Middle East

Featured

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.

  • A view from space of the Middle East, West Asia, and East Europe at night, photo by wael alreweie/Getty Images

    Report

    Reimagining U.S. Strategy in the Middle East

    Feb 23, 2021

    Long-standing U.S. policies in the Middle East that rely on defeating threats and keeping partners on “our side” have fallen short. What if the U.S. approach shifted from focusing on the threat of the day to a positive vision of a region supported by increased diplomatic and economic investments?

  • Project

    The RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy

    Jun 17, 2016

    The RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP) brings together analytic excellence and regional expertise from across the RAND Corporation to address the most critical political, social, and economic challenges facing the Middle East today.

Explore Middle East

  • Report

    Report

    Multi-Domain Integration in Defence: Conceptual Approaches and Lessons from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea

    A study examining Russia, China, Iran and North Korea's current and future thinking on Multi-Domain Integration.

    Jan 20, 2022

  • U.S. Navy Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Daniel Mendoza (center) observes Sierra Leonean service members as they plot a navigational course during a training session in Freetown, Sierra Leone, August 18, 2010, photo by MC1 Jeffery Tilghman Williams/U.S. Navy

    Report

    U.S. Security Governance and Competition Objectives in Africa

    Institutional capacity-building (ICB) efforts have been critical to achieving U.S. security objectives in Africa. But as U.S. policy shifts from counterterrorism to strategic competition, could ICB programs also help the United States gain influence in Africa?

    Jan 18, 2022

  • Iraqi army force are seen in frontline to fight against Islamic State (IS) militants in Khrbadan village in the city of Qayyarah, 55 km south of Mosul, Iraq, on April 9, 2016, photo by Yaser Jawad/Xinhua/Alamy Live News

    Report

    Iraqi Army Will to Fight: A Will-to-Fight Case Study with Lessons for Western Security Force Assistance

    This is a study of Iraqi Army will to fight. It applies the RAND military will-to-fight model and assessment tool to three cases and recommends changes to U.S. security force assistance.

    Jan 11, 2022

  • Report

    Supporting parental behavioural change: Multichannel and cross-sector campaigns in Israel: A case study

    A case study that describes two campaigns in Israel that supported parental behavioural change. The case study highlights factors that contributed to the success of the campaigns and challenges that the organisers faced.

    Dec 23, 2021

  • Jacqueline Burns, bottom right, with Ambassador Donald Booth, at an Internally Displaced Person camp in Darfur, Sudan, in 2016, over a map of Sudan, photo courtesy of Jacqueline Burns; images by oxygen and JeanUrsula/Getty Images; design by Chara Williams/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    Helping People Affected by Conflict: Q&A with Jacqueline Burns

    From the Air Force to Africa to RAND, Jacqueline Burns resolved to help people whose lives have been torn apart by conflict or disaster. As a senior policy analyst she wants to be a part of finding better solutions to the complex questions of peace and security.

    Dec 22, 2021

  • Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2021

    As another extraordinary year draws to a close, we continue to believe that objective, nonpartisan research and analysis has a key role to play in navigating what continues to be a difficult time. Here are the 10 research projects that resonated most with rand.org readers in 2021.

    Dec 22, 2021

  • Blog

    RAND Commentary Highlights of 2021

    Vaccine rollouts, an attack on the U.S. Capitol, massive ransomware attacks, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, record numbers of job openings and people quitting, and more. RAND researchers weighed in on all these topics and more.

    Dec 21, 2021

  • View of Pakistan and Taliban flags at the Friendship Gate crossing point in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, Pakistan, August 27, 2021, photo by Saeed Ali Achakzai/Reuters

    Commentary

    Complex Calculations Shape Pakistan-TTP Negotiations

    Pakistan sees the Taliban as a facilitator of discussions with the TTP, as an ally in persuading the TTP to negotiate, and as a guarantor of whatever agreement is reached. And given the Taliban's diplomatic isolation and desperate economic situation, Pakistan can in return assist Afghanistan's new rulers in gaining acceptance and aid.

    Dec 20, 2021

  • Multimedia

    RAND Video Highlights of 2021

    The best RAND videos from the past year brought our research to life in new ways. From the sidewalks of Pittsburgh to preschools in the Middle East, see how people around the world are using RAND research to make their communities safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.

