect of the U.S. military, suggest this decline is likely to continue. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
As part of a larger study on the future of the post-World War II liberal international order, RAND researchers analyze the health of the existing order and offer implications for future U.S. policy. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Concern over the risk of cyber attack led Russia in 1998 to propose at the United Nations a treaty to limit the use of cyber attack and cyber weapons. The Russian proposal drew on the experience of arms control and disarmament, but it found little support and was opposed by the United States. During the same period, there were also various proposals from the academic community for some sort of formal international cybersecurity convention, but many of these proposals were impractical and they too garnered little support. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Since 1945, the United States has pursued its global interests by building and maintaining various alliances, economic institutions, security organizations, political and liberal norms, and other tools — often collectively referred to as the international order. In this first report of a series on the emerging international order, RAND researchers offer several lenses to understand the character of the existing post–World War II liberal order. In addition to outlining the broad scope of the issue and the tools through which the order affects state behavior, the report categorizes and outlines the causal mechanisms that lead states to strengthen and work within the order. The report then reviews how U.S. policymakers have consistently viewed the international order as a key means of achieving U.S. interests in the world. Finally, the report concludes with potential questions for a research agenda that explores what type of international order — and, thus, what type of world — the United States should seek over the coming decade. [Note: contains copyrighted material].