CMEPP News Archive

RAND researchers often write commentaries for publications on a variety of topics. This page lists commentaries and op-eds about the Middle East. For a complete list of commentaries and op-eds by RAND staff, visit the RAND Newsroom.

CMEPP in The News Archive:
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  • Not to Worry, Israel

    Oct 23, 2014

    Some Israelis worry that America's fight against the Islamic State is distracting from the Iranian nuclear challenge. But the idea that the U.S. would make additional concessions to Iran in the nuclear negotiations because of the anti-Islamic State group effort is not based on realities on the ground.

  • Destroy ISIL's Heavy Weapons and Vehicles: Level the Playing Field

    Oct 20, 2014

    More than any other option, employing air power decisively to deny ISIL the ability to use its armor and artillery has the potential to immediately and dramatically shift the battlefield balance against it.

  • The Upside of Lower Oil Prices

    Oct 17, 2014

    Movement toward sharply lower oil prices should be a prominent component of any strategy directed at disabling many of the world's most disruptive threats: Iran's nuclear development, ISIS, Hamas attacks on Israel, and Russia's threat to Ukraine.

  • Air Campaign Against ISIS Is Just Getting Off the Ground

    Oct 17, 2014

    More than 60 countries have joined the coalition against ISIS, with at least 12 participating in the air campaign. Eventually, this will be an impressive armada, but the campaign is still in its first stage, and most of the coalition participants joined the effort only recently.

  • What Could U.S. Boots on the Ground Do in Iraq and Syria?

    Oct 15, 2014

    Before embracing American boots on the ground as a strategy to fight ISIS, it's essential to be clear about what they're going to do, what they may require, and what risks may be entailed.

  • The Health Needs of Syrian Women in and around the Za'atari Refugee Camp

    Oct 13, 2014

    The Syrian conflict has been the main contributor to the largest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide—and the problem can be expected to get worse as the fighting continues. Student Mahal Woldetsadik (cohort '13) notes that, while small steps are being taken to try and meet the needs of women refugees, more needs to be done.

  • The Foreign Policy Essay: Hearts, Minds, & ISIL

    Oct 13, 2014

    Defeating ISIL will not come from “winning hearts and minds” and soft power, nor will it come from a handful of precision airstrikes. It will require hard, bloody ground combat. The United States may not want to admit this, but it is the grim truth nonetheless.

  • What Are ISIS's Options Now?

    Oct 10, 2014

    In domestic debates about what the United States should do to blunt the threat posed by ISIS, Americans often forget the adversary also has options. A determined force, ISIS will counter the bombing campaign.

  • The New Global Juggling Act

    Oct 7, 2014

    Areas that have long been a focal point for defense planning — Europe, the Middle East and East Asia — are all facing profound and unsettling change, and the United States may no longer have the luxury of choosing among regions.

  • Hit the Islamic State's Pocketbook

    Oct 6, 2014

    The Islamic State is the world's richest terrorist group, with estimated assets of $1 billion to $2 billion. Airstrikes may disrupt the flow of oil and profits, but they won't lead to the group's financial ruin anytime soon. The Islamic State will bring in an estimated $100 million to $200 million this year.

  • The Future Lies in Afghanistan's Hands

    Oct 3, 2014

    With the signing of international security agreements this week, there's been a resurgence of hope that a bright future for Afghanistan is possible. But that future will ultimately be determined only by the Afghans.

  • Does ISIL Represent a Threat to the United States?

    Oct 3, 2014

    There are legitimate questions about how to best go about preventing ISIL from consolidating its control over Iraq and Levant. But this is very different from arguing that ISIL is not a threat and that the United States therefore should stand aside as it does so.

  • Why Iran Can't Walk Away from Nuclear Talks So Easily

    Sep 26, 2014

    If the public inflexibility of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif isn't mere diplomatic posturing, they would be gambling not only with their own political futures, but the futures of 80 million Iranians as well.

  • RAND Experts Discuss U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

    Sep 24, 2014

    The United States and five of its partner nations are conducting strikes against ISIS terrorists in Syria using fighters, bombers, remotely piloted aircraft, and Tomahawk Land Attack missiles. RAND experts discuss the bombings and possible ramifications.

  • Does France Have the Master Plan to Defeat ISIS?

    Sep 24, 2014

    In Mali, France stopped jihadists from taking over, ejected them from the country almost entirely, and struck a major blow to their ability to threaten France and the region. This success story provides important lessons for the U.S. debate about how to deal with ISIS.