    Dec 20, 2021

  • An Afghan woman holds her child as she and others wait to receive package being distributed by a Turkish humanitarian aid group in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 15, 2021, photo by Ali Khara/Reuters

    Commentary

    It's Time for the West to Engage with the Taliban

    As a winter crisis looms, the Afghan people need support more than ever. Economic collapse and isolation risk provoking deeper instability, insecurity, and repression. The international community should now look seriously at making a deal with the Taliban to address these risks.

    Dec 17, 2021

  • Military parade after the 2021 coup d'état in Kaloum, Guinea, September 6, 2021, photo by Aboubacarkhoraa/CC BY 4.0 International

    Commentary

    Are Military Coups Back in Style in Africa?

    There have been five coups in sub-Saharan Africa since August 2020. On a continent that was recently lauded for its democratic advancement, this backsliding suggests the military coup may be dangerously back in fashion. Why are more coups happening now?

    Dec 1, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    What If Health Care Worked Like Everything Else?

    Editorial on peer-reviewed paper on WhatsApp use between PCPs and specialists by Israel army physicians.

    Dec 1, 2021

  • Afghan nationals enter Iran at the Dowqarun border crossing between Iran and Afghanistan, Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran, August 29, 2021, photo by Majid Asgaripour/WANA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Afghan Refugees Are Being Recruited to Join an Iranian Paramilitary

    As Western policymakers consider how to deal with Afghan evacuees, including former members of the Afghan security forces, they might consider how to prevent adversaries such as Iran from recruiting Afghan refugees for dangerous and destabilizing operations. Greater attention to these risks may become increasingly important as refugee flows from Afghanistan continue.

    Nov 23, 2021

  • Jonathan Wong and Joslyn Fleming at RAND's Santa Monica headquarters in September 2021, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    A Tradition of Service: Q&A with Two Veterans

    Before they became RAND researchers, Jonathan Wong and Joslyn Fleming served as U.S. Marines. In this interview, they discuss what made them want to join the service, what led them to research, and how their military experience guides the work they do at RAND.

    Nov 7, 2021

  • Paramilitary soldiers walk past the Pakistan Parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan, April 10, 2015, photo by Faisal Mahmood/Reuters

    Commentary

    Negotiating with TTP—A Different Perspective

    America's withdrawal and the Taliban's swift return to power in Afghanistan could be a primary force in shaping the trajectory of the continuing armed struggle with Pakistan's Taliban. It may be time for Islamabad to consider whether to renew efforts aimed at reaching a political settlement.

    Oct 27, 2021

  • U.S. and UK military leaders tour Main Operating Base Price, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, April 7, 2013, photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    Reconsidering U.S. Decisionmaking Within NATO After the Fall of Kabul

    With NATO, the United States often tries to have it all: U.S. leadership of the alliance and increased allied burden-sharing. But the recent experience in Afghanistan shows how the form U.S. leadership takes can frustrate allies. Prioritizing allied preferences would help to preserve alliance unity and maybe even strengthen burden-sharing.

    Oct 25, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    How We Talk About Migration: The Link Between Migration Narratives, Policy, and Power

    This report analyzes how narratives about migration contribute to political discourse in five countries.

    Oct 22, 2021

  • Refugee shields herself from rain, photo by Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

    Multimedia

    Afghanistan’s Refugee Crisis: Forty Years in the Making

    RAND senior policy researcher Shelly Culbertson discusses the history and current state of Afghanistan's refugee crisis.

    Oct 13, 2021

  • Blog

    Four-Day School Weeks, Domestic Terrorism, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the trade-offs of a four-day school week, how to counter domestic violent extremism, racial disparities in who is convicted of more-serious speeding charges, and more.

    Oct 8, 2021

  • Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division board a U.S. Air Force C-17 at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 30th, 2021, photo by Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett, 82nd Airborne Public Affairs/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    The Big Unanswered Question of the Afghanistan War

    The United States' war in Afghanistan may be over, but the debate over the legacy of America's longest war has just begun. The U.S. defeat raises many questions. For the future of American defense strategy, one big question perhaps stands out above all: Does the United States still have the grit necessary to fight and win long wars?

    Oct 4, 2021