Jason H. Campbell

Jason H. Campbell
Policy Researcher
Washington Office


M.A. in international affairs, Catholic University; B.A. in Political Science & German, Amherst College; PhD in war studies, King's College London

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

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Jason H. Campbell is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, where he focuses on international security, geopolitics, and foreign policy. His most recent work has concentrated on the resourcing of U.S. combatant commands, assessing the U.S. role in developing special operations forces in NATO, and the evaluation of security cooperation programs. From June 2016 through September 2018, he served as country director for Afghanistan in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy.

In a previous position at the Brookings Institution, Campbell coauthored The Iraq Index and established The Afghanistan Index and The Pakistan Index projects. He is a regular contributor to War on the Rocks and his writing has also appeared in the Journal of Military History, Policy Review, and the Harvard International Review, as well as in the op-ed pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Campbell earned his Ph.D. in war studies from King's College London, holds an M.A. in international affairs from Catholic University, and has a B.A. in political science and German from Amherst College.

Previous Positions

Country Director for Afghanistan, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy; Research Analyst, The Brookings Institution

Recent Projects

  • Special Operations Campaigning for Next-Generation Irregular Warfare
  • Assessment of U.S. Security Cooperation in Afghanistan
  • Assessing NATO Special Operations Headquarters
  • Climate Resiliency in Latin America and Options for U.S. Security Cooperation Support
  • U.S. Resourcing to National Security Interests in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Context of Adversary Activities in the Region

Selected Publications

Watts, Stephen, Jason H. Campbell, Patrick B. Johnston, Sameer Lalwani, and Sarah H. Bana, Countering Others' Insurgencies: Understanding U.S. Small-Footprint Interventions in Local Context, RAND Corporation (RR-513-SRF), 2014

Brennan, Rick, Jr., Charles P. Ries, Larry Hanauer, Ben Connable, Terrence K. Kelly, Michael J. McNerney, Stephanie Young, Jason H. Campbell, and K. Scott McMahon, Ending the U.S. War in Iraq: The Final Transition, Operational Maneuver, and Disestablishment of United States Forces-Iraq, RAND Corporation (RR-232-USFI), 2013

Jason H. Campbell "The Ties that Bind: The Events of 1979 and the Escalation of U.S.-Saudi Security Relations," in Jeffrey R. Macris and Saul Kelly, Imperial Crossroads: The Great Powers and the Persian Gulf, Naval Institute Press, 2012

Campbell, Jason H., Stephen Dalzell, Anthony Atler, Mary Avriette, Jalen Zeman, and Kevin J. Connolly, U.S. Resourcing to National Security Interests in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Context of Adversary Activities in the Region, RAND Corporation (RR-A847-1), 2022

Sargent, Matthew, Jason H. Campbell, Alexandra T. Evans, Caitlin McCulloch, Jordan R. Reimer, and Richard S. Girven, Staying the Unfavorable Course: National Security Council Decisionmaking and the Inertia of U.S. Afghanistan Policy, 2001–2016, RAND Corporation (RR-A808-1), 2023

Watts, Stephen, Jeffrey Martini, Jason H. Campbell, Mark Toukan, and Inhyok Kwon, Securing Gains in Fragile States: Using U.S. Leverage in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Beyond, RAND Corporation (RR-A250-1), 2021

Honors & Awards

  • Individual Award for Correspondence Excellence (2018), U.S. Department of Defense
  • RAND Impact Award (2012)
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service (2018), U.S. Department of Defense

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: CNN; Dagens Nyheter Online; Federal News Network; New York Times; Sirius XM Radio; Voice of America; Wall Street Journal; WION News

Commentary: U.S. News & World Report; War on the Rocks


  • Afghanistan

    Collapse in Afghanistan: Early Insights from RAND Researchers

    The sudden end to America's longest war came as the Taliban rolled into Kabul and the government collapsed. RAND researchers share their thoughts on how to help displaced Afghans, whether the country could again become a safe haven for terrorists, and the geopolitical implications of the collapse.

