As the center of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths; the world's main source of petroleum; and a religious, political, and ethnic tinderbox, the Middle East plays a considerable role in world affairs. RAND research on the region covers a wide range of cultural, economic, educational, military, and political topics, including in-depth examinations of Qatar, Palestine, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Israel.
Much of RAND's Middle East work is coordinated by its Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP). CMEPP is the mechanism by which RAND's experts on health, education, and national security research are paired with its experts on the political, societal, and cultural issues in the region. In this way, RAND is able to bring to bear a full array of analytic capabilities to understand the Middle East in the broadest possible sense.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic political movement that heads the national government in Egypt, faces a generational divide that poses significant challenges to the group as it works to extend its role in Egyptian society.
Three Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows at the RAND Corporation—Robert Reardon, Markus Schiller, and David Kearn—have published new research examining nuclear security issues.
In an effort to look beyond the 2012 U.S. election and promote "farsighted leadership in a shortsighted world," the latest edition of the RAND Corporation's magazine offers commentaries intended to transcend partisan rhetoric and foster policies that both presidential candidates could well accept.
India and Pakistan each have a stake in influencing developments in Afghanistan and both countries engage in Afghanistan to advance their own respective geopolitical, defense, and economic objectives. However, India has far more to offer.
The Arab world is the one region that has been left out of the global trend toward greater embrace of democracy, but a successful shift from authoritarian regimes to democratic governments is possible there.
Disability payments made to veterans injured during combat adequately compensate them for the earning losses they experience in the civilian job market.
Energy purchases made by the U.S. Department of Defense do not influence world oil prices, making cutting fuel use the only effective choice to reduce what the Pentagon spends on petroleum fuels.
The efforts of U.S. military information operations and psychological operations in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2010 grew less successful over time, as disenchantment with foreign occupation grew.
A new book by the late French scholar Thérèse Delpech provides a critical review and update of nuclear deterrence theory, focusing a critical eye on nuclear issues during the Cold War, examining the lessons of past nuclear crises, and outlining ways in which these lessons apply to major nuclear powers and nuclear pretenders today.
While al Qaeda's capacity for large-scale attacks has been drastically reduced and the organization seriously weakened, the United States can expect to continue its battle with the terrorist group for many years to come.
A review of recent Israeli military conflicts indicates the United States may be ill-prepared for "hybrid" warfare against state-sponsored adversaries who have a modicum of training and small force numbers, but possess advanced weapons and enough expertise to challenge the U.S. military.
The United States should engage in activities that increase understanding about how a deterrence relationship between Israel and Iran may evolve, and encourage direct communication between Israelis and Iranians through informal diplomatic channels.
An attack on Iranian nuclear facilities by the United States or Israel would make it more, not less difficult to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions. The sympathy aroused for Iran would make containment of Iranian influence much more difficult for Israel, for the U.S., and for the Arab regimes currently allied with Washington.
A sustained focus on Afghanistan at all levels of the U.S. government is needed for the United States to make the most of its limited influence on the complex Afghan peace process.
RAND senior researcher Obaid Younossi has been named the new director of the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute. "Obaid's long career in public policy research and analysis and his experiences in the region make him the perfect candidate to help the Institute continue to grow and expand its work in Qatar and elsewhere in the region," said RAND President and CEO James A. Thomson.
Prisoner-of-war and detainee operations are a crucial component in the successful prosecution of a conflict -- particularly in counterinsurgency operations -- and should be upgraded to receive more attention and better advance preparation.
A paper regarding Iran's efforts to produce nuclear materials has been erroneously referred to in some media reports as a RAND study. It was written by Gregory Jones, a part-time adjunct staff member, on his own time, and was published by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. The paper was not related to a RAND project and not reviewed for quality and objectivity by RAND.
Dissuading Iran from developing nuclear weapons faces major obstacles, but it's too soon to give up trying as it may still be possible to influence the outcome of Iran's internal political debate.
Israel's disappointing performance in its war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 did not reflect a "failure of air power," but rather a failure of Israel's political and military leaders to properly assess the enemy, set achievable goals, apply an effective strategy and adequately manage public expectations.
Recent events in Egypt and Tunisia underscore the importance of examining potential leadership succession in key countries prior to when they occur, in part to help maximize the United States' ability to influence rapidly evolving events.