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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  • A Broad Approach to Countering the Islamic State

    Sep 2, 2014

    Recent analysis about how to defeat the Islamic State tends to be based on no more than intuition, a general sense of history, or a small number of cases of questionable comparability. A study of 71 historical cases of counterinsurgencies should help provide empirical evidence to this important debate.

  • Foreign Fighters Are a Global Threat

    Aug 25, 2014

    The threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters cannot be resolved by the United States, or any ally, working alone. It calls for broad international cooperation on law enforcement, intelligence sharing and other areas for many years to come. The road ahead will be hard, but it's best to begin now with action by the UN Security Council.

  • Disrupting Terrorist Safe Havens

    Aug 18, 2014

    Disrupting the terrorist safe havens in Syria and Iraq would require a balanced approach that makes the business of terrorist planning and training difficult without entangling U.S. forces in new conflicts and angering the very populations the United States seeks to assist.

  • To Fight ISIS, Make Peace with Syria's Assad

    Aug 14, 2014

    To disrupt al-Baghdadi's advance, the United States and its allies should start by addressing the source of the problem — the conflict in Syria. They can begin by negotiating a truce with President Bashar Assad to stop the fighting in Syria.

  • What's Going on in Iraq?

    Aug 14, 2014

    While the United States could embark on a much wider war in Iraq, there's little reason to think it will rush to do so or that using airpower to help defend the Kurds will make such an escalation inevitable.

  • Hitting ISIS Where It Hurts: Disrupt Its Cash Flow in Iraq

    Aug 13, 2014

    President Obama's decision last week to conduct airstrikes against ISIS and send humanitarian aid will help buy time for both Iraqi and Kurdish forces to regroup. But Baghdad needs a strategy that aligns the political and economic interests of all Iraqis to hit ISIS where it hurts: its war chest.

  • Iraq's Lessons for Afghanistan

    Aug 4, 2014

    The successes of ISIS and other Sunni groups have raised important questions about the wisdom of America's decision to withdraw U.S. military forces from Iraq in 2011. They raise equally significant questions about the U.S. decision to exit Afghanistan in the future.

  • A Summer Reading List for Congress

    Jul 31, 2014

    No matter how policymakers spend their break—meeting with home-state constituents, traveling abroad with congressional delegations, or spending time with family—this summer reading list contains policy ideas, including health-realted reading on dementia policy and Medicaid, that can help them hit the ground running when they return.

  • An Evil Wind

    Jul 31, 2014

    The threat of global terrorist enterprises has been enhanced by Western fighters joining al Qaeda offshoots like the Islamic State. With the terrorist threat evolving, the United States has little choice but to evolve with it.

  • Gaza and the Nuclear Negotiations

    Jul 28, 2014

    Whether a deal materializes that meets Iranian demands for a civilian nuclear program, but is limited enough to satisfy the U.S. and its partners remains to be seen. But the longer the Gaza conflict continues, the harder it'll be to insulate the negotiations from broader regional trends.

  • 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.