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.

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Policing Pakistan

    The United States has spent some $12 billion trying to help Pakistan save itself. Unfortunately, Washington has lavished most of the aid on the Pakistan army. It is time to reconsider that decision and focus instead on improving the country's police force, writes C. Christine Fair.

    Jun 30, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    A Better Bargain for Aid to Pakistan

    All told, since 2001, the United States has spent about $12 billion to help Pakistan. Yet last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared Pakistan a "mortal threat" to international security. Washington needs to strike a far better bargain for its billions, writes C. Christine Fair.

    May 30, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    The U.S. and India Need to Work Together to Prepare for an Increasingly Chaotic Pakistan

    For every good reason, the Obama Administration is devoting enormous thought to Pakistan. In my judgment, the evolving situation in Pakistan is potentially the most dangerous international situation since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, writes Robert D. Blackwill.

    May 12, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    The Future of US-India Relations

    The combination of our largely overlapping vital national interests and shared democratic values should produce a bright future for strategic collaboration between New Delhi and Washington in future decades. But in the immediate period before us, our bilateral ties are likely to be more problematical ...

    May 6, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    South Asia's Taliban Problem: Multiple Threats From Multiple Groups

    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

  • Multimedia

    Multimedia

    New Strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan (Inside Story, Al Jazeera)

    In an Al Jazeera Inside Story report, RAND expert Cheryl Benard and two other analysts provide insights into the Obama Administration's new strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Mar 30, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Ultimate Exit Strategy

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described the upcoming high-level conference on Afghanistan at The Hague as a "big-tent meeting, with all the parties who have a stake and an interest in Afghanistan." With the situation in that country growing more precarious by the day, those attending this meeting must also think big, write Karl F. Inderfurth and James Dobbins.

    Mar 26, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    U.S.-NATO Immersion Course

    At a major conference in Munich last month, Vice President Joseph Biden underscored the U.S. determination to rebuild strong and productive relations with its European allies. No issue matters more than Afghanistan, writes Robert E. Hunter.

    Mar 10, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Afghanistan: The Regional Solution

    The Obama Administration's decision to commit another 17,000 troops to Afghanistan is unlikely to have an important effect unless it is part of a broader shift in U.S. and coalition strategy, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Julian Lindley-French.

    Mar 4, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    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

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Asia's Nonproliferation Laggards: China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia

    The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction ranks as one of the biggest challenges facing the Obama administration. Luckily, Mr. Obama has a tool to combat this threat, in the form of the Proliferation Security Initiative.... The trick now will be to convince key Asian countries to participate, writes Charles Wolf Jr.

    Feb 9, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    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 ...

    Dec 21, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Mumbai's Terrifying Logic

    We tend to describe terrorism as senseless violence, but it seldom is. If we look at the attacks from the attackers' perspective, we can discern a certain strategic logic, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Dec 9, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    India, Pakistan Must Confront Threat of More Violence

    As the last Mumbai sites were being cleared of terrorists, grim signs emerged of the challenges that face India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, beginning to know what the Mumbai attack was — and what it was not — only augurs more violence for India. At least three factors are at play, writes Christine Fair.

    Dec 9, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    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

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Terrorists Have to Be Lucky Once; Targets, Every Time

    The 9/11 tragedy was a catalyst that accelerated the pace of the changes in the UK security model that were already occurring due to the waning threat of terrorism from the IRA and the growing threat from those who espoused an ideology of violent jihadism. The changes took place in three main areas, writes Lindsay Clutterbuck.

    Nov 30, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Know Your Enemy: From Iraq to Afghanistan

    As debate continues about how to fight a resurgent Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan and along the Pakistan border, leaders in Washington, Kabul and Islamabad seem lost about what to do next.... And most experts agree that an Al Qaeda-orchestrated attack on the U.S. homeland would likely be plotted from their sanctuary in these border areas, write Benjamin Bahney and Renny McPherson.

    Nov 9, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    A Nuclear 9/11?

    Will terrorists go nuclear? It is a question that worried public officials and frightened citizens have been asking for decades. It is no less of a worry today, as we ponder the seventh anniversary of 9/11, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Sep 12, 2008

  • News Release

    News Release

    Taliban's Sanctuary Bases in Pakistan Must Be Eliminated

    If Taliban sanctuary bases in Pakistan are not eliminated, the United States and its NATO allies will face crippling long-term consequences in their effort to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan.

    Jun 9, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    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