Although our war there has at times seemed remote, Afghanistan itself occupies crucial geography. Situated between Iran and Pakistan, bordering China, and within reach of Russia and India, it sits on a crossroads of Asia's great powers. This is why it has, since the nineteenth century, been home to the so-called Great Game—in which the US should continue to be a player. Stabilizing Afghanistan is the only policy option that will secure the full range of our interests in South Asia. There are no practical alternatives.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.