Counterterrorism Study