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.
The RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP) provides expertise on the Middle East. CMEPP analysts are in touch with political, social, economic, and technological developments in and around the region. Through research and analysis, CMEPP helps public and private decision makers solve problems, tackle challenges, and identify ways to make society safer, smarter, and more prosperous.
Policymakers and military commanders should use the lessons derived from the final years of U.S. involvement in Iraq to inform critical decisions and timelines required to successfully end large-scale military operations, including the one in Afghanistan. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” template to follow.
Economic cooperation between Turkey and Iran has increased over the past decade — mainly due to Iran's vast oil and natural gas reserves — but the degree of cooperation between the two nations should not be exaggerated.
An approach to policing known as “procedural justice,” emphasizing transparency and accountability, would help Israel's national police meet current and emerging challenges. The force needs to address issues of civil-police relations, benchmarking, performance measurement, and deterrence.
Three Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows at the RAND Corporation—Robert Reardon, Markus Schiller, and David Kearn—have published new research examining nuclear security issues.
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.
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.
Veteran diplomat Charles Ries has been named the new director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, RAND Corporation officials announced today.
The RAND Corporation has opened a new office in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, as part of a strategic effort to deliver research and analysis to decisionmakers in the Middle East, RAND President and CEO James A. Thomson announced today.