Congressional Panel Discussion - May 18, 2009

Pakistan and Afghanistan: Allies of the United States?

Green house gas emissions


Ambassador James Dobbins,
RAND Corporation (Moderator)

Christine Fair,
RAND Corporation

Seth Jones,
RAND Corporation

Stephen P. Cohen,
Brookings Institution


Monday, May 18, 2009


2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


342 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.

About the Program

The RAND Corporation invites you to a panel discussion on the United States' relationships with Pakistan and Afghanistan, the importance of which has grown since the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the rising insurgency in Pakistan, and the recent increase in U.S. commitments in Afghanistan.

The panel discussion will address the following questions:

  • How effective is current U.S. diplomatic strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
  • Were the attacks on Mumbai the final word or are they merely a sign of greater trouble to come?
  • What policy approaches could Congress take to formulate a more robust foreign policy strategy in this area of the world?
  • What can experts' firsthand accounts of experiences in South Asia tell us about the situation there?
  • What are some strategies and approaches to achieving security in these regions?

Our panel of RAND experts is well qualified to discuss these topics. Each has testified before Congress regarding U.S.-Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. They have also authored numerous studies on the issues of diplomacy in South Asia. Ambassador Dobbins is the lead author of the two-volume RAND History of Nation-Building and the forthcoming Occupying Iraq: A History of the Coalition Provisional Authority. C. Christine Fair is the author of The Counterterror Coalitions: Cooperation with Pakistan and India, in which she examined U.S. strategic relations with India and Pakistan both historically and in the current context of the global war on terrorism. In his forthcoming book, In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan (W.W. Norton, July 2009), Seth Jones addresses the key challenges and successes of the U.S.-led counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan. Fair and Jones also contributed to recent RAND publication The Lessons of Mumbai.

Stephen P. Cohen is a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. His most recent work includes Four Crises and a Peace Process: American Engagement in South Asia and The Idea of Pakistan, as well as an edited volume published by the National Academy of Sciences that explores the application of technology for the prediction, prevention, or amelioration of terrorist acts.

RAND Office of Congressional Relations

For more than 60 years, RAND has provided policymakers with independent, objective research and analysis on key national security, domestic, and international issues. RAND work helps members of Congress and their staffs make better-informed decisions on the nation's pressing challenges. The Office of Congressional Relations offers a number of products and services to educate, inform, and facilitate congressional policymakers' access to RAND work, including coordinating congressional testimony by RAND experts, organizing briefings and meetings, synthesizing RAND work into topical e-newsletters and providing reports and publications to congressional offices. For more information, visit the Office of Congressional Relations Web page, contact, or call (703) 413-1100 x5395.

Further Inquiries

For further information about this event, contact the Office of Congressional Relations at or call (703) 413-1100 x5395.