West Asia

  • Israeli soldiers in front of a damaged building in the Gaza Strip, February 8, 2024, photo by Dylan Martinez/Reuters


    Is Israel Losing Sight of Its Long Game?

    If Israel is to succeed in its war against Hamas, then it needs to embrace the fact that it is responsible for Gaza’s more than two million civilians and ensure their welfare.

    Feb 16, 2024

  • Israeli women, one covered with an Israeli flag, stand in front of a wall of photos of Israelis held hostage by Hamas in Gaza in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 03, 2023, photo by Gili Yaari/NurPhoto/Reuters


    Free Hamas Leaders to Free Hostages? The Bangkok Solution Is Gaining Steam.

    Israel reportedly has offered to allow Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and other Hamas commanders safe passage into exile in return for the release of all the Israeli hostages. The circumstances are very different but the offer recalls past resolutions of hostage crises.

    Feb 16, 2024

  • After the Colonial Pipeline was shut down by hackers, consumers began panic buying gas, leading to empty pumps, Falls Church, Virginia, May 12, 2021, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters


    Threats to America's Critical Infrastructure Are Now a Terrifying Reality

    U.S. critical infrastructure has been under attack for the past two decades, with little in the way of meaningful response. What can policymakers and the public do to better address these threats?

    Feb 12, 2024

  • Typhoons at RAF Coningsby in Linconshire, United Kingdom, December 9, 2022, photo by Joe Giddens/Pool via Reuters


    Lessons for Industrial Resilience: The UK's Typhoon Export Conundrum

    If Turkey steps back from its pursuit of the Typhoon, it would join India, South Korea, Finland, the UAE, and Switzerland on the list of countries to decline acquisition of the four-nation collaborative platform jointly exported by the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The United Kingdom and Germany have the most to gain, or lose, from the Typhoon's success.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes U.S. President Joe Biden as he arrives in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023, photo Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters


    Netanyahu Is Far From Alone in Resisting a Two-State Solution

    Opposition to a Palestinian state stretches well beyond the office of Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu. Can American pressure change this?

    Jan 22, 2024

  • Armed men on the beach with the Galaxy Leader, seized by Yemen's Houthis in November, anchored off the coast of al-Salif, Yemen, December 5, 2023, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters


    The Search for a High Seas Solution

    While Western military action against the Houthis has increased, the Red Sea crisis is sailing through opaque waters. Short-term military action might help with the immediate crisis, but shipping routes will remain vulnerable unless the world recognizes its exposure to threats and cooperates to defend them.

    Jan 17, 2024

  • An Israeli soldier crouches near a column of military vehicles moving out of the Gaza Strip, January 15, 2024, photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters


    Israel's 'People's Army' at War

    The IDF's relationship with Israeli society, cultural predilections, and individual norms make it a very different kind of military—informing how it fights in Gaza.

    Jan 16, 2024

  • Newly recruited Houthi fighters participate in a ceremony at the end of their training in Sanaa, Yemen, January 11, 2024, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters


    What's Behind the Surge in Attacks by Yemen's Houthis

    What can Washington do now to avoid repeating its past mistakes in Yemen and deal with the threat posed by the Houthis?

    Jan 11, 2024

  • A U.S. paratrooper helps a woman and child evacuating from Afghanistan in August 2021, photo by U.S. Central Command Public Affairs


    How Gender Diversity Improves Defense Operations

    It's U.S. defense policy to make sure women play a meaningful role in matters of war, peace, and security. This includes embedding women's perspectives in decisionmaking. Real-world examples show the benefits of applying a gender lens to military planning and operations.

    Jan 9, 2024

  • Abdullah Bin Sharaf Alghamdi, President of Saudi Data and Al Authority, speaks during the Global Al Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 21, 2020, photo by Ahmed Yosri/Reuters


    From Soccer to AI, Saudi Arabia Spends to Win

    The Saudis have set their sights on becoming leaders at the cutting edge of technology development in everything from biotechnology to semiconductors and artificial intelligence. And they appear to be prepared to pay top dollar to do it. This complicates U.S. critical technology strategy.

