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.

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    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.

Explore South Asia

  • 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.

    Dec 31, 2009

  • 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

  • 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