Seth G. Jones

seth jones, seth jones
Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center
Washington Office


Ph.D. and M.A. in political science, University of Chicago; A.B., Bowdoin College

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Seth G. Jones is director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, as well as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University's School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He served as the representative for the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations. Before that, he served as a plans officer and advisor to the commanding general, U.S. Special Operations Forces, in Afghanistan (Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command–Afghanistan).

Jones specializes in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, including a focus on al Qa'ida and ISIS/ISIL. He is the author of Waging Insurgent Warfare (Oxford University Press, 2016), Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida after 9/11 (W.W. Norton, 2012), In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan (W.W. Norton), and The Rise of European Security Cooperation (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Jones has published articles in a range of journals, such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and International Security, as well as in such newspapers and magazines as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

Among his many RAND publications are Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency in Somalia (2016), A Persistent Threat: The Evolution of Al Qa'ida and Other Salafi Jihadists (2014), Afghanistan's Local War (2010), Counterinsurgency in Pakistan (2010), How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering Al Qa'ida (2009), and Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan (2008). Jones is also coauthor of RAND's series of reports on nation-building.

Jones received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies

Previous Positions

Representative for the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations; Plans officer and advisor to the commanding general, U.S. Special Operations Forces, in Afghanistan

Recent Projects

  • Counterterrorism efforts against al Shaba'ab in Somalia
  • The spread of al Qa'ida and other Salafi-jihadist groups
  • How terrorist groups end
  • Best practices in nation-building
  • A Strategy to Counter the Islamic State

Selected Publications

Seth G. Jones, Waging Insurgent Warfare, Oxford University Press, 2016

Seth G. Jones "Al Qaeda Terrorism in Afghanistan," in Bruce Hoffman and Fernando Reinares, The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat, Columbia University Press, 2014

Seth G. Jones, "The False Promise of the Arab Uprisings," Foreign Affairs, 92(1), 2013

Seth G. Jones, Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida after 9/11, W.W. Norton, 2012

Seth G. Jones, "Think Again: Al Qaeda," Foreign Policy, (193), 2012

Seth G. Jones, In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan, W.W. Norton, 2010

Seth G. Jones and Martin Libicki, How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa'ida, RAND (MG-741-1-RC), 2008

Seth G. Jones, "The Rise of Afghanistan's Insurgency," International Security, 32, 2008

Honors & Awards

  • RAND President's Award, 2008
  • 2010 Council on Foreign Relations Silver Medal for Best Book of the Year, Council on Foreign Relations
  • RAND President's Award, 2012

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: ABC; Al Hurra; Associated Press Radio; BBC; BBC America; Chicago Tribune; Christian Science Monitor; CNN; CNN International; C-SPAN; Dallas Morning News; Financial Times; International Herald Tribune; Los Angeles Times; MSNBC; National Public Radio; New Eastern Europe; Newsday; Newsweek; New York Times; Public Broadcasting System; San Diego Union-Tribune; San Jose Mercury News; Sky News; Time Magazine; USA Today; U.S. News & World Report; Voice of America; Wall Street Journal; Washington Post

Commentary: Christian Science Monitor; Council on Foreign Relations; Financial Times; Foreign Affairs; Foreign Policy; International Herald Tribune; Newsweek; New York Post; New York Times; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Politico; Survival: Global Politics and Strategy; U.S. News & World Report; Wall Street Journal; Washington Post


  • Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service soldiers perform reloading drills with their M-4 rifles during refit training near Baghdad, Iraq, July 13, 2016

    Managing Chaos in an Era of Great Power Competition

    As Washington policymakers seek a new strategic course, U.S. national security strategy should not neglect the importance of competition short of armed conflict. A U.S. strategy that incorporates this perspective from the beginning could manage chaos at a reasonable cost.

    Sep 5, 2017 War on the Rocks

  • Iraqis celebrate as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announces victory over Islamic State in Mosul, in Baghdad, Iraq, July 10, 2017

    Islamic State 2.0

    Many of Iraq's Sunnis are frustrated with the slow pace of reconstruction and a Baghdad government they consider too friendly to Iran. The U.S. needs to shift from supporting military operations in cities such as Mosul to helping the Iraqi government better address political grievances. Failure risks sowing the seeds of ISIS's resurgence.

    Aug 10, 2017 The Wall Street Journal

  • A fighter of the Syrian Islamist rebel group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the former al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, rides in an armored vehicle in Aleppo, Syria, August 5, 2016

    Will Al Qaeda Make a Comeback?

