Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

An Introduction to Pakistan's Military

The Pakistani military remains an opaque entity, both inside and outside of the country.  Few publicly available reports exist for those seeking a basic understanding of its leaders, functions, or allegiances.  An Introduction to Pakistan's Military is the first of two Belfer Center reports examining the Pakistani military.  To assemble this report, the authors interviewed over two-dozen retired Pakistani military officers, principally in Islamabad and Karachi.  The authors also conducted nearly forty additional interviews with Pakistani politicians, civil society actors, journalists, and military experts, as well as with US and European military, diplomatic, and intelligence officers and analysts.

The first report examines Pakistan’s:

  • Overall strategic security and threat environment;
  • Military history since 1947;
  • Conventional military capabilities;
  • Nuclear strategy and security posture; and
  • Current counterinsurgency (COIN) efforts (briefly).

The second report will:

  • Explore in more detail Pakistan’s current counterinsurgency efforts;
  • Evaluate threats to internal cohesion and fears of Islamist infiltration into the Pakistani military;
  • Assess the traits of current and future Pakistani military leaders; and
  • Examine the relationship between the Pakistani military and the civilian government.

An Introduction to Pakistan's Military by Aguilar, Francisco, Randy Bell, Natalie Black, Sayce Falk, Sasha Rogers, Aki J. Peritz (6mb)

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Aguilar, Francisco, Randy Bell, Natalie Black, Sayce Falk, Sasha Rogers, Aki J. Peritz. “An Introduction to Pakistan's Military.” Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, July 2011.

The Authors