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Reimagining U.S. Strategy in the Middle East

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Dalia Dassa Kaye and Jeff Martini of RAND re-envision U.S. policy in the Middle East

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Duration: 58:07


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This event is co-sponsored by the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, and the UCLA Center for Middle East Development. 



U.S. policy toward the Middle East has relied heavily on military instruments of power and has focused on regional threats—particularly the Iranian threat—with the goal of keeping partners on "our side." These long-standing policies have largely fallen short of meeting core U.S. or regional interests.  

Join RAND political scientists Dalia Dassa Kaye and Jeff Martini as they discuss an alternative framework that contemplates a different regional strategy with expanded strategic goals, as detailed in their new report Reimagining U.S. Strategy in the Middle East: Sustainable Partnerships, Strategic Investments.



Dalia Dassa Kaye is a 2020-2021 Wilson Center scholar and a senior adjunct political scientist at the RAND Corporation. She served as the director of RAND’s Center for Middle East Public Policy from 2012-2020. Before joining RAND in 2005, Kaye lived in The Netherlands where she was an international affairs fellow at the Dutch Foreign Ministry, a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam and a research scholar at The Netherlands Institute of International Studies. In 2011-2012 she was a visiting professor and fellow at UCLA’s International Institute and Burkle Center. From 1998-2003 Kaye was an assistant professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including a Brookings Institution research fellowship and The John W. Gardner Fellowship for Public Service. Kaye is a frequent media contributor and is the author of two books, Talking to the Enemy: Track Two Diplomacy in the Middle East and South Asia and Beyond the Handshake: Multilateral Cooperation in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process, as well as dozens of journal articles, op-eds and RAND studies.  Dalia holds her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.


Jeff Martini is a senior Middle East researcher at the RAND Corporation, where he works on political and security issues in the Arab World. Martini also spent a year as the North Africa lead at the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. He has published on Arab Gulf security, Syria stabilization, civil-military relations in Egypt, and generational divides within the Muslim Brotherhood. Martini spent four years living in the Arab world, including three as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco and one in Cairo, Egypt, where he was a 2007–08 fellow in the CASA Arabic language program. He speaks, reads, and writes modern standard Arabic and speaks Moroccan and Egyptian colloquial. Martini received his B.A. in political science and economics from Middlebury College and his M.A. in Arabic studies from Georgetown University.



Kal Raustiala holds the Promise Institute Chair in Comparative and International Law at UCLA School of Law and is a Professor at the UCLA International Institute, where he teaches in the undergraduate program on Global Studies. He has served as the Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations since 2007.