Student Panelist: Aanchal Anand

Aanchal Anand

South Asia Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Panel II: Security and Strategy

Paper: “Antidote: Why Legalizing Opium is Essential for Promoting Development and Security in Afghanistan?” 



1. Please briefly introduce yourself.


Armed with an Indian passport and a self-proclaimed Russian heritage, I was naturally drawn to a dual concentration in Russian & Eurasian, and South Asian Studies at SAIS. Before SAIS, I worked in the UK as an (evil) investment banker and in India as a corporate strategy hot-shot. I love to travel, write, and—when no one is around—sing.

2. How did you get interested in your paper topic?


Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That’s what I feel about the drug prohibition and its spectacular failure. This paper gave me the opportunity to look at drug legalization and its benefits in the specific case of Afghanistan.



3. What was your research process? Do you have a tip that you would like to share?


Speak to someone at the SAIS Library on how to use EBSCOHOST. The rest is elementary, my dear Watson!



4. Do you have any advice for other students who may be interested in submitting a paper for next year’s SAIS Asia Conference?


Start early, pick sources representing both sides of the argument, and read between the lines!



5. What is your plan after graduation?


Find a job that pays back the student debt! (Isn’t that everyone’s plan?)



6. If you can ask a question to someone – either dead or alive – what would you ask to whom?


I’d ask Ronald Reagan if he indeed won the Cold War. Didn’t Gorbachev just abandon it?!




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