RAND Experts Available on Iraq Withdrawal

Following today's end of mission ceremony, USF-I — United States Force-Iraq — cased its colors and transitioned its responsibilities, marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq.

RAND experts are available to discuss a variety of topics related to Iraq, the war and the future of the region, including:

  • Is the United States making the right decision to withdraw from Iraq now?
  • What must the U.S. do to maintain influence in the country?
  • Does the U.S. withdrawal provide Iran with the opportunity to fill the "vacuum" in Iraq?
  • How much influence can Iran have in Iraq, and what elements can inhibit Iran's influence on its neighbor?
  • What does the withdrawal mean for other Persian Gulf nations, particularly Saudi Arabia and Turkey?
  • How will the withdrawal affect Iraqi groups that have relied on U.S. forces for security?
  • What challenges will American service members face upon their return home?
  • What lessons can be learned from the nearly nine-year war?

Amb. James Dobbins is director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center in the RAND National Defense Research Institute.

Amb. Charlie Ries is director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy. He served as Coordinator for Economic Transition in Iraq at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (2007–2008), where he was responsible for oversight and coordination of assistance and economic policy initiatives.

Olga Oliker is a senior international policy analyst, with expertise on Iraq's migration crisis. She co-authored "The Impact of U.S. Military Drawdown in Iraq on Displaced and Other Vulnerable Populations."

Seth Jones is a senior political scientist focusing on nation building, peacekeeping and stability operations.

Stuart Johnson is a senior research analyst focusing on military strategy and military doctrine. He is co-author of "Withdrawing from Iraq: Alternative Schedules, Associated Risks, and Mitigating Strategies."

Alireza Nader is an international affairs analyst at RAND who focuses on Iran. He is the co-author of "The Rise of the Pasdaran: Assessing the Domestic Roles of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps."

Fred Wehrey is a senior policy analyst focusing on Persian Gulf security, Iran, Libya, Egypt, civil-military relations, and U.S. policy in the Middle East. He is the lead author of "The Iraq Effect: The Middle East After the Iraq War."

Dalia Dassa Kaye is a senior political scientist focusing on Iran and the Middle East. She is co-author of "The Impact of U.S. Military Drawdown in Iraq on Displaced and Other Vulnerable Populations."

Terri Tanielian is director of the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research and focuses on the psychological and behavioral effects of combat. She is co-leader of the study "Invisible Wounds of War."

John Winkler is director of the Forces and Resources Policy Center within RAND's National Security Research Division; he is an expert in defense manpower and specifically the deployment and reintegration related issues facing Reserve Component members.


To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations:
(703) 414-4795 or
(310) 451-6913, or
send an email to media@rand.org.

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