Nathan Vest

Photo of Nathan Vest
Research Assistant
Washington Office


B.A. in Arabic, University of Texas; B.A. in history, University of Texas


Nathan Vest is a research assistant and Middle East specialist at the RAND Corporation. He has studied decolonization, state building, and ethno-national identity development. Additionally, he is a fluent Arabic speaker and has spent considerable time in the Arab world, studying and working in both Morocco and Jordan. Professionally, Vest has worked primarily in democracy building, conflict resolution, and security sector reform, concentrating on non-state armed groups (NSAG). He also conducts research on psychological and information operations, NSAG strategic communications, and principal-agent organizational relations in the Middle East. Vest received a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin where he majored in Arabic Language & Literature and History.


Arabic; French


  • Khalifa Haftar salutes as he participates in the General Security conference, in Benghazi, Libya, October 14, 2017, photo by Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters

    Is an Escalation Imminent in Western Libya?

    The Libyan Civil War has largely been contained to pockets of violence. Prolonged battles decimated cities such as Benghazi, Derna, and Sirte, but the majority of the country has been spared large-scale destruction. However, that could change soon.

    Mar 27, 2019 RealClearWorld

  • Israeli armored vehicles take part in a drill in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, August 7, 2018 August 7, 2018

    The Growing Risk of a New Middle East War

    Escalating clashes between Israeli and Iranian forces in Syria have demonstrably increased the risk of a new, large-scale regional conflict that would likely involve the U.S. military. Tehran's continued provocations and violations of Israel's stated red lines are fueling escalation with the potential to rapidly spin out of control.

    Aug 21, 2018 United Press International

  • Iranian flag

    Regime Appears Fragile as Iranians Turn Much of Their Ire Inward

    Economic hardship is fueling unrest in Iran. New sanctions stemming from the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal may exacerbate already difficult conditions. Now might be the time to exert maximum pressure on the regime in an effort to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table.

    May 21, 2018 The Hill