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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  • With the Death Toll Rising in Gaza, Is There Any Hope for Peace?

    Jul 22, 2014

    Casualties are rising in the conflict between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. Are there any realistic expectations for peace in the region? Who could broker a settlement between Hamas and Israel?

  • Defeating the Islamic State: Crafting a Regional Approach

    Jul 22, 2014

    While ISIL may achieve temporary tactical gains from declaring the caliphate, it made the strategic error of declaring all other Sunni political actors illegitimate. This may provide an opening to build a coalition that can create and implement a regional strategy to attack ISIL.

  • Iraq Makes Strange Bedfellows

    Jul 15, 2014

    In seeking to quell the unrest in Iraq, the United States must balance its own interests with those of a diverse cast of players that includes Iraq, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, an unpredictable and violent jihadist front and others.

  • Media Conference Call on Iran's Nuclear Program — U.S. Policy Choices and the Challenges Ahead

    Jul 14, 2014

    RAND international security experts Lynn E. Davis and Alireza Nader hosted a media conference call on Monday, July 14, 2014 to discuss the July 20 deadline for the P5+1 (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, Germany) to reach a deal with Iran on its nuclear program, and the policy choices confronting the United States should an agreement be reached. Media relations manager Joe Dougherty moderated the call.

  • The United States Must Remain Cautious About Intervening in Iraq

    Jul 14, 2014

    It is difficult to see how the United States can favorably affect the situation in Iraq without making a costly and risky investment. But that does not mean doing nothing. An immediate objective is to contain the conflict.

  • How the United States Can Use Its Non-Military Power

    Jul 10, 2014

    Because the United States has relied so heavily on force, we tend to equate it with power. Some results can only be achieved through force, but coercion can be an effective substitute. A superpower, by definition, has many options to have its way without always needing to send troops into battle—a smart superpower will use those options.

  • Can U.S. and Iran Work Together in Iraq?

    Jul 3, 2014

    The presence of Iranian and American troops in Iraq may necessitate clear and direct communications between the two sides, at least to prevent misunderstanding and greater chaos. But Washington should tread carefully and focus on nuclear negotiations for now.

  • A Long-Term Strategy for a Democratic Iraq

    Jun 30, 2014

    Unfortunately, no strategic option for a unified, democratic Iraq has a good chance of success. But any well-considered option that doesn't involve ineffective killing or risking U.S. lives is preferable to simply allowing Iraq to disintegrate and feed broader regional instability.

  • The Fallacy of Iranian Leverage

    Jun 27, 2014

    Rather than helping Iran in the nuclear negotiations, Iran's battle against the ISIS could actually hurt it. The broader strategic dynamics were already working against Iran, and the situation in Iraq has only made that more true.

  • Is Afghanistan the Next to Crumble?

    Jun 24, 2014

    Amid the stunning rout of Iraqi forces in northern Iraq, many have asked whether a similar reversal of American foreign policy goals is possible in Afghanistan. The answer is a qualified yes. Now is the time for the United States to understand Afghanistan's coming struggle, and to help Afghans build a path to stability.

  • Victory, Afghan Style

    Jun 23, 2014

    A good outcome in Afghanistan seems less likely now than a few weeks ago, but there is still cause for guarded optimism: before this electoral season, few would have guessed that the final showdown would be between a pair of level-headed pro-Western moderates rather than two foul, bloodstained warlords.

  • On the Fall of Mosul

    Jun 19, 2014

    Despite the belief that liberal democracy is the best system of government, America's own history clearly demonstrates that the path to it can be long and painful.

  • Iraq Observations

    Jun 19, 2014

    Will the Obama administration be blamed for losing Iraq if it does not order military intervention? Or will history judge the president wise for keeping U.S. forces out of war? As Americans debate assisting Iraq, including the possibility of military intervention, here are 10 things to keep in mind.

  • With More Opportunities for Recruitment, the ISIS Threat Could Grow

    Jun 18, 2014

    As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) rolls through northern Iraq, taking two cities, Mosul and Tikrit, in as many days last week, experts are concerned not only about territory and resources seized by the militants, but also about growing opportunities for ISIS to bolster its ranks.

  • Would U.S. Air Power Work in Iraq?

    Jun 18, 2014

    With the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) making significant gains over the past week, President Obama is reportedly considering whether to deploy U.S. air power to assist Iraq's armed forces. But what would such an intervention mean in practical terms?