    Al Qaeda's revival will likely hinge on its ability to take advantage of opportunities such as the withdrawal of counterterrorism forces from key battlefields, more revolt in the Middle East, U.S. or European policies that feed the perception of Muslim oppression, or the rise of a charismatic jihadist leader.

    Aug 7, 2017 Foreign Affairs

  • Afghan security forces take position during a gun battle between Taliban and Afghan security forces in Laghman province, Afghanistan, March 1, 2017

    How Trump Should Manage Afghanistan

    While media coverage has focused on Syria and Iraq, Afghanistan remains an important frontline state in the fight against terrorism. The Trump administration should aim to prevent the Taliban from overthrowing the Afghan government, encourage political reconciliation, and pursue terrorists that threaten the United States.

    Mar 21, 2017 Foreign Affairs

  • Iraqi civilians walk in Al Mansour District as fighting between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State fighters continues in western Mosul, Iraq, March 10, 2017

    Why a Dying Islamic State Could Be an Even Bigger Threat to America

    The collapse of the so-called caliphate won't eliminate ISIS or similar groups. In the short term, the threat of ISIS-related attacks on the West may even grow.

    Mar 13, 2017 Fortune

  • Afghan National Army soldiers inspect passengers at a checkpoint in eastern Afghanistan, June 29, 2015, after Islamic State fighters had seized territory from rival Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan for the first time

    The Islamic State-Taliban Rivalry in Afghanistan

    The weakening of the Islamic State is a positive step. But Taliban successes against the group have strengthened the Taliban's power, bolstered its reputation, and complicated U.S. and Afghan government efforts to wind down the Afghan war.

    Nov 28, 2016 Lawfare

  • Iraqi special forces soldiers drive in a desert near Mosul, Iraq, October 25, 2016

    Can the Islamic State Lose Mosul and Still Win?

    The loss of Mosul would be a serious blow for the Islamic State but past insurgencies suggest it is far too early to count the Islamic State out.

    Oct 31, 2016 Foreign Policy

  • An Afghan National Army soldier keeps watch at a check post in Logar province, Afghanistan, February 16, 2016

    Afghanistan After Mansour

    The death of Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour is unlikely to transform the conflict in Afghanistan or improve the prospects for a deal between Kabul and the Taliban. In the coming months, the U.S. presence in the country will be as important as ever.

    Jun 17, 2016 Foreign Affairs

  • One of the members of the military protecting a demonstration against candidates for a national unity government proposed by U.N. envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon, in Benghazi, Libya, October 23, 2015

    Democracy in the Arab World: Still a Mirage

    From the indignant graffiti scrawled on walls across Tunis to the war-torn neighborhoods of Damascus and Tripoli, the region and the world's hopes of establishing peace and democracy have largely faded.

    Mar 17, 2016 Foreign Affairs

  • Russian news agencies reported that President Putin said the ceasefire in Syria is a real step towards halting the bloodshed and may become an example of action against terrorism, February 22, 2016

    How to Bog Down Putin in Syria

    The lessons from the nearly 200 insurgencies that have taken place since World War II suggest that Russian aid probably will fail to turn the tide in Syria. The Assad regime still faces serious challenges, not the least of which is a lack of legitimacy among the Syrian people.

    Feb 25, 2016 The Wall Street Journal

  • Islamic State fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province, Syria, June 30, 2014

    ISIS Will Become More Deadly Before It Dies

    The lesson with ISIS is straightforward. Western populations should be prepared for an upsurge in violence if ISIS continues to lose territory. There has already been a growth in attacks and plots across the West with operational or inspirational ties to ISIS.

    Nov 18, 2015 Slate

  • An Afghan border policeman escorts a detained suspected Taliban fighter near Walli Was in Paktika province near the border with Pakistan November 5, 2012

    Expanding the Caliphate

    ISIS in South Asia, which it calls the Islamic State of Khorasan, is larger than most recognize, boasting between several hundred and several thousand fighters. But for now, it is closer to a loose affiliate than a direct arm of the organization.

    Jun 12, 2015 Foreign Affairs

  • Smoke rises after what activists said were clashes with Islamic State fighters in Soran Azaz, Aleppo countryside June 1, 2015

    Islamic State's Global Expansion

    The radical Islamist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is now expanding in roughly a dozen countries across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia by exploiting local grievances, doling out money, and leveraging its battlefield successes.

