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Blank Section (Placeholder)Essays

The Captured Baʿthist State Records from the 2003 Iraq War: Repatriation and Retribution?

by Bruce P. Montgomery, Michael P. Brillvia The Caravan Notebook
Thursday, June 16, 2022

This article explores the interconnecting social and political events, motivations, and consequences surrounding the US restitution to Iraq of three major caches of records seized from Saddam Hussein’s regime in the 1991 and 2003 wars. Emphasis is given to the Pentagon’s covert return of the trove of sensitive records and archives captured in the 2003 war to prime minister Nouri al-Maliki’s sectarian-driven regime in May 2013.

Blank Section (Placeholder)EssaysFeatured

Can The Intelligence Community Tell What’s Brewing In Afghanistan?

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia The Caravan Notebook
Thursday, May 5, 2022

Although the age of mass-casualty Islamic terrorism may be ending, American intelligence ought to assume worst-case scenarios. Afghanistan and Pakistan remain the two most likely locales for Al-Qa’ida—still the only organization to have organized a mass-casualty attack from Western-based cells—to organize new assaults against the United States. Is the CIA capable of designing and running operations in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan that could detect and thwart new conspiracies?

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Lebanon’s Elections: “We Need A New System, Not New People.”

by Paul Woodvia The Caravan Notebook
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A new parliament and president will not change Lebanon’s “culture of impunity”

Blank Section (Placeholder)EssaysFeatured

When Indonesia Meets The Middle East: Thoughts On Center-Periphery Relations

by Giora Elirazvia The Caravan Notebook
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Though often considered peripheral to the Islamic world, the huge Muslim population of Indonesia has for centuries been affiliated with the Sunni Middle East. Wide concern over rising extremism originating in the Middle East can be noticed in democratic Indonesia, which has encouraged democratic transition in the Arab world and launched initiatives to promote moderate voices of Islam globally. In this way Indonesia challenges the centuries-old “order” of center-periphery relations.


Joel Rayburn: Is The Russian Military A Paper Tiger?

interview with Joel D. Rayburnvia The New Yorker
Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Hoover Institution fellow Joel Rayburn discusses what he learned about the Russian military from his involvement in Syria's policy, the biggest mistakes the Russians have made in Ukraine, and whether the failures stem from poor decision-making or corruption.


Trouble For Putin’s Arab Client: Bashar Al-Assad’s Inevitable Reckoning

by Joel D. Rayburn, Nawaf Obaidvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The disastrous Russian invasion of Ukraine will have major consequences for Putin’s allies across the world. Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad will be among the first to experience the negative fallout from Russia’s strategic blunder, as his regime’s reckoning may finally be approaching. Several former senior officers from Syria’s main intelligence and security agencies are facing trial, with some already found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity across Europe.


Joel Rayburn: Asaad’s War The 'Biggest Cause' Of Humanitarian Crisis In Syria: Former US Official

interview with Joel D. Rayburnvia Rudaw
Sunday, March 27, 2022

Hoover Institution fellow Joel Rayburn discusses the humanitarian situation in Syria, US sanctions on Bashar al-Assad's government, and humanitarian aid to the country.

Blank Section (Placeholder)EssaysAnalysis and Commentary

US-Iran Competition In Iraq

by Alma Keshavarzvia The Caravan Notebook
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Iraqi politician Muqtada al-Sadr’s prominence will soon take shape following cabinet formations. Meanwhile, Iranian-backed Shia militia groups continue to challenge remaining US forces in Iraq. Since the targeted killing of Iranian Quds force commander Qassim Soleimani, these militia groups have evolved. Rising independence from Iranian control and competition among themselves are unintended consequences. US-Iran competition in Iraq is now more complex given Sadr’s unpredictability and an uncertain Iraqi future.

