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

    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.

    Mar 14, 2018

  • U.S. President Joe Biden holds a virtual meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss Russia's war with Ukraine from the White House in Washington D.C., April 11, 2022, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters


    Modi's Multipolar Moment Has Arrived

    Russia's war in Ukraine has benefited India as great powers are competing more vigorously for New Delhi's affection, particularly the United States and China. India has also prevented its Russia policy from spoiling partnerships with key European and Indo-Pacific partners. These trends, if sustained, will contribute to India's rise to great-power status and in turn, shift the global system toward even greater multipolarity.

    Jun 6, 2022

Explore South Asia

  • Report


    Health of Chinese and Indian Citizens Improves but Still Lags Behind Rest of World

    China and India's health systems have shown advances in boosting life expectancy and disease prevention in the past fifty years. However, those living in the two nations are still exposed to a high degree of financial risk, geographical inequities in health care access, and overall poorer health than in other countries.

    Jun 14, 2008

  • Dissertation


    Life, Livelihood, and Long Term Well-being: The Effect of Mortality Risks and Land Reforms on Human Capital Investments in India

    Evaluates factors including household preferences, resource constraints, and background factors such as risks and economic shocks in determining childhood investments in rural India.

    Jun 13, 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

  • Brochure


    Policy Insight, Volume 2, Issue 3, June 2008: Caring for a Third of the World's Population: Challenges for the Health Systems of China and India

    Compares the health systems of China and India, focusing on the challenges that each country faces and the policy levers that can be used to overcome these challenges.

    May 30, 2008

  • Report


    U.S. Efforts in Afghanistan Will Fail If Taliban Not Routed from Pakistan

    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.

    May 6, 2008

  • Report


    Afghanistan: From Chaos and Corruption to Sustainable Success

    Since the 2002 U.S.-led attacks in Afghanistan, the country has struggled to stabilize their government and society. RAND co-hosted a conference attended by experts in academia, government and NGOs from over 20 nations to discuss the need for a strategic approach to Afghanistan's attempts at nation-building.

    Apr 30, 2008

  • Report


    Breaking the Failed-State Cycle

    The predominant threat to U.S. security in the 21st century comes not from the actions of opposing countries but from the fallout of collapsing ones. The world’s leading states can and should help the citizens of failed states by integrating efforts to reduce violence, advance the economy, and reform government.

    Apr 6, 2008

  • 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

  • Commentary


    Danish Cartoons Doom Us All

    Like two years ago, last week's rage in Pakistan over reprints of cartoons and a forthcoming Dutch film that insult Islam's holy book once again entangles Muslims and the West in a fury over freedom of speech, writes Farhana Ali.

    Mar 21, 2008

  • nuclear war game maze


    The Challenge of Nuclear-Armed Regional Adversaries

    North Korea's test of a nuclear weapon in 2006 shows that such weapons are within reach of determined regional powers. Thus, defense planners in the United States and elsewhere must begin now to confront the new security challenges posed by nuclear-armed regional adversaries.

    Mar 10, 2008

  • Commentary


    A Post-Musharraf Pakistan Policy

    The United States no longer can afford to blindly support Musharraf. Hence, America is moving toward defining a new policy direction for Pakistan, and for good reason, writes Farhana Ali.

    Mar 7, 2008

  • Commentary


    Why We Need to Nail Osama

    [K]illing or capturing bin Laden remains a vital national and, indeed, international priority. Not only is it important — it is worth devoting significant resources and making major tradeoffs to do so, writes Elbridge Colby.

    Feb 27, 2008

  • Commentary


    To Support Democracy in Pakistan

    The Pakistani people have seized an important democratic opportunity by voting decisively against retired general President Pervez Musharraf and the Islamist parties. The U.S. would be wise to support this action financially, diplomatically and politically, writes C. Christine Fair.

    Feb 24, 2008

  • Brochure


    Policy Insight, Volume 2, Issue 1, February 2008: China and India: Different Educational Paths Toward Prosperity

    This Policy Insight summarizes how different educational approaches in China and India have been successful in stimulating aggregate economic growth; both paths offer valuable lessons for China, India, and the rest of the developing world.

    Feb 16, 2008

  • Report


    A Comparison of the Education Systems in India and China

    Different educational approaches in China and India have been successful in stimulating economic growth; the successes and challenges of both education systems offer valuable lessons for China, India, and the rest of the developing world.

    Feb 15, 2008

  • Report


    United States Lacks the Capability to Counter Insurgency in the Muslim World

    Iraq and Afghanistan have revealed serious shortfalls in the capabilities of the U.S. to counter insurgency in the Muslim world. Instead of relying predominantly on military occupation, the U.S. must become more able to bolster the ability of threatened states to win the contest for the support of their people.

    Jan 25, 2008

  • Commentary


    Not That Bad a Legacy, After All

    George W. Bush may leave a positive foreign policy legacy after all. A year ago this would have seemed difficult to credit... [Y]et over this period, Bush has put in place a series of more pragmatic policies from which even a Democratic successor will have a hard time moving away, writes James Dobbins.

    Jan 17, 2008

  • Testimony


    U.S.-Pakistan Relations: Assassination, Instability, & the Future of U.S. Policy

    In testimony presented before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, Christine Fair discusses the future of U.S.-Pakistan relations, the likelihood that Pakistan's leadership will vigorously pursue counter-terrorism objectives, and more.

    Jan 16, 2008

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Effects of Pregnancy Spacing on Infant and Child Mortality in Matlab, Bangladesh: How They Vary By the Type of Pregnancy Outcome That Began the Interval

    Assesses the effects of duration of intervals between pregnancy outcomes on infant and child mortality and how effects vary over child subperiods and by the outcome that began the interval. Shorter intervals are associated with higher mortality.

    Jan 1, 2008

  • Commentary


    Long-Term Instability?

    The tragic assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto casts a dark shadow across Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state with a long history of militarism and militancy and may auger a deeper and irreversible slide into Islamist violence, writes Christine Fair.

    Dec 31, 2007