    Jun 4, 2015 The Wall Street Journal

  • U.S. Senior Master Sgt. Leonard discusses cargo pallet inspection procedures with East Africa air force members during African Partnership Flight-Djibouti February 10, 2015

    Djibouti: Outpost of Stability in an Unstable Region

    The collaborative role being played by the United States and Djibouti represents the kind of partnerships that are now required in the battle against terrorism, because little-known places like Djibouti are one arena where the battle could be won or lost.

    Apr 10, 2015 The Hill

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a live televised address on his plans for military action against the Islamic State, September 10, 2014

    Another Example of Obama's Light-Footprint Strategy

    President Obama's campaign against ISIS militants marks a notable strategic shift in the conduct of warfare against terrorists and insurgents. It eschews the use of overwhelming force and embraces a light-footprint strategy that relies on precision strikes from U.S. aircraft, clandestine ground units, and local allies.

    Sep 17, 2014 Politico

  • Afghan election workers count ballot papers for an audit of the presidential run-off in Kabul August 27, 2014

    Afghanistan on the Brink

    The impasse between the Abdullah and Ghani camps has grown so significant that some senior Afghan political and security officials considered imposing an interim government, a move tantamount to a coup.

    Sep 8, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

  • U.S. soldiers on patrol in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, April 24, 2012

    Iraq's Lessons for Afghanistan

    The successes of ISIS and other Sunni groups have raised important questions about the wisdom of America's decision to withdraw U.S. military forces from Iraq in 2011. They raise equally significant questions about the U.S. decision to exit Afghanistan in the future.

    Aug 4, 2014 Lawfare

  • Masked Sunni gunmen pose with their weapons during a patrol outside the city of Falluja

    The Accelerating Spread of Terrorism

    The number of al Qaeda and other jihadist groups and fighters are growing, not shrinking. U.S. disengagement—or even risking the return of terrorists to the field by freeing them from detention—is not the answer to the threat they pose.

    Jun 3, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

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

    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

  • Afghan Mujahideen leader Abdul Rassoul Sayyaf talks with his supporters before registering as a candidate for the 2014 Afghan presidential election

    Presidential Candidates Need Multiethnic Consensus

    While many policymakers and analysts focus on who will be the next president of Afghanistan, the more important question may be whether the country's Pashtun, Uzbek, Tajik, Hazara, and other major constituencies will support the 2014 election's outcome.

    Dec 23, 2013 Council on Foreign Relations

  • A suspected al Qaeda militant holds his head as he stands with co-defendants behind bars at the state security court of appeals in Sanaa March 2013

    Whither al Qaeda: A 'Tri-alogue' with Brian Michael Jenkins, Seth Jones, and Andrew Liepman

    Recent comments by key U.S. lawmakers have again raised the issue of where the United States is in its campaign against al Qaeda. This has left some to wonder if the terrorism threat is increasing and if Americans are not as safe as they were a year or two ago. Three senior RAND analysts offer their take.

    Dec 10, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the last day of the Loya Jirga, in Kabul November 24, 2013

    Just Ignore Karzai and Press On

    As important as a bilateral security agreement is to formalize America's long-term presence in Afghanistan. The current draft doesn't spell out the details of a U.S. military presence after 2014, including the size, composition, and strategy of U.S. forces. Those details are what matter most.

    Nov 26, 2013 The Wall Street Journal

  • Somali National Army soldiers stand at attention in a training camp

    A Threat to U.S. Interests in East Africa

    The Shabab terrorist attack at Westgate Mall in Kenya and its follow-up attacks in the country are a stark reminder that the Somalia-based group poses a threat to the United States and its interests in East Africa, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Oct 2, 2013

  • Syrian-Americans rallying in favor of proposed U.S. military action, outside the U.S. Capitol

    Objectives in Syria? Look at U.S. Targets

    If you want to understand the Obama administration's objectives in Syria, don't just listen to what officials say — watch what they bomb, writes Seth G. Jones. There are at least four sets of potential political objectives. Each is linked to a different set of targets.

    Sep 10, 2013 Politico

  • Fighters from Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra

    Syria's Growing Jihad

    The escalating war in Syria presents a growing threat to the Middle East and the West more broadly. Led by groups like Jabhat al-Nusra (the Victory Front), an al-Qaeda-affiliated organization, Syria is becoming a training ground for foreign fighters and a microcosm of sectarian conflict.

    Sep 3, 2013 Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

  • Silhouette of soldiers against sunset

    Embassy Closings and the al Qaeda Threat

    Many people, including President Obama, have talked about al Qaeda’s imminent defeat. But right now, all signs indicate that the group founded by Osama bin Laden is far from dead.

