Pakistan

Pakistan, the world’s second-largest Muslim nation, borders Afghanistan, Iran, India, and China and is a key player in Middle East and Asian relations due to its geography and complex history. RAND research has explored the forces shaping the development of Pakistan’s economic and political systems, its nuclear imperative, the role of local Islamic fundamentalist groups in global terrorism, and the effect of U.S. military policy and foreign aid to Pakistan on regional counterterrorism efforts.

  • Supporters of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) party cheer their leader, Nawaz Sharif (not pictured), during a campaign rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 2013

    Report

    Drivers of Long-Term Insecurity and Instability in Pakistan

    Already one of the most urbanized nations in South Asia, Pakistan is projected to have a majority of its population living in cities within three decades. Researchers examine Pakistan's increasing urbanization as a potential driver of long-term insecurity and instability, with particular attention to the cities of Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta.

    Oct 30, 2014

  • India's Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel march during a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, January 4, 2013

    Blog

    Let's Talk About Kashmir

    When U.S. combat troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan in December 2014, and training units follow two years later, the dynamics that once turned northern India's Kashmir into both a target and an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

  • Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands before the opening ceremony of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in Shanghai May 21, 2014

    Report

    China's Strategy Toward South and Central Asia

    China's response to the complex challenges on its western borders during the past two decades has been to adopt an "Empty Fortress" strategy, whereby China boldly projects an image of considerable strength in Central and South Asia to mask serious frailty. China is not a major threat to U.S. interests there and is unlikely to pose one in the near future.

    Aug 11, 2014

  • A man on a donkey-pulled cart transports an auto-rickshaw for repair in Lahore, Pakistan

    Project

    Pakistan Urban Sector Assessment

    RAND is examining the trends and implications of rapid urbanization in Pakistan. The analysis leads to recommendations for policies to enhance productivity and economic growth in urban areas.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • A suicide car bomb hit two diplomatic vehicles entering the Indian Embassy in Kabul on July 7, 2008

    Blog

    Book Review: A Reporter Analyzes the Driving Role of Pakistan in the Afghan War

    With its focus on Pakistan, Gall's “The Wrong Enemy” is a valuable contribution to a body of work on the American war in Afghanistan that has become stale and hackneyed. It provides a raw, unvarnished look at one of the darkest and least understood parts of the war.

    Apr 11, 2014

  • News Release

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • Pakistani soldiers place barbwire to secure a street during a curfew in Rawalpindi

    Report

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 25, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Partner Capacity in Counterinsurgency Campaigns

    Success stories in small-footprint U.S. interventions have occurred in countries with inclusive politics and reasonable state capacity. Unfortunately, most insurgencies seek to overthrow regimes that are weak in inclusion and capacity.

    Feb 11, 2014

  • Indian Army BMP-2 IFV combat vehicle

    Blog

    Modernisation and Austerity

    In a time of austerity, strategic planning is about prioritisation. How should India prioritise its future military modernisation to meet its envisioned security requirements? Each of the three services can claim urgent need.

    Sep 16, 2013

  • us_navy_offloads_supplies_in_japan

    Report

    Lessons from Department of Defense Disaster Relief Efforts in the Asia-Pacific Region

    The Asia-Pacific region bears the brunt of the majority of the world's natural disasters and is home to key U.S. allies. In an effort to improve the effectiveness of such operations, this report analyzes recent HA/DR operations in Burma, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Japan, and identifies lessons that can be applied in the future.

    Jul 31, 2013

  • Pakistani community leaders from its Federally Administered Tribal Areas

    Blog

    A Frontier on Low Boil

    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

  • Ambassador Munter Attends Pashtun Tribal Jirga in Quetta in 2011

    Blog

    How to Negotiate Like a Pashtun

    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

  • Blog

    Preventing a Nuclear 'Great Game'

    America's imminent withdrawal from Afghanistan raises the possibility of renewed tension between Pakistan and India. With this month's election of Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan's next prime minister, Islamabad and New Delhi have a fleeting window of opportunity to improve relations.

    May 30, 2013

  • Garments factory in Bangladesh

    Blog

    What Bangladesh — and US Retailers — Must Do to Prevent Man-Made Tragedies

    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

  • A public meeting of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML)

    Blog

    Pakistan Elections: More Continuity Than Change

    This weekend's elections in Pakistan are more likely to yield continuity than change, an outcome that could offer some opportunities for enhanced engagement between Washington and Islamabad, a pair of RAND experts told reporters on April 6.

    May 8, 2013

  • Blog

    A New Diplomatic Mission for James Dobbins

    President Obama named Ambassador James F. Dobbins, a veteran diplomat and the current director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center, as his special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    May 7, 2013

  • t-call-experts-hr

    Multimedia

    Media Conference Call on Pakistan Elections

    RAND Pakistan experts Jonah Blank and Seth Jones hosted a news media conference call to discuss the May 2013 Pakistan general elections and their potential effect on U.S.-Pakistan relations. Media Relations Officer Joe Dougherty moderated the call.

    May 6, 2013

  • An army truck MZKT 79221 under missile Topol-M

    Blog

    When Armies Divide: Securing Nuclear Arsenals During Internal Upheavals

    With an army divided, any type of foreign intervention would be complex and fraught with extraordinary risk—success would be a long shot. But the loss of a nuclear weapon or fissile material would change the world.

    Apr 12, 2013

  • Tarin Kot, Afghanistan chief of police

    Testimony

    After the Withdrawal: A Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan

    At the time of the U.S. withdrawal, there are several militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan that threaten U.S. security and its interests overseas. How can we avoid the inherent risks in the drawdown?

    Mar 19, 2013

  • Afghan Border Police and U.S. Army Soldiers hike to an observation point along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border

    Blog

    What Went Wrong in Afghanistan? Allowing a Sanctuary in Pakistan

    Ten years after the United States helped overthrow the Taliban regime, it is remarkable that successive U.S. administrations have refused to target the Taliban safe haven in Baluchistan, writes Seth Jones.

    Mar 5, 2013