    Dec 29, 2023

  • Israel Defense Forces' ground operation in Gaza on November 12, 2023, photo by EyePress via Reuters


    The Trouble with a Cease-Fire

    Given that Hamas promised to repeat the October 7 attack until Israel's annihilation, it is no wonder that Israelis nearly uniformly want, as one Israeli politician put it, to finish the job this time around. To Israelis, the international calls for a cease-fire ring hollow.

    Dec 26, 2023

  • The faces of hostages kidnapped by Hamas are projected on the outer wall of the Old City of Jerusalem, in Jerusalem, Israel, November 6, 2023, photo by James Oatway/Reuters


    Five Potential Next Steps for the Hostage Situation in Gaza

    In hostage negotiations, rarely are there good options—just bad and less bad. The case of the remaining hostages held in Gaza offers no easy resolution. Yet history may point to an acceptable way out.

    Dec 22, 2023

  • Ukrainian service members check a destroyed Russian BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle in the newly liberated village of Storozheve, June 14, 2023, photo by Oleksandr Ratushniak/Reuters


    Ukraine, Gaza, and the U.S. Army's Counterinsurgency Legacy

    What insights from Russia's war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war might be meaningful to the U.S. Army and the rest of the joint force?

    Dec 22, 2023

  • Photos by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters, Carlos Barria/Reuters, Florence Lo/Reuters, skynesher/Getty Images, Ronen Zvulun/Reuters, Lucy Nicholson/Reuters, Geber86/Getty Images, image by Haley Okuley/RAND


    Looking Back on the Big Policy Stories of 2023

    As 2023 draws to a close, RAND president and CEO Jason Matheny highlights areas where RAND is tackling the most urgent and complex problems we face. Each is a small reminder that where there are thoughtful people working tirelessly to find solutions, there is hope.

    Dec 14, 2023

  • Newly recruited fighters who joined a Houthi military force intended to be sent to the Gaza Strip march during a parade in Sanaa, Yemen, December 2, 2023, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters


    A Precarious Moment for Yemen's Truce

    The truce in Yemen is imperfect, but it is the only barrier currently preventing the country from sliding back into widespread war. A comprehensive negotiation process is the most viable option for peace in Yemen in the near term, and the only barrier to the humanitarian devastation that a full-scale resumption of the war in Yemen would surely bring.

    Dec 13, 2023

  • Flames and smoke rise during Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip, April 19, 2022, photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters


    Israel-Hamas War: Insights from RAND

    What lessons does the past offer about the Israel-Hamas war? How can the humanitarian crisis in Gaza be addressed? Is there a path toward peace? RAND experts are offering timely insights on these questions and more. Previously published RAND research also provides important context for this ongoing conflict.

    Dec 8, 2023

  • Displaced Palestinian children walk at a tent camp in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, November 14, 2023, photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters


    Displaced in Gaza: The Least-Bad Option

    There is currently no good option for protecting civilians amid the Israel-Hamas war. But the least-bad option is to keep civilians in southern Gaza—and provide protection and humanitarian assistance where they are.

    Dec 4, 2023

  • The coast of Alexandria, Egypt, photo by Natalia Pavlova/Adobe Stock

    Research Brief

    What Climate-Related Conflict Could Mean for U.S. Central Command

    Climate change will hit the Middle East and Central Asia especially hard, with effects on both personal well-being and regional stability. It will likely create increased demand for stabilization operations, non-combatant evacuation operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • Travelers are rescued from a flash flood in the Judean desert


    Mischief, Malevolence, or Indifference? How Competitors and Adversaries Could Exploit Climate-Related Conflict in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility

    This report presents an analysis of how U.S. competitors and adversaries — China, Russia, and Iran — could attempt to exploit climate-related conflict in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in future decades.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • Dove painted on concrete, photo by Msznz/Getty Images


    From the Ashes of Hamas-Israel War, Can Economics Drive Peace?

    The economic costs of the violence in Gaza threaten Israel's economic future. For the Palestinians, the costs may be so large that they undermine the possibility of an independent Palestinian state. But the magnitude of these economic losses may, paradoxically, forge a new pathway toward peace once the fighting stops.

    Nov 28, 2023