Blank Section (Placeholder)EssaysAnalysis and Commentary

France, Nuclear Iran, And The United States

by Isabelle Lasserrevia The Caravan Notebook
Monday, March 14, 2022

France has often approached Iranian nuclear negotiations more forcefully than has the United States. In 2013, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius clashed forcefully with the Obama administration. Since 2018, France has tried to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action after President Trump’s withdrawal. The Biden administration agrees with France on the contents of an agreement but differs on the timing—with the French fearing that time is running out.

Featured AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary

Transforming Relations Across The Persian Gulf And The Middle East

by David C. Mulfordvia The Caravan
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

In 1973, six months after the Yom Kippur war, Saudi Arabia announced on behalf of the OPEC oil producers‘ cartel a four-fold increase in the world price of oil. The announcement was a major shock to the world economy at the time and since has had lasting effects both on the global economy and foreign policy developments of major nations.


The Caravan | A Quarterly Publication

Visit the Caravan, a quarterly publication on the contemporary dilemmas of the greater Middle East.

Caravan Notebook | Essay & Podcast Platform

Caravan Notebook

A platform featuring essays and podcasts on current events to current trends in the Middle East and Islamic World.

Featured Essay Series


Featured Books


Scholars Describe The Origins And Potential Outcomes Of The Decade-Long Syrian Civil War

Monday, March 22, 2021
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Institution’s Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on the Middle East and the Islamic World acknowledged the tenth anniversary of the Syrian civil war this week with a conversation about the origins of the conflict and the future of what has become a failed state.


The Syrian Requiem: The Civil War And Its Aftermath

Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Institution’s Working Group on the Middle East and the Islamic World held a discussion on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 from 8:30-9:30am PST with Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich, Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University and Dr Carmit Valensi, Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).


Saudi Arabia In Crisis

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Saudi Arabia in Crisis" on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST.


Elections in the Middle East

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Elections in the Middle East" on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 from 12:15pm - 1:30pm EST. 

In the News

Realism And Democracy: American Foreign Policy After The Arab Spring

Monday, November 6, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Policy after the Arab Spring" on Monday, November 6, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

In the News

Israel Facing A New Middle East: In Search Of A National Security Strategy

Monday, July 17, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Israel Facing a New Middle East: In Search of a National Security Strategy" on Monday, July 17, 2017 from 12:00pm - 2:00pm EST.

In the News

White Helmets Discussion: Humanitarian Efforts In Syria

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted a discussion with the White Helmets on their humanitarian efforts in Syria on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

In This Arab Time, by Ajami
Analysis and Commentary

In In This Arab Time, Ajami marries historical analysis and personal perspective to inform thinking on current Middle East struggle

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Hoover Institution Press today released In This Arab Time, by the late Fouad Ajami, Hoover Institution senior fellow. In this collection of thought-provoking essays, Ajami  brings into focus the current struggles of the Middle East through detailed historical analysis and a personal perspective immersed in the literature of the time and place.

Press Releases
Iraq after America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance

In Iraq After America, Rayburn Focuses on Why Iraq Is Too Important to Disregard

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Hoover Institution Press today released Iraq after America by Colonel Joel Rayburn, a contributor to the Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

Press Releases
The Caravan: Obama’s Second Term – Middle Eastern Memos.

Hoover Caravan traverses postelection landscape in the Middle East

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Hoover Caravan is a product of the Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order, cochaired by Hoover fellows Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami, with the active participation of John Raisian, the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution. Participants gather in a round-table discussion format to discuss various topics and ideas. The contributors write 750-word essays and columns that can be seen on Advancing a Free Society: The Caravan.



The Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on the Middle East and the Islamic World highlights the importance of studying both a region and a culture, while also addressing challenges outside the Middle East itself.

Chaired by Hoover fellow Russell Berman, the group draws on a wide network of scholars and practitioners, from within the United States and abroad, to support changes that enhance economic and political freedom, and foster personal liberty and rule of law—developments that are critical to the very order of the international system.

Visit The Caravan, a quarterly publication on the contemporary dilemmas of the greater Middle East.