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

Asfandyar Mir on Why ISIS-K Attacked Moscow

Asfandyar Mir on Why ISIS-K Attacked Moscow

Monday, April 1, 2024

ISIS-K’s recent attack on the Russian capital was, in part, intended to assert the organization’s growing capacity to inflict terror beyond its home base of Afghanistan. “By reaching Moscow, ISIS-K is trying to signal it has the geographic reach to hit anywhere in the world,” says USIP’s Asfandyar Mir.

Type: Podcast

Moscow Concert Hall Attack Will Have Far-Reaching Impact

Moscow Concert Hall Attack Will Have Far-Reaching Impact

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

On Friday, terrorists attacked the Crocus City Hall outside Moscow leaving 140 people dead and 80 others critically wounded. Soon after, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. The terrorist group, which is headquartered in Iraq and Syria, has several branches, including in South and Central Asia. Press reports suggest the U.S. government believes the Afghanistan-based affiliate of the Islamic State, ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K), was behind the attack. The Biden administration has publicly noted that it had warned the Russian government of the terrorism threat in early March in line with the procedure of “Duty to Warn.”

Type: Question and Answer

Global Policy

Understanding Pakistan’s Election Results

Understanding Pakistan’s Election Results

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Days after Pakistan’s February 8 general election, the Election Commission of Pakistan released the official results confirming a major political upset. Contrary to what most political pundits and observers had predicted, independents aligned with former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won the most seats at the national level, followed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). No party won an absolute majority needed to form a government on its own. The resultant uncertainty means the United States may have to contend with a government that is more focused on navigating internal politics and less so on addressing strategic challenges.

Type: Analysis

Global Elections & ConflictGlobal Policy

Making Sense of Iran-Pakistan Cross-Border Strikes

Making Sense of Iran-Pakistan Cross-Border Strikes

Friday, January 19, 2024

In a surprising turn on January 16, Iran launched missile strikes into Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, claiming it had hit two strongholds of anti-Iran insurgent group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice). Iran announced the attack in Pakistan concurrent to its strikes in Iraq and Syria. Less than two days later, Pakistan hit back with not only missiles but also fighter jets in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province — claiming to target hideouts of anti-Pakistan ethno-nationalist insurgents operating from Iranian soil.

Type: Analysis

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal PolicyViolent Extremism

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