Dr. Asfandyar Mir is a senior expert in the South Asia program at USIP. 
 
Dr. Mir’s research interests include the international relations of South Asia, U.S. counterterrorism policy and political violence — with a regional focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. 
 
Previously, Dr. Mir taught in the political science department and held various fellowships at the Center for International Security and Cooperation of Stanford University.

Dr. Mir has written extensively on the international relations of South Asia and U.S. counterterrorism policy. His analysis has been published by major media outlets and research institutions, such as the CTC Sentinel, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, Middle East Institute, War on the Rocks, Washington Post among others. Dr. Mir’s research has also appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals, such as International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics and Security Studies.

Dr. Mir received his doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s and bachelor’s from Stanford University.

Publications By Asfandyar

Five Key Issues Facing Pakistan’s New Army Chief

Five Key Issues Facing Pakistan’s New Army Chief

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

By: Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.;  Tamanna Salikuddin

Pakistan just underwent a major military transition. Last week, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif appointed General Asim Munir as the new chief of the country’s powerful army, succeeding Qamar Bajwa who held the position for six years. Munir is a former chief of Pakistan’s powerful intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and before that the head of the country’s military intelligence. In nuclear-armed Pakistan with the world’s fifth largest military and a history of military rule, the army chief tends to be the most powerful leader — at times even perceived as the de facto leader due to significant influence over Pakistan’s domestic and foreign policies.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Civilian-Military RelationsDemocracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

Losing Facts to Fiction: Nationalism, Misinformation, and Conspiracy Theories in Pakistan

Losing Facts to Fiction: Nationalism, Misinformation, and Conspiracy Theories in Pakistan

Thursday, November 17, 2022

By: Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.;  Niloufer Siddiqui, Ph.D.

Misinformation and conspiracy theories have become staples of mainstream politics in numerous countries around the world—democracies and autocracies alike. Pakistan is no exception. This report examines the causes of pervasive belief in misinformation in Pakistan—particularly nationalistic misinformation—and the consequences for the country’s relations with its neighbors, the risk of international or domestic conflict, and attitudes toward Pakistan’s many ethnic minority groups. The report also discusses steps that policymakers can take to counteract misinformation.

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

The Latest on al-Qaida after al-Zawahiri: 3 Things You Need to Know

The Latest on al-Qaida after al-Zawahiri: 3 Things You Need to Know

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

By: Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.

It's been about 10 years since the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden. In July, his successor Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan. In this episode of The Latest, Asfandyar Mir, a senior expert in USIP's Asia Center, describes where this leaves al-Qaida, what it means for U.S. counterterrorism policy, and who the next leader of al-Qaida might be.

Type: Blog

Violent Extremism

After al-Zawahiri’s Killing, What’s Next for the U.S. in Afghanistan?

After al-Zawahiri’s Killing, What’s Next for the U.S. in Afghanistan?

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

By: Kate Bateman;  Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.;  Andrew Watkins

On Monday, President Biden revealed that a U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaida leader, and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Ayman al-Zawahiri over the weekend. Al-Zawahiri was reportedly on the balcony of a safe house in Kabul, Afghanistan. Last week, the United States participated in a regional conference in Tashkent, Uzbekistan focused on counterterrorism, where Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said his regime had followed through on commitments to not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for transnational terrorism.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism

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