Dr. Iskander Rehman

Iskander Rehman is an AJI Post-doctoral Fellow at the Kissinger Center. His work focuses on applied history, grand strategy, and US defense strategy in Asia. Dr. Rehman is also the founder of the Rochambeau Dialogue, a Track 1.5 Franco-U.S. defense dialogue held every year in Newport, RI.

In addition to being an Ax:son Johnson Fellow at the Kissinger Center,  Iskander Rehman is currently the Senior Fellow for Strategic Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), which he joined in July 2020. His work focuses on applied history, grand strategy, and US defense strategy in Asia. Dr. Rehman is also the founder of the Rochambeau Dialogue, a Track 1.5 Franco-U.S. defense dialogue held every year in Newport, RI.

Prior to joining AFPC, Dr. Rehman was the Senior Fellow for International Relations at the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy in Newport, Rhode Island. Over the course of his career, he has held fellowships at a number of different think-tanks, such as the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Dr. Rehman has also lived and worked in India, holding visiting fellowships at the Observer Research Foundation and at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, both in New Delhi. He has published a number of think tank monographs, book chapters, and articles in journals such as Survival, The Washington QuarterlyThe Naval War College ReviewAsian SecurityIndia Review, and Texas National Security Review. He is a contributing editor and regular writer for War on the Rocks, and his work has featured or cited in The GuardianThe American InterestThe Financial TimesEngelsberg Ideas, The EconomistThe Indian ExpressLe MondeThe DiplomatThe National Interest, and BBC World, amongst others. Dr. Rehman holds a Ph.D., with distinction, from the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), in Paris.

During his time at the Kissinger Center, he will be working on two main book projects. The first is a study combining military history and contemporary defense studies entitled “Planning for Protraction: A Historically Informed Approach to Great Power War and Sino-US Competition.” This monograph seeks to provide a historically-informed overview of protracted warfare, its core drivers and characteristics, along with an examination of the main elements, or patterns of behavior, that appear to have consistently had the most impact on a warring great power’s long-term strategic performance. Drawing on these historically informed insights, the study then offers a detailed and structured assessment of the contemporary Sino-US rivalry, engaging in a granular diagnosis of how each party is currently positioned to compete in the event of a protracted Sino-US war.

Dr. Rehman’s second book project is a study of the evolution of French grand strategy toward Spain over the course of the late sixteenth and early-to-mid seventeenth centuries.  From the blood-soaked horror of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre, to the continent-wide devastation of the Thirty Years War and the tumultuous early years of Louis XIV’s storied reign, the book will provide readers with a fresh and gripping perspective on a seminal period in the history of war and diplomacy. This work of narrative non-fiction is told through the lives and actions of three legendary figures in the annals of French statecraft: Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully, the flinty Protestant warrior who cumulated a variety of ministerial roles under Henri IV from 1589 to 1610, Armand Jean du Plessis, the ruthless Cardinal-Duke of Richelieu, who served as chief minister under Louis XIII from 1624 to 1642, and, last but not least, the charming, vulpine Cardinal Jules Mazarin, who was France’s chief minister first during the tumultuous regency of Anne of Austria, from 1643 to 1651, and then during the first decade of Louis XIV’s reign, from 1651 to 1661.

In addition to these two main book projects, Dr. Rehman will also be releasing various in-depth studies on the history of military strategy—from the Roman Principate’s military campaigns under Emperor Tiberius (r.14-37 CE) to the Hundred Years War or Franco-Spanish wars of the Renaissance.

He can be followed on twitter @IskanderRehman.