    Aug 5, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • Egyptian men talking in Idfo, Aswan, EG, January 2013

    The Enduring Mirage of the Arab Spring

    U.S. policy should not be hamstrung by a narrow focus on democratization, writes Seth G. Jones. More than ever, the United States and its allies should think first about protecting their vital strategic interests in Egypt and the region.

    Jul 22, 2013 Foreign Affairs

  • 'Remnants of an Army' by Elizabeth Butler portraying William Brydon arriving at the gates of Jalalabad as the only survivor of a 16,500 strong evacuation from Kabul in January 1842.

    Book Review: 'Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839–42' by William Dalrymple

    While Dalrymple's account of the British retreat is masterful, his effort to generate lessons for today is at times simplistic, writes Seth Jones. Massive social and political changes in Afghanistan make it thorny to pull many lessons from the first Anglo-Afghan war.

    Jun 26, 2013 The Washington Post

  • Nawaz Sharif billboard on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Headquarters

    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 The Wall Street Journal

  • Nigerian troops march toward an Air Force C-130 Hercules

    The Benefits of U.S. Drones in West Africa

    The establishment of a U.S. base in Niger is intended to facilitate intelligence collection and will provide a more complete picture of militant movements in Niger, Mali, and other countries in the Sahel, writes Seth Jones. The U.S. will share this intelligence with Malian and French forces.

    Apr 5, 2013 U.S. News & World Report

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

    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 Foreign Policy

  • Touareg rebels in Mali hoist a flag

    The al Qaeda Threat in North Africa

    Last week's terrorist attack at the In Amenas gas complex in Algeria, along with the recent success of the militant groups fighting government forces in Mali, indicate al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are gaining influence in North Africa. RAND experts weigh in on the latest developments.

    Jan 24, 2013

  • U.S. Army Captain talks with the Nurgaram district sub-governor in Nuristan, Afghanistan

    Book Review: 'The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor' by Jake Tapper

    Tapper spends too much time providing tactical details of battles and too little offering a nuanced, thoughtful explanation of why the U.S. Army struggled so much in Nuristan, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Jan 14, 2013 The Washington Post

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak, Minister of Defense, participate in the Afghanistan Independence Day celebration held at the Ministry of National Defense in Kabul.

    Moving Beyond Afghanistan's Soviet Legacy

    In 2014, Afghanistan will hold its third presidential election since the fall of the Taliban. If the country can hold reasonably free and fair elections, and defeated candidates can agree to step aside, Afghanistan has a chance of moving beyond its Soviet legacy, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Jan 10, 2013 U.S. News & World Report

  • a huge demonstration marched to the federal palace to protest against the draft constitution and the constitutional decree announced by President Mohamed Morsi

    The Mirage of the Arab Spring

    Like it or not, the United States counts among its allies a number of authoritarian Arab countries, and they are essential partners in protecting its interests, writes Seth G. Jones. The normative hope that liberal democracy may flourish in the future must be balanced by the need to work with governments and societies as they exist today.

    Jan 3, 2013 Foreign Affairs Jan/Feb 2013

  • U.S. Army Soldiers prepare to board a CH-47 Chinook helicopter on Camp Marmal in Afghanistan, Sept. 9.

    Afghan Drawdown Numbers May Obscure Larger Questions

    The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is only one of several important policy choices—and not necessarily the most important one, writes Seth G. Jones. For example: What will the U.S. do about the insurgent sanctuary in Pakistan?

    Nov 28, 2012 The RAND Blog

  • Iraqi Army soldiers practice prior to an urban operations live-fire exercise at Camp Taji in December 2010

    Difficult Questions on Today's Terrorist Threat

    Much like the struggle against the Soviet Union and Communism during the Cold War, it appears increasingly likely that the struggle against radical Islamic groups will last several decades, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Oct 22, 2012 The RAND Blog

  • Secretary of the Army John McHugh meets with members of the Afghan Local Police in the village of Tabin

    Afghan Training Violence: Repairing the Vetting Process Is Key

    While Taliban infiltration poses an obvious threat to the Afghan Local Police program and NATO forces, the greater threat may be in exacerbating political tension between the United States and Afghanistan, writes Seth Jones.

    Sep 6, 2012 The RAND Blog

  • Al Qaeda's War for Syria

    Assuming Assad's regime eventually collapses, a robust al Qaeda presence will undermine transition efforts and pose a major threat to regional stability, writes Seth Jones.

