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
Featured at RAND
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.
On October 29, 2009, the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy convened a half-day symposium of experts—including Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, Ambassador James Dobbins, Senator Carl Levin, and others—and journalists to address assumptions and alternatives for U.S. policy in Afghanistan.
In an Al Jazeera Inside Story report, RAND expert Cheryl Benard and two other analysts provide insights into the Obama Administration's new strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan.