West Asia

  • Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden in Jamkha, Afghanistan, May 1, 1998, photo by Balkis Press/ABACA/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Question of Succession in Al-Qaida

    Two months after the death of al Qaida leader Aymin al-Zawahiri, experts continue to debate potential contenders for his replacement while waiting for al-Qaeda to make an announcement. A dark horse contender with long ties to Osama bin Laden could upend predictions and threaten to revive one of history's most lethal terrorist groups.

    Sep 29, 2022

  • U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks regarding the East Jerusalem Hospital Network at Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, July 15, 2022, photo by Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

    Commentary

    Middle East Peace: The Biden Administration's Approach

    The primary goal of President Biden's July trip to the Middle East was clearly to reassert U.S. leadership with traditional allies in the Arab world. There are a few points worth highlighting from the Israel/Palestine portion that may be important to keep an eye on.

    Aug 31, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Book Discussion with National Security Correspondent Michael Gordon

    The RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy hosted a book discussion featuring Michael Gordon, a national security correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. Gordon and a panel of Middle East experts discussed his new book, "Degrade and Destroy."

    Aug 30, 2022

  • Hong Kong, photo by Lewis Tse Pui Lung/Adobe Stock

    Report

    An Exploratory Examination of Agent-Based Modeling for the Study of Social Movements

    The authors of this report explore the use of agent-based modeling as a method for studying the effects of information and communications technologies on the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of social movements over time.

    Aug 16, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Our New CEO, Algorithmic Bias, Equity in the Workplace: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on what RAND’s new president and CEO envisions for the future, addressing bias in health care algorithms, creating equitable change in the workplace, and more.

    Aug 5, 2022

  • A Taliban fighter stands guard near the site where Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a U.S. strike over the weekend, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 2, 2022, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    After the al-Zawahiri Strike, the U.S. May Lack Capabilities in Afghanistan

    The U.S. drone strike that killed al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan took out one of the last remaining key figures behind the 9/11 terror attacks. But it also highlighted how little the United States got out of its 2020 bargain with the Taliban, and raised questions about the U.S. ability to adequately monitor the developing threat from this quarter going forward.

    Aug 3, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Gun Storage, the Dangers of Replacement Theory, War in Ukraine: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how Americans store their guns, why "replacement theory" is a danger to us all, the war in Ukraine, and more.

    Jul 15, 2022

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: July-August 2022

    Features explore environmental racism; the economic value to the UK of improving languages education in schools; and causes of civilian harm in Raqqa, Syria, and ways to reduce civilian casualties in current and future military operations.

    Jul 8, 2022

  • Residents of Raqqa gather in the morning to drink tea after they had been allowed back to inspect their homes, photo by Aboud Hamam

    Essay

    Civilian Casualties: Lessons from the Battle for Raqqa

    The United States' emphasis on minimizing civilian harm in Raqqa, Syria, was quite clear and strong up and down the chain of command. But the way in which the U.S. military waged war in Raqqa too often undercut that commitment. The Pentagon asked RAND to find out what happened.

    Jul 1, 2022

  • People wait to have their Iftar meals during the holy month of Ramadan in Amman, Jordan, April 9, 2022, photo by Muath Freij/Reuters

    Commentary

    Jordan: Challenges and Successes in COVID-19 Pandemic Response

    Lockdown restrictions that may have contributed to low COVID-19 case numbers in Jordan early in the pandemic resulted in economic stresses and increased psychological distress in the general population. RAND researchers identified challenges faced by Jordanians during the crisis and the country's innovative and equitable response to mitigate them.

    Jun 20, 2022

  • An employee works as grains are loaded in a special transport cargo bound for Egypt, in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, May 11, 2022, photo by Olimpiu Gheorghiu/Reuters

    Commentary

    Unblocking the Black Sea for Ukrainian Grain

    As Russia has been blockading ports around Odesa, Ukrainian grain exports in May were more than 60 percent lower than a year ago. Global hunger has hit a new high while 22 million tons of grain in Ukraine could rot if not exported soon.

    Jun 15, 2022

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2021

    This Annual Report illustrates the depth, breadth, and responsiveness of the studies that RAND Arroyo Center conducted for the Army in 2021.

    Jun 10, 2022

  • A COVID-19 vaccination center in Doha, Qatar, April 27, 2021, photo by PHCC/Handout/Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Qatar: Challenges and Successes in COVID-19 Pandemic Response

    Qatar adopted a spectrum of policies and health measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and encouraged its innovation ecosystem to play a role in fighting the pandemic. The health sector has gained experience during the pandemic that might inform response to future spikes in demand for health system resources.

    Jun 9, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Gun Policy, China and Taiwan, Russian Propaganda: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on reducing America's unacceptably high rates of gun violence, what would happen if China “quarantines” Taiwan, and Russia's “firehose of falsehood.”

    May 27, 2022

  • A Taliban leader Mullah Baradar Akhund hosted reception for a group of ambassadors to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on October 1, 2021, photo by EyePress via Reuters

    Report

    U.S. Policy Toward the Taliban: Engage, Isolate, or Oppose?

    With the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan and a growing humanitarian crisis, the United States faces several policy options. While isolation is the usual response to an unwelcome regime change, engagement offers the only prospect to advance U.S. interests in the country, mainly counterterrorism and humanitarian relief.

    May 26, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Road to Damascus: The Russian Air Campaign in Syria, 2015 to 2018

    The authors review the chronology of Russian air operations in Syria, and assess the strategic and operational blueprint, basing strategy and force disposition, effectiveness of the Russian air campaign, and its applicability to future campaigns.

    May 11, 2022

  • In the area of Khaldieh towards Tripoli, the poorest city in Lebanon, Lebanese and Syrian refugee families are waiting to be received at the medical bus of the Order of Malta NGO, August 2021, photo by Didier Bizet/Hans Lucas via Reuters

    Commentary

    Lebanon: Challenges and Successes in COVID-19 Pandemic Response

    In Lebanon, COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and daily deaths continue to decline. This is an accomplishment worthy of celebration in the midst of hyperinflation, all-time high unemployment, nadir purchasing power, and a health sector on the verge of collapse.

    May 6, 2022

  • Riot police guard main streets to stop feminist groups who protest against Mexico's Government because they ignore gender violence during Mexico's Independence Day celebrations on September 14, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico, photo by the Photo Access/Alamy Live News

    Report

    U.S. Resourcing to National Security Interests in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Context of Adversary Activities in the Region

    The authors assess the sufficiency of resources available to pursue U.S. national security objectives in the Western Hemisphere and describe the activities and investments of China, Russia, and Iran in the region.

    Apr 28, 2022

  • Two women wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at the Iran Mall shopping center in western Tehran, Iran, February 5, 2022, photo by Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iran: Challenges and Successes in COVID-19 Pandemic Response

    Iran has faced an uphill battle since the first cases of COVID-19 were found in the country. Despite limited resources, Iran has also had its share of successes and innovations in combating the virus.

    Apr 20, 2022

  • Two hands holding a heart made out of flowers in the colors of Ukraine'a flag, photo by Maryna Petrenko-Shvets/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Reopening Old Wounds: Two Stories, One Lesson

    The shocking events unfolding in Ukraine have reopened old wounds for two RAND researchers. Their personal stories stand as testaments that the traumas inflicted by Russia's war on Ukraine will echo for decades to come.

    Apr 16, 2022