Arturo Munoz

Photo of Arturo Munoz
Senior Political Scientist
Washington Office


Ph.D. in history, M.A. in anthropology, Stanford University; A.B.D. in anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in history and Spanish literature, Loyola Marymount University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

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Arturo Munoz is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Prior to joining RAND, Munoz served 29 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, both in the Directorate of Operations and in the Directorate of Intelligence. He created successful counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and counternarcotics programs, from initial planning to full implementation in the field. As an analyst, he wrote groundbreaking intelligence assessments on insurgent movements in Latin America, which pioneered the application of anthropology to intelligence. In various supervisory positions, both at headquarters and in the field, he managed campaigns with verifiable impact in Latin America, Southwest Asia, the Balkans, the Middle East, and North Africa. Munoz received his B.A. in history and Spanish literature from Loyola University; his A.B.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles; and his M.A. in anthropology and Ph.D. in history from Stanford University.

Previous Positions

Supervisor/Operations Officer, CIA Counterterrorism Center

Recent Projects

  • Use of local forces in counterinsurgency
  • USMIL information operations and psychological operations
  • Mexican organized crime and narco insurgency
  • Colombian counterinsurgency and peace talks
  • Afghan Taliban reconciliation program and negotiations

Selected Publications

Arturo Munoz "Bent by History in Afghanistan," in Dinesh Sharma and Uwe P. Gielen, The Global Obama: Crossroads of Leadership in the 21st Century, Routledge, 2013

Arturo Munoz, U.S Military Information Operations In Afghanistan: Effectiveness of Psychological Operations, RAND (MG-1060-MCIA), 2012

Arturo Munoz "A Long-Overdue Adaptation to the Afghan Environment," in Brian Michael Jenkins and John Paul Godges, The Long Shadow of 9/11: America's Response to Terrorism, RAND (MG-1107-RC), 2011

Arturo Munoz and Seth Jones, Afghanistan's Local War: Building Local Defense Forces, RAND (MG-1002-MCIA), 2010

Arturo Munoz, Amazigh: The Berbers of Morocco: From Tribalism to Ethnic Nationalism, Tribal Analysis Center, 2009

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Azernews

Commentary: Foreign Policy Concepts


  • Cuba's President Raul Castro stands between Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, a.k.a. Timochenko, in Havana, September 23, 2015, as they agreed to reach a final peace agreement within six months

    Bringing FARC in from the Cold

    The announcement of a preliminary peace accord by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government is not receiving public support. Most Colombians manifest a strong desire for peace but they reject the possibility that crimes committed in the name of revolution should receive amnesty.

    Oct 28, 2015 Foreign Policy Concepts

  • Afghan security forces sit on top of a vehicle as they patrol outside of Kunduz city, October 1, 2015

    RAND Experts Q&A on the Fighting in Kunduz

    The Taliban battled its way into the center of Kunduz this week, with media reports saying it seized control of the northern Afghanistan city at least for a time. A trio of RAND experts participated in a Q&A on the situation and its significance.

    Oct 2, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • Prison as Indoctrination Center

    The Taliban view incarceration foremost as a means to attract new recruits and enhance the jihadist resolve and ideological purity of their own members, writes Arturo Munoz.

    Apr 26, 2011