    Aug 17, 2021

  • Intelligence Collection

    Intelligence Losses Pose Large Risks as U.S. Troops Head Home

    Departing theaters such as Syria and Afghanistan carries a host of associated risks, challenges and potential benefits. Leaders would be well served to factor into the debate the importance of U.S. intelligence collection capabilities, its connection to U.S. presence overseas and its role in anticipating current and future threats.

    Jan 24, 2019

    The Hill

  • Afghanistan

    The Fall of Kunduz and What It Means for the Future of Afghanistan

    After the fall of Kunduz, Afghan officials and their coalition partners need to ask some hard questions about where their efforts have gone wrong and what can be done to recover.

    Oct 7, 2015

    War on the Rocks

  • Afghanistan

    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

  • Afghanistan

    A Better Afghan Strategy: Lose the Timeline

    It's in America's strategic interest to once and for all do away with its arbitrary timeline in favor of a strategy that provides its Afghan partners with something to preserve and nurture, not something to dread losing.

    Mar 26, 2015

    War on the Rocks

  • Afghanistan

    Q&A: What to Expect from Ghani's U.S. Visit

    With Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's first official visit to the United States set to begin Sunday, a trio of RAND researchers discuss what to expect after the president and his chief executive officer, Abdullah Abdullah, arrive in Washington.

    Mar 20, 2015

  • Afghanistan

    What's the Plan? The Afghan National Security Forces

    The Afghan National Security Forces remain very much a work in progress. In the coming months, the resiliency and cohesiveness of the ANSF will be put to the test as the NATO coalition transitions to a non-combat mission. Growing pains can be expected.

    Dec 2, 2014

    War on the Rocks

  • Security Cooperation

    What's the Plan? The NATO Coalition in Afghanistan

    The imminent changes to the NATO mission in Afghanistan will be profound and, more crucially, carry unpredictable outcomes. After January 1, the removal of tens of thousands of coalition troops will trigger an inevitable period of adjustment as all sides involved in the conflict press for a new equilibrium that tilts in its favor.

    Nov 19, 2014

    War on the Rocks

  • Afghanistan

    What's the Plan? The Afghan Government

    With the election dispute having reached a settlement, one can sense a feeling of hope and opportunity among the Afghan political spectrum. Members of each camp are voicing optimism and saying the right things, but before the unity government can address the litany of issues facing the country, it must first successfully clear the hurdle of appointing new leadership.

    Nov 10, 2014

    War on the Rocks

  • Afghanistan

    The Pernicious Effects of Uncertainty in Afghanistan

    While upcoming elections and sustained Taliban attacks are keeping many Afghans on edge, the greatest long-term threat to Afghanistan right now is the slow, insidious rot of uncertainty that is permeating nearly every facet of Afghan society.

    Mar 12, 2014

    War on the Rocks

  • Afghanistan

    Take Two for the Taliban?

    This time, the Taliban do not have the luxury of ingratiating themselves as purveyors of justice amidst chaos, only to later reveal themselves as bullying extremists. Moreover, in a post-9/11 world the international community now understands the potential ramifications of allowing such extremism to metastasize unchecked.

    Feb 13, 2014

    U.S. News & World Report

  • Iraq

    Reading the Tea Leaves in Iraq

    The United States should not be too quick to write off Iraq based on recent violent trends, says Jason Campbell. After all, if there is anything that should be remembered from years past it's that the Iraqi populace can endure astonishing levels of violence and still maintain confidence in the survival of the state.

    Aug 19, 2013

    War on the Rocks

  • Nation Building

    Bringing the Taliban to the Table: Long-Term Prospects for the Afghan Peace Talks

    The Afghan government and the Taliban have signaled that the United States would be the most suitable third-party interlocutor and most effective at holding the parties to their word in any agreement. Yet the U.S. must accept that the timeline must be organically determined by the Afghans and not manufactured to meet a predetermined schedule, writes Jason Campbell.

    Oct 11, 2012

    The RAND Blog