South Asia


Bordered by the Himalayas in the north and Afghanistan in the west, South Asia consists primarily of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. RAND research in the region is wide-ranging, focusing on security concerns and nuclear proliferation, economic development and labor market dynamics, child and family well-being, and health and education systems.

  • A cityscape of Shanghai


    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy

    Mar 14, 2018

    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy improves policy by providing decisionmakers and the public with rigorous, objective, cutting-edge research on critical policy challenges facing Asia and U.S.-Asia relations.

  • A woman holding a baby looks out of a window from a shanty in Dharavi, Mumbai, India, October 15, 2009, photo by Arko Datta/Reuters


    Economic Development: A Recipe for Social Cohesion in India

    Mar 16, 2020

    Given the staggering economic challenges that need attention, how might India refocus its attention away from sectarian divides to economic development? While there is no easy answer, focusing on inclusive growth and development might offer one potential route.

Explore South Asia

  • Journal Article

    High Prevalence of Wuchereria Bancrofti Infection as Detected By Immunochromatographic Card Testing in Five Districts of Orissa, India, Previously Considered to Be Non-Endemic

    Lymphatic filariasis is endemic in districts of India where control programs are not operational.

    Feb 1, 2011

  • Commentary

    Book Review: 'Fallout' by Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz

    Anyone concerned about nuclear proliferation or interested in the world of espionage will want to read Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz's provocative new book, "Fallout: The True Story of the CIA's Secret War on Nuclear Trafficking," which tells a fascinating story whose characters come straight out of a spy novel, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Jan 9, 2011

  • Commentary

    Our Foes Cannot Destroy This Nation

    We have come through wars, depressions, natural and man-made disasters, indeed higher levels of domestic terrorist violence than that we face today, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Sep 27, 2010

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 34, No. 2, Summer 2010

    Features discuss retirement patterns of baby boomers, marijuana legalization, drug enforcement in Europe, and No Child Left Behind; news items cover the Gulf coast, food allergies, the U.S. health reform law, police benefits, and Pakistani militants.

    Aug 14, 2010

  • Commentary

    A Bottom-Up Peace in Afghanistan

    The Afghan government has embarked on a high-stakes gamble: Try to negotiate with the leaders of the various insurgent networks to end the nine-year-old Afghan war. The notion of the Kabul government cutting a deal with the Taliban is fiercely controversial, write Wali Shaaker and John Parachini.

    Jul 15, 2010

  • Report

    Counterinsurgency in Pakistan

    The rising number of terrorist plots in the United States with links to Pakistan—most recently the failed car-bombing in New York City—is partly a result of an unsuccessful strategy by Pakistan and the U.S. to weaken the range of militant groups operating in Pakistan.

    Jun 2, 2010

  • Report

    Building Security in the Persian Gulf

    The U.S. must determine how best to promote long-term security and stability in the Persian Gulf region while seeking to reduce the risks and costs imposed by its role as a permanent regional power—particularly vis-à-vis Iraq's future, the role of Iran, asymmetric threats, regional tensions, and the roles of other external actors.

    May 18, 2010

  • Commentary

    Al Qaeda Tipping Point? Still a Long Way to Go

    We are still too close to the events to discern the long-term trajectory of the campaign against al Qaeda. And almost nine years after 9/11, analysts are still remarkably divided in their assessments of al Qaeda's current situation, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Apr 26, 2010

  • Report

    Pakistan: Can the United States Secure an Insecure State?

    The ability of the United States to forge a broad yet effective relationship with Pakistan depends on likely developments in its internal and external security environment over the coming decade as well as Pakistan's national will and capacity to solve its problems.

    Apr 5, 2010

  • Journal Article

    The Role of Pregnancy Outcomes in the Maternal Mortality Rates of Two Areas in Matlab, Bangladesh

    Interventions to increase contraceptive use; to reduce the incidence of induced abortion, miscarriage and stillbirth; to improve the management of such outcomes; and to strengthen antenatal care could substantially reduce maternal mortality in Bangladesh and similar countries.

    Jan 1, 2010

  • Report

    Preparing and Training for the Full Spectrum of Military Challenges

    The U.S. military training system is the envy of many countries around the world, but the militaries of China, France, the UK, India, and Israel can help the U.S. identify different approaches to readiness, adaptability, and operational issues.

    Dec 14, 2009

  • 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

  • Journal Article

    Is Medicinal Opium Production Afghanistan's Answer? Lessons from India and the World Market

    Poverty and corruption are pervasive in Afghanistan and opium production is rampant, especially in the country's most insecure southern regions.

    Nov 1, 2009

  • Commentary

    G-20 Growing Pains

    The increasing importance of the G-20 summits is testimony to the growing role emerging states now play in managing the international economy. But integrating these newcomers into the global community is unlikely to be straightforward or simple, writes Lowell H. Schwartz.

    Sep 24, 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