Afghanistan has long been a crossroads of world cultures, economies, politics, and militaries. RAND's early research on Afghanistan examined the 1980s Soviet military campaign and the subsequent fundamentalist Islamic regime. Since Operation Enduring Freedom, the 2001 U.S. military effort to rout the Taliban and find Osama bin Ladin's Al Qaeda network, RAND has engaged the new Afghan government, military, and people to support reconstruction, counterinsurgency, and nation-building efforts.
Research conducted by:
Center for Asia Pacific Policy;
RAND Project AIR FORCE;
RAND National Security Research Division;
RAND Arroyo Center;
Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth;
Center for Middle East Public Policy
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Early 2013 Afghanistan ranks among the historical counterinsurgency winners, but its score is equal to those of the lowest-scoring historical wins. This tenuous position points to several areas in need of improvement.
Journal Articles (13)
The year 2014 is a date for transition, not withdrawal, and the international community has pledged to hand over leadership for security to the Afghan government. The war is not over, and American interests in South Asia hang in the balance.
The overarching Western objective in Afghanistan should be to prevent that country from becoming not just a haven for transnational terrorists, but a terrorist ally as well.
This article examines ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) operations in Afghanistan as a way to get at the strategic disconnects in ends, ways, and means.
The authors respond to comments made in Bhattacharji, Romesh and Kamminga, Jorrit. (2010), A Response to Is Medicinal Opium Production Afghanistan's Answer?: Lessons From India and the World Market, Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, Vol. 3(1).
The authors reviewed 29 studies that provide prevalence estimates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among service members previously deployed to Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom and their non-U.S. military counterparts. Combat exposure is the only correlate consistently associated with PTSD.
Poverty and corruption are pervasive in Afghanistan and opium production is rampant, especially in the country's most insecure southern regions.
This essay from a collection, which examines the security situation in Afghanistan through the largest public opionon survey ever conducted in Afghanistan, asks three questions. What are Afghan perceptions of the security environment? How do these perceptions vary across the country? How do Afghans feel about their security institutions?
Examines the security environment in Afghanistan, assesses the programs put in place to address these threats, identifies existing gaps, and offers possible solutions.
Improvements to the outcomes of post-conflict nation-building can be made through a stronger emphasis on the broader concept of human security from the earliest phases of the nation-building effort; a focus on establishing governance on the principles of equity and consistent rule of law from the start; and women's earliest inclusion in reconstruction.
Afghanistan: The Consolidation of a Rogue State