From the RAND Blog

RAND researchers often write commentaries for publications on a variety of topics. This page lists commentaries and op-eds about the Middle East. For a complete list of commentaries and op-eds by RAND staff, visit The RAND Blog.

  • Why Trump's Pressures on Iran Won't Benefit America

    May 25, 2017

    The Trump administration has demonstrated a renewed policy of pressure against Iran. In doing so, it risks losing the ability to leverage the greatest potential source of change in Iran: millions of Iranians who want a better country at peace with the world.

  • ISIS: Weakened but Still Potent

    May 18, 2017

    ISIS is being defeated as an insurgency while preparing to transform into a clandestine terrorist group. But ISIS will continue to pose a serious threat to the countries where it operates and to the Western nations that it targets as it evolves.

  • Hamas's Strategic Rebranding

    May 17, 2017

    Hamas has unveiled a revised version of its charter that appears to soften the group's stance toward Israel. Does this represent a shift away from violence and toward a more lasting and peaceful political presence? Or is it a ploy to buy time to rearm?

  • Toward a Renewed Middle East Peace Process

    May 11, 2017

    Momentum is building toward resumption of the dormant Middle East peace process. But there will need to be a clear, consistent plan that delivers quick, tangible results to both sides and helps restore trust between them in order for a peace plan to succeed.

  • Regional Action Needed to Prevent Syrian Chemical Attacks

    May 8, 2017

    Action must be taken to deter future use of chemical weapons. Regional leaders could call for the International Criminal Court to indict Assad for war crimes. Also, borders with Syria could be sealed to prevent any of the remaining stocks from leaving the country.

  • Could Iran's Rouhani Lose?

    May 3, 2017

    In this month's presidential election Rouhani is running against Ebrahim Raisi, a trusted member of the revolutionary establishment. The Iranian population continues to live under duress and may be open to new candidates. The Iran nuclear deal hasn't resulted in the great economic windfall Rouhani promised.

  • Migrant Crisis in the Mediterranean: What You Need to Know

    May 2, 2017

    The countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea are facing unprecedented stress. A former lieutenant with the Italian Navy is now a RAND researcher, working to help others appreciate the scope of the crisis.

  • What to Expect in the Middle East: Q&A with Dalia Dassa Kaye

    Apr 24, 2017

    Dalia Dassa Kaye explains why there's more to the Middle East than what appears in daily headlines, how RAND is working to help people in the region, and more.

  • (Withholding) Judgment of the U.S. Missile Strike on Syria

    Apr 19, 2017

    Will the U.S. missile strike in Syria constrain the Assad regime from future chemical weapons use? Rather than pass judgment, analysts should establish the benchmarks by which they will assess this decision once the facts are in.

  • The Limits of Going It Alone in Syria

    Apr 18, 2017

    Very little on the ground in Syria has changed since the U.S. missile strikes against the Assad regime. To translate this military action into policy gains, it will be necessary to follow up with increased diplomatic coordination with international partners and institutions.