Sameer Lalwani


Sameer Lalwani is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he is an affiliate of the Security Studies Program. He is currently a pre-doctoral fellow at George Washington University’s Institute for Security and Conflict Studies. He studies U.S. grand strategy, military intervention, civil-conflict, civil-military relations, and national security decision making. His dissertation seeks to explain why states choose particular strategies within civil conflict to combat rebellion, primarily in South Asia. Sameer has conducted field research in Pakistan, India, and Kashmir and archival research in the UK, for which he has received support from the Smith-Richardson Foundation, the Tobin Project and the MIT Entrepreneurship Center. Previously, he spent three years as a policy analyst at the New America Foundation where he remains a non-resident Research Fellow and he holds a bachelor's degree in political science from University of California, Berkeley.


“Pakistan’s Counterinsurgency Strategy,” Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion, Ed. Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 202-228. (pdf)

“India’s Approach to Counterinsurgency and the Naxalite Problem,” CTC Sentinel, Vol. 4, No. 10, October 2011. (link)

“Whither Command of the Commons? Choosing Security Over Control,” (with Joshua Shifrinson), Great Powers Initiative Policy Paper Series, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation, September 2011. (link)

“Why Isn’t Turkey Balancing Iran? Explaining Balance-of-Power and Alliance Behavior in Response to Nuclear Proliferation,” A Collection of Papers from the Nuclear Scholars Initiative, Washington, DC: Center for Strategic & International Studies, 2010, pp. 163-178. (link)

“The Pakistan Military’s Adaptation to Counterinsurgency in 2009,” CTC Sentinel, Vol. 3, No. 1, January, 2010. (link)

“Pakistani Military Capabilities for a Counterinsurgency Campaign: A Net Assessment,” Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative Publication, New America Foundation, September 2009. (link)


“Strategic Rethink Needed,” DAWN (Pakistan’s oldest and leading English daily), March 14, 2010. (link)

“Putting the ‘I’ in Aid,” (with Peter Bergen), New York Times, October 2, 2009. (pdf)

“Obama's Pakistan Problem,”, August 13, 2009. (link)

“Why We’d Miss Musharraf,”, September 2007. (link)

“The War on Poppies,” (with Peter Bergen), Los Angeles Times, September 2, 2007. (link)