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The security environment in the Middle East has become increasingly complicated during the past decade. This report identifies several important trends that are shaping regional security and identifies their implications for the United States. Many traditional security concerns, such as energy security and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, will remain significant factors in the future. However, ongoing domestic changes throughout the region will become increasingly important as well. Issues such as political reform, economic reform, civil-military relations, leadership change, and the information revolution are all affecting regional security dynamics. This report examines each of these issue areas and identifies some of the challenges that they pose for U.S. foreign policy.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

    Nora Bensahel and Daniel L. Byman

  • Chapter Two

    Political Reform in the Middle East

    Nora Bensahel

  • Chapter Three

    Economic Reform in the Middle East: The Challenge to Governance

    Alan Richards

  • Chapter Four

    Civil-Military Relations in the Middle East

    Risa Brooks

  • Chapter Five

    The Implications of Leadership Change in the Arab World

    Daniel L. Byman

  • Chapter Six

    Energy and Middle Eastern Security: New Dimensions and Strategic Implications

    Ian O. Lesser

  • Chapter Seven

    The Information Revolution and the Middle East

    Jon B. Alterman

  • Chapter Eight

    Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East: Proliferation Dynamics and Strategic Consequences

    Ian O. Lesser

  • Chapter Nine

    Conclusions

    Nora Bensahel, Daniel L. Byman, and Negeen Pegahi

Book Review Excerpts

"This collection offers an up-to-date regional survey that seeks, with considerable success, to integrate many different issues and countries into an overview… Topics treated include political and economic reform, Middle Eastern oil, and weapons of mass destruction, plus civil-military relations, the information revolution, and the prospects of impending leadership changes in the area. With its regional approach, the book reveals how the issues of WMD, terrorism, U.S support for the status quo versus championing reform, putting Iraq back together, and that hardy perennial-Israel and the Arabs-are all intertwined. U.S. policy, it says, must be 'flexible and robust'…"

- Foreign Affairs

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The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and coducted within RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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