Reuel Marc Gerecht

Reuel Marc Gerecht


Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  He focuses on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, and intelligence.  Mr. Gerecht is the author of The Wave: Man, God, and the Ballot Box in the Middle East (Hoover Institution Press, 2011), Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey into Revolutionary Iran (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997) and The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy (AEI Press, 2004). He is a contributing editor for The Weekly Standard and has been a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, as well as a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other publications. He was previously a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the director of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American Century. Earlier, he served as a Middle Eastern specialist at the CIA's Directorate of Operations. Gerecht is a graduate of Johns Hopkins, Edinburgh, and Princeton Universities.

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Recent Commentary

Featured AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary

Countering Iran While Retreating

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia The Caravan
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Time has almost run out for the United States to deny the Islamic Republic hegemony in the northern Middle East. The clerical regime has the high ground and the Americans are, at best, slowing Iranian advances. The approximately two thousand troops Washington has reportedly deployed to Syria, mostly in the north and the southeast, have prevented the Tehran–Moscow–Damascus axis from dominating all of the strategic locations in the country. But if President Trump really did tell Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he will cut military aid to the Syrian Kurds, the most reliable of America’s disparate anti-Islamic State “partners on the ground,” and he meant it, it’s a decent guess America’s military presence will diminish.

Background EssayFeatured

“Pushing Back” Iran

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia Strategika
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

On both the left and the right, there is a consensus in Washington that the United States needs to “push back” against the Islamic Republic’s nefarious actions in the Levant, Iraq, and Yemen. The clerical regime largely controls the ground war in Syria: Tehran’s foreign Shiite militias, imported from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and Iranian-directed native forces lead the battle against the Sunni insurrection. 

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Wellsprings of Violence

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 21, 2016

Has radicalism been Islamized, or has Islam been radicalized? If we are to fight this kind of terrorism effectively, the answer matters. 

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The Battle For Europe

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia The Caravan
Friday, May 6, 2016

In 2004 Gilles Kepel, the noted French scholar of the modern Middle East and Muslims in Europe, wrote: The bombings in Madrid on March 11, 2004, established Europe as the new frontline for terrorist attacks. Before 9/11 Europe had provided a sanctuary where Al-Qaeda’s planners could complete preparations for the world-shattering operation they had conceived in the mountains of Afghanistan. But with the events in Madrid in spring 2004, Europe emerged as the primary battlefield on which the future of global Islam will be decided.

Featured AnalysisFeatured

The Saudi Great Game Gone Awry

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia The Caravan
Friday, February 12, 2016

Since the 1979 revolution in Iran, the defining religious competition in the Middle East has been between Sunni Saudi Arabia and the Shi'ite Islamic Republic.  That clash was not initially sectarian. 

Featured AnalysisFeatured

"Fighting" The Islamic State

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia The Caravan
Monday, December 7, 2015

Can the United States stop the Syrian refugee crisis and destroy the Islamic State without sending tens of thousands of soldiers into Syria and Iraq? Hillary Clinton and the Republican presidential candidates—with the notable exception of Senator Lindsey Graham—have so far studiously avoided describing how their battle plans would seriously differ from Barack Obama's.  

Featured AnalysisFeatured

The Middle East After The Iranian Nuclear Accord

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia The Caravan
Monday, October 19, 2015

Not long ago the Obama administration tried to explain Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s budgetary priorities.  The White House’s assertion that the Islamic Republic’s future spending would overwhelmingly be used for domestic, non-military needs was a response to the bipartisan fear that the clerical regime might use some of its new, post-sanctions cash—likely between $100 and $150 billion—on its expeditionary efforts in Syria and Iraq...

Aux Armes!

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 20, 2015

The French are now on the front lines of the struggle against radical Islam. Can they hold it back?

The Palestinian People
Analysis and Commentary

A Ballot-Box Test for the Palestinians

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, August 14, 2014

It has become de rigueur among Israelis, and many Americans, to belittle the idea of Palestinian democracy. The 2006 legislative elections—strongly backed by President George W. Bush and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas —produced a narrow victory by Hamas, an Islamist terrorist organization, setting off a long slide for the more secular Fatah. Fatah is the muscle behind the Palestinian Authority, the government on the West Bank.

The Road to Damascus

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Passivity toward Syria isn’t buying the United States time. It’s permitting forces that oppose us and our values to strengthen and coalesce.