    Jul 27, 2012 The Wall Street Journal

  • U.S. and Iraqi soldiers run by a burning vehicle in Hussein Hamadi village, Iraq

    Al Qaeda Is Far from Defeated

    As the administration looks eastward—a strategy that incorporates China's rise—underestimating al Qaeda would be a dangerous mistake, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Apr 30, 2012 The Wall Street Journal

  • Armed militant

    Think Again: Al Qaeda

    Predictions of al Qaeda's imminent demise are rooted more in wishful thinking and politicians' desire for applause lines than in rigorous analysis, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Apr 24, 2012 Foreign Policy

  • A street in Qom, Iran

    Al Qaeda in Iran

    Iran is in many ways a safer territory from which al Qaeda can operate. The United States has targeted al Qaeda in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and other countries, but it has limited operational reach in Iran, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Jan 29, 2012 Foreign Affairs

  • U.S. solider on patrol in Afghanistan

    Why the Haqqani Network Is the Wrong Target

    In focusing on the Haqqani network—which enjoys little popular support in Afghanistan—the United States is neglecting the more important (and difficult) task of dealing with the Taliban sanctuary in Pakistan's Baluchistan Province, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Nov 6, 2011 Foreign Affairs

  • Security from the Bottom Up

    If the Afghan government is to have a chance of defeating the Taliban, its national-security forces must successfully leverage the country's many competing factions, village by village, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Oct 7, 2011 TIME

  • Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen October 2008

    Awlaki's Death Hits al-Qaeda's Social Media Strategy

    Though Awlaki will be difficult to replace—since he effectively coupled both propaganda and operations—al-Qaeda will continue to plan attacks overseas against Western targets, writes Seth Jones.

    Sep 30, 2011 BBC

  • Is It Time to Withdraw from Afghanistan?

    Without the support of U.S. troops, the Afghan government would likely collapse to Taliban forces, backed by neighboring Pakistan, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Sep 19, 2011 The New York Times Upfront

  • Obama on Afghanistan: Strategic Drawdown or Rush for the Door?

    Most major plots and attacks, including 9/11 and 7/7, were directly linked to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. Travel there has been essential to improving bomb-making skills, receiving strategic and tactical guidance, and undergoing religious indoctrination, writes Seth Jones.

    Jun 23, 2011 The Guardian

  • Focus on Economic Aid to Pakistan

    It makes little sense to abandon Pakistan and cut off all financial assistance...but America could reduce part of its security assistance, focusing instead on economic and humanitarian aid, writes Seth Jones.

    May 10, 2011

  • Beating Back the Taliban

    There is a growing recognition among senior Taliban leaders that they are losing momentum in parts of southern Afghanistan, their longtime stronghold, writes Seth Jones.

    Mar 14, 2011

  • Take the War to Pakistan

    The United States and Pakistan must target Taliban leaders in Baluchistan. There are several ways to do it, and none requires military forces, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Dec 4, 2009 The New York Times

  • Path to a Pashtun Rebellion in Afghanistan

    The discussion of American troop numbers misunderstands the subtle nuances of fighting a war in areas inhabited by fiercely independent Pashtun tribes, whose culture and traditions are under severe threat from the Taliban, writes Seth Jones.

    Oct 2, 2009 Washington Post online

  • Going Local: The Key to Afghanistan

    The rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is now President Barack Obama's war, one he pledged to win during his election campaign. One of the biggest problems, however, is that since late 2001, the United States has crafted its Afghanistan strategy on a fatally flawed assumption, writes Seth Jones.

    Aug 8, 2009 The Wall Street Journal

  • Mullah Sprung from Gitmo Jail Now Leads Foe in Afghan Campaign

    As Marine Corps forces roll into southern Afghanistan, they face an enemy familiar to US officials — Mullah Zakir, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who now leads a reconstituted Taliban, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Jul 5, 2009 New York Post

  • South Asia's Taliban Problem

    For India, the development of a conducive environment on its western flank for groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad has already resulted in sophisticated terrorist attacks on Indian soil. While there is good reason for India and its neighbors to be concerned, there is considerable misunderstanding of the threat, writes Seth Jones.

