Regional Politics and Security

In the years following the Arab uprisings, conflict and political unrest remain an ongoing feature in the Middle East. RAND's research addresses a range of current policy challenges, including political transitions, terrorism, civil conflicts, and the political and security dynamics of the broader region. Looking for work on Syria, Iraq, and ISIS? Find it here.

Our Work

  • Bomb blasts and artillery fire thundered across Baghdad as U.S. forces tightened their grip on the capital's fringes and brought up more troops, April 6, 2003, photo by Faleh Kheiber/Reuters

    Commentary

    Changing the Way America Goes to War

    Jun 25, 2019

    Mazarr

    America's vast power, and the weakness of most of its enemies, has allowed it to get away with a striking absence of deliberative judgment when deciding on war, as the Iraq case makes clear. But that free pass is coming to an end. It's time for the United States to rethink the way it decides on wars of choice.

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

    Commentary

    Is an Escalation Imminent in Western Libya?

    Mar 27, 2019

    Vest

    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.

  • Soldiers in military gear are silhouetted against the setting sun.

    Multimedia

    Strategic Rethink: America's Security Deficit

    Mar 7, 2019

    The global security landscape is shifting dramatically. How can the United States protect itself in today's tumultuous world? This video provides an overview of findings from the second volume in RAND's Strategic Rethink series, which recommends a suite of options that could help policymakers ensure that resources remain aligned with strategic demands.

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

    Report

    Countering Sectarianism in the Middle East

    Jan 14, 2019

    Martini, et al.

    Scholars and policymakers have sought to understand what drives sectarianism in the Middle East and its relationship to multiple conflicts. Far less attention has been focused on how communities inoculate themselves from sectarianism or recover from it.

  • Workers in a textile factory in Igdir, Turkey, May 20, 2017

    Research Brief

    Win-Win Solutions for Syrian Refugees—and Their Hosts

    Dec 13, 2018

    Kumar , et al.

    Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan have generously received the majority of Syrian refugees. Many are working, but their sheer numbers have strained local labor markets, public services, and social harmony. Which policies might help create new economic opportunities for both the refugees and host-nation workers?

  • Dried herbs, flowers and spices at the spice souq in Dubai, UAE

    Journal Article

    Food Security in the Gulf Cooperation Council

    Nov 28, 2018

    Efron , et al.

    Domestic food production is an ongoing challenge for the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. These countries are largely dependent on food imports and are subject to a number of potential disruptions. What strategies have they taken to increase domestic food production or facilitate access to imports?

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