Becca Wasser

Photo of Becca Wasser
Policy Analyst
Washington Office


M.S. in foreign service, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; B.A. in international and global studies and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Brandeis University

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Becca Wasser is a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, where her primary research areas include wargaming, international security, and U.S. defense and foreign policy in the Middle East.

Prior to joining RAND, Wasser worked as a research analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), based jointly in Washington, DC and Manama, Bahrain. At the IISS, she analyzed political and security developments in the Middle East, and managed a series of regional security conferences and workshops in Asia and the Middle East.

Wasser holds an M.S. in foreign service, with distinction, from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where she was also a junior fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and a B.A. in international and global studies and Islamic and Middle Eastern studies from Brandeis University. 


  • U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, March 20, 2018

    Could America Use Its Leverage to Alter the Saudis' Behavior?

    As the Saudis' chief political and military partner and the undisputed security guarantor in the Middle East, the United States has considerable influence it can wield over Saudi decisionmaking. The Trump administration could consider using its influence to encourage Saudi leadership to moderate its assertive and damaging policies abroad.

    Nov 15, 2018 Newsweek

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Sochi, Russia, November 20, 2017

    The Limits of Russian Strategy in the Middle East

    The greatest limitation of Russia's Middle East strategy is that it is not Russia, but the Middle Eastern states themselves that determine the depth of their relations with Moscow. Just as Russia seeks to engage in the Middle East for its own benefit, these states also seek to use Russia to their advantage.

    May 10, 2018 London School of Economics

  • Saudi Arabia's King Salman (L) speaks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin (R) during a welcoming ceremony upon his arrival in Moscow, Russia, October 4, 2017

    King Salman and Putin Deals Leave the U.S. Out in the Cold

    Riyadh plans to invest in Russian energy assets and possibly arms. The deals will lead to the manufacture of arms in Saudi Arabia and likely the transfer of military technology. These agreements thwart the U.S.- and EU-led sanctions regime and send an important signal to Washington.

    Oct 4, 2017 Newsweek

  • Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 24, 2015

    The Next Generation of Leaders in the Gulf

    The face of leadership in the Persian Gulf is getting younger. There are reasons not to assume that the Gulf's young leaders will gravitate to democratization. But their rise does provide an opportunity for a much-needed update to U.S. strategy in the region.

    Feb 15, 2016 Foreign Affairs


  • Beirut Madinati candidates and delegates cheer

    Research Brief

    Countering Sectarianism in the Middle East: Lessons from Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, and Iraq

    This research draws lessons on how to promote resilience to sectarianism and cross-sectarian cooperation through an exploration of four Middle Eastern case studies: Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, and Iraq.

    Jan 14, 2019

  • Beirut Madinati candidates and activists after announcing their list of candidates for the municipality elections in Beirut, Lebanon, April 22, 2016


    Countering Sectarianism in the Middle East

    What drives sectarianism in the Middle East? This report explores how communities inoculate themselves from sectarianism or recover from it and draws lessons on how to promote resilience and cross-sectarian cooperation.

    Jan 14, 2019

  • Report

    Comprehensive Deterrence Forum: Proceedings and Commissioned Papers

    On October 30, 2015, U.S. Army Special Operations Command facilitated a forum to explore the concept of comprehensive deterrence. Part I of this report delivers a summary of the forum proceedings, and Part II includes papers examining the concept.

    Jun 7, 2018

  • U.S. and United Arab Emirates forces training together during an exercise in Kuwait, September 28, 2016


    U.S. Strategic Interests in the Middle East and Implications for the Army

    This perspective examines threats to U.S. interests in the Middle East and factors associated with success and failure in U.S. military interventions, and offers recommendations for the Army as it prepares for future involvement in the region.

    Dec 7, 2017

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2017


    Russian Strategy in the Middle East

    This Perspective seeks to identify the important elements of Russian interests in Middle East beyond Syria, to define the nature of Russian engagement in the region, and to describe the contours of a Russian strategy in the Middle East.

    Aug 7, 2017

  • Report

    Improving Implementation of the Department of Defense Leahy Law

    The Leahy laws prohibit U.S. assistance to foreign security forces that have committed gross violations of human rights. This report analyzes the vetting process that helps the Department of Defense implement these laws and recommends improvements.

    Feb 17, 2017

  • Silhouettes of people on a Syrian national flag are seen at a peace march in Damascus, September 21, 2016


    Preventing State Collapse in Syria

    This paper offers recommendations for U.S. policy for a postconflict transition in Syria that prevents state collapse and reduces the potential for the recurrence of war and the reemergence of terrorist groups.

    Jan 9, 2017

  • Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and interior ministers from Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain before their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 27, 2016


    The Outlook for Arab Gulf Cooperation

    This report examines what binds and divides the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- and presents the outlook for the GCC's evolution over the next ten years.

    Jul 26, 2016