    Apr 14, 2009

  • Going the Distance

    Afghanistan has a reputation as a graveyard of empires, based as much on lore as on reality.... Yes, the situation is serious, but it's far from doomed. We can still turn things around if we strive for a better understanding of the Afghan insurgency and work to exploit its many weaknesses, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Feb 15, 2009 The Washington Post

  • Backlash Against Terror

    The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, are part of a disturbing trend across the Muslim world of groups that target civilians in the name of Islam. Less visible to Western eyes, but potentially just as significant, is a growing backlash among Muslims who condemn such attacks as unethical, writes Seth Jones.

    Dec 21, 2008 The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • The Backlash Against Terror

    The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, are part of a disturbing trend across the Muslim world of groups that target civilians in the name of Islam. Less visible to Western eyes, but potentially just as significant, is a growing backlash among Muslims who condemn such attacks as unethical, writes Seth Jones.

    Dec 8, 2008 Ethics Newsline, a publication of the Institute for Global Ethics

  • Stop the 'War' on Terror: Calling It a 'War' Is a Boon to Terrorist Recruiters

    Military might against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups isn't working – and no wonder. After studying the record of 648 terrorist groups between 1968 and 2006, we've found that military force has rarely been effective in defeating this enemy, write Seth Jones and Martin C. Libicki.

    Aug 6, 2008 Christian Science Monitor

  • How to Save Karzai

    The United States and other NATO countries should stop undermining Hamid Karzai now, shore up support for him as the democratically elected president of Afghanistan, and help him show progress, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Jul 15, 2008 Foreign Policy

  • America Is Making a Difference in Eastern Afghanistan

    [The United States] has made some progress against the Taliban and other insurgent groups in eastern Afghanistan, and created a window of opportunity to spread this elsewhere, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Apr 1, 2008 The Globe and Mail

  • Afghan Problem is Regional

    Afghan Problem is Regional, in United Press International.

    Jul 4, 2007 United Press International

  • Afghanistan: Why Canada Should Stay

    Afghanistan: Why Canada Should Stay, in the Toronto Star.

    May 7, 2007 Toronto Star

  • Flagging Ally: Pakistan's Lapses Are Hurting the War on Terror

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Flagging Ally: Pakistan's Lapses Are Hurting the War on Terror, in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

    Mar 18, 2007 San Diego Union-Tribune

  • Afghanistan's Local Insurgency

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Afghanistan's Local Insurgency, in International Herald Tribune.

    Jan 31, 2007 International Herald Tribune

  • Pakistan's Tribal Deals Aren't Working

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Pakistan's Tribal Deals Aren't Working, in International Herald Tribune.

    Dec 28, 2006 International Herald Tribune

  • How to Curb Rising Suicide Terrorism in Afghanistan

    Published commentary by RAND staff: How to Curb Rising Suicide Terrorism in Afghanistan, in Christian Science Monitor.

    Jul 18, 2006 Christian Science Monitor

  • Striking Iran Is an Option, Not Inevitable

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Striking Iran Is an Option, Not Inevitable, in Christian Science Monitor.

    Apr 11, 2006 Christian Science Monitor

  • Let's Avoid Another Trans-Atlantic Feud

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Let's Avoid Another Trans-Atlantic Feud, in International Herald Tribune.

    Jan 13, 2006 International Herald Tribune

  • The Danger Next Door

    Published commentary by RAND staff: The Danger Next Door in the New York Times.

    Sep 23, 2005 New York Times

  • Heading Off European Arms to China

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Mar 2, 2005 The Hill

  • A Chance to Clean Up the Palestinian Authority

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Jan 6, 2005 Financial Times

  • Why Allies Send Spooks to America

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Oct 25, 2004 International Herald Tribune

  • A Dangerous Peace

    Kabul has slipped into a nervous tension. Early last week President Hamid Karzai surprised his fellow Afghans and foreign diplomats by choosing to drop Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim from his presidential ticket in favor of Ahmed Zia Masood, the brother of the late Ahmed Shah Masood, a well-respected mujahedin leader.

    Aug 9, 2004 Newsweek

  • Gaza pullout - a Cynic's Path to 'Peace'

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Apr 29, 2004 Christian Science Monitor

  • The U.N.'s Strengths and Weaknesses in Iraq

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Feb 18, 2004 San Diego Tribune

  • Leaving Iraq Too Soon Leads to Failure

    If the United States wants to succeed in rebuilding Iraq, history shows it will need to keep forces stationed there for at least five to seven years - maybe longer.

    Dec 10, 2003 Newsday

  • America's Record on Nation Building

    commentaries by RAND Staff: insightful commentaries on current events, published in newspapers, magazines and journals worldwide.

    Jun 13, 2003 The New York Times