Foreign observers of Afghanistan tend to think of former President Hamid Karzai's government as a clan of corrupt thugs, led by a feckless, petulant whiner. Joshua Partlow's book tells the story and explores the question of how much the Karzais were responsible for the deterioration of U.S.-Afghan ties.
Oct 15, 2016 Foreign Affairs
Militants trained in Pakistan have been raiding the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir for over a quarter of a century, but the recent attack was the deadliest in years. A short-term return to peace remains uncertain and the longer term is even harder to predict.
Oct 10, 2016 Newsweek
Policymakers in the United States and throughout Asia should take note of why the Sino-Pakistani relationship has endured for so long, what each partner gets from the other, and what inherent limitations prevent the union from developing into a true alliance.
Oct 16, 2015 Foreign Affairs
Whatever overlapping interests they may have in dangerous groups like Lashkar-e Taiba, the Saudis and Pakistanis have much bigger reasons for seeking each other's friendship. These reasons may be largely transactional, but the transaction has been a mutually beneficial one for nearly 40 years.
Jun 17, 2015 Foreign Affairs
After years of broken promises, there's reason to believe that these will be kept under President Ashraf Ghani and that the pronouncements about a better U.S.-Afghan future deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Mar 31, 2015 Foreign Affairs
A grisly video released yesterday by ISIS appears to show Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh burned alive in a cage. Why the shift away from beheadings? What does the execution mean for Jordan? What implications will it have for ISIS?
Feb 4, 2015 The RAND Blog
President Obama's visit to India last week was hailed in many quarters as a landmark event, perhaps signaling a new era of cooperation. In reality, the concrete takeaways were quite modest: there was no breakthrough on climate change, trade, or civil nuclear liability. But the trip should nonetheless be judged a success.
Feb 2, 2015 Foreign Policy
With the inauguration of President Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka, both the United States and India have an opportunity to influence reconciliation between the country's Tamils and Sinhalese. But if that influence is used unwisely, the result may be the same sort of aggressive Sinhalese nationalism that propelled Mahinda Rajapaksa to power a decade ago.
Jan 27, 2015 The Epoch Times
On Sunday, Ashraf Ghani was declared the victor in a contest to determine Afghanistan's next president. The process has been infuriating but the end product of this mess was the best possible outcome: best for Afghanistan, best for the region, and best for the United States.
Sep 24, 2014 Foreign Affairs
Scotland's vote could be a step toward disrupting the historical pattern of independence being won by force, not granted after a vote. This was the paradigm of the past, and it remains the paradigm of the present. But the vote in Scotland just might help set a new roadmap for the future.
Sep 22, 2014 Foreign Policy
When U.S. combat troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan in December 2014, and training units follow two years later, the dynamics that once turned northern India's Kashmir into both a target and an incubator of global terrorism may return. This would threaten U.S. security, as well as that of the region.
Sep 8, 2014 Foreign Policy
The preliminary verdict of Indonesia's presidential election suggests that nice guys can finish first. That could be good news for Indonesia, Southeast Asia, the United States, and the world. But that comes with two big caveats: The initial results must be confirmed by the final tally, and the losing candidate must accept that he has lost.
Jul 17, 2014 Foreign Affairs
A good outcome in Afghanistan seems less likely now than it did a few weeks ago, but there is still cause for guarded optimism: before this electoral season began, few observers would have guessed that the final showdown would be between a pair of level-headed pro-Western moderates rather than two foul, bloodstained warlords.
Jun 23, 2014 Foreign Affairs
The Taliban announced 'Khaibar,' their plan for the operations they will be conducting this spring and summer. The reference to Khaibar — a conventional battle in which noncombatants were left unharmed — might actually hint at a strategy aimed at post-conflict reconciliation.
May 31, 2014 Foreign Policy
Narendra Modi, India's most polarizing political figure in a generation, will become prime minister with a virtually unchecked mandate.
May 19, 2014 Foreign Affairs
Why might unnamed sources try to link Anwar to a potential hijacking of an aircraft carrying 239 passengers? Possibly to divert attention from the government's ineffective management of the search in the days since the plane's disappearance.
Mar 19, 2014 U.S. News & World Report
From the perspective of India, not to mention Pakistan and many other nations, the United States expects privileges that it does not grant to others. If the U.S. subjects foreign visitors (particularly diplomats) to the strictest possible interpretation its own laws, it had better be prepared for other nations to do the same.
Jan 9, 2014 Reuters
In the wake of Haiyan there is no substitute for the capabilities of the U.S. military. At the level of national interest, however, does the case for tasking the U.S. military to international natural disasters hold up — particularly in a time when the Pentagon has seen its budget slashed?
Nov 12, 2013 USA Today
After a half-century of hermetic authoritarianism, Myanmar's re-entry into the world community has been one of the biggest (and most optimistic) stories in Asia. Yet an upswing in ethnic and religious conflict could put Myanmar's progress at risk.
Oct 30, 2013 CNN
The passing of Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap marks the end of an era for Vietnam — and for giants of the twentieth-century anti-colonial movement throughout the world. As commander of the Viet Minh and the Vietnam People's Army, his strategies led to successes against France and the U.S. that were regarded as among communism's finest military moments.
Oct 7, 2013 The RAND Blog
President Obama made a strong case that the U.S. should take the lead in punishing the Syrian regime for its use of chemical weapons and actively enforce the near-global ban on these weapons. Now, the possibility of a diplomatic solution to this problem offers an opportunity to improve the request for the authorization of force currently before Congress.
Sep 19, 2013 CNN
A year ago, the United States and Myanmar (Burma) did not even have ambassadors in each other's capitals. In May, President Thein Sein became the first leader from Myanmar to visit the White House in nearly a half-century. Has Obama's administration been too quick to embrace what was one of the world's most repressive regimes?
Jul 10, 2013 Project Syndicate
Dozens of people were killed in a series of bomb blasts across Pakistan Sunday, just a week after 10 foreign mountain climbers and their Pakistani guide were shot and killed in Northern Pakistan. The attacks again demonstrated the Pakistan government's inability to prevent terrorist violence in certain areas.
Jul 1, 2013 The RAND Blog
Fortunately, the rules by which Afghans (and particularly Pashtuns) forge durable pacts may be difficult to master, but they are quite comprehensible, writes Jonah Blank.
Jun 4, 2013 Foreign Policy
Perhaps most tragic of all are the disasters that are wholly preventable: the deaths, maimings, and crushed livelihoods that result from human callousness or indifference, writes Jonah Blank.
May 17, 2013 Christian Science Monitor
This is why teachers are so often the targets of attack. In the rebels' view, schools aren’t neutral places for children to receive an education. They are seen as government-run indoctrination centers, propagating an exclusionary history and an alien language, writes Jonah Blank.
Feb 25, 2013 CNN
We can expect to see continued jockeying for scarce resources among vulnerable populations around the globe, attempts by majority communities to disenfranchise powerless minority groups, and episodes of extreme weather to blow away any notion that disasters—whether natural, man-made, or both—can't happen here, writes Jonah Blank.
Nov 20, 2012 Christian Science Monitor
In Afghanistan, the U.S. military has been fighting the longest war in the nation’s history--and many Americans don't understand why. The final presidential debate on Monday affords President Obama and Governor Romney an excellent opportunity to provide answers, writes Jonah Blank.
Oct 17, 2012 RAND.org
Perpetrators of hate-crimes against Sikhs often think they're attacking Muslims. This may not make the slaughter any more or less heinous, but it's another example of hatred flowing from ignorance, writes Jonah Blank.
Aug 8, 2012 RAND.org and GlobalSecurity.org