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

    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

  • Commentary

    A Year After Mumbai, Lashkar's Threat Has Only Grown

    One year ago, 10 gunmen from a Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba laid siege to Mumbai. Lashkar's main enemy is India, but it has also waged a peripheral jihad against the United States and its allies since shortly after 9/11, writes Stephen Tankel.

    Nov 25, 2009

  • Testimony

    Going Jihad: The Fort Hood Slayings and Home-Grown Terrorism

    In testimony presented before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Brian Michael Jenkins assesses the tragic and disquieting events at Fort Hood in the context of terrorist violence in the U.S. and the Muslim American community .

    Nov 17, 2009

  • Report

    World Economic Recession Unlikely to Have Lasting Geopolitical Consequences

    Will the current global economic recession have long-term geopolitical implications? Assuming that economic recovery begins in the first half of 2010, lasting structural alterations in the international system — a substantial change in U.S.-China relations, for example — are unlikely. This is because economic performance is only one of many geopolitical elements that shape countries' strategic intent and core external policies.

    Jul 21, 2009

  • Commercial Book

    In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan

    Longtime Afghanistan expert Seth G. Jones harnesses important new historical research, thousands of declassified government documents, and interviews with prominent figures to reveal how the siphoning of resources to Iraq left Afghanistan vulnerable to a "war of a thousand cuts." He argues for a radically new approach.

    Jul 13, 2009

  • Report

    The Phoenix Program and Contemporary Counterinsurgency

    The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have re-focused attention on past U.S. counterinsurgency operations like the Phoenix Program, aimed at dismantling the Viet Cong underground during the Vietnam War. This study helps balance claims about the program's effectiveness against charges of its brutality and its political costs.

    Jul 7, 2009

  • 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

    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

  • Report

    Reconstruction Under Fire: Unifying Civil and Military Counterinsurgency

    Effective civilian reconstruction work can help convince people to support their government against insurgency, Therefore, insurgents typically target such work, thereby threatening the civilian population. This too often results in a postponement of reconstruction efforts and/or excessive reliance on force to defeat insurgents.

    May 28, 2009

  • Report

    International Comparison of Ten Medical Regulatory Systems: Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa and Spain

    This study was commissioned by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) to provide an evidence base on the systems of medical regulation in place in the countries of origin of doctors seeking to enter the UK and obtain registration to practise.

    May 18, 2009

  • 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

    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

  • Testimony

    From Strategy to Implementation: The Future of the U.S.-Pakistan Relationship

    In testimony presented before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, C. Christine Fair examines challenges at hand in helping Pakistan achieve stability through a civilian-controlled state, with U.S. involvement responsive to Pakistani preferences.

    May 4, 2009

  • 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

    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

    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

  • Testimony

    Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

    In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs former Ambassador to Afghanistan James Dobbins outlines the steps the Obama administration should take to secure the nation as the situation there worsens.

    Mar 24, 2009

  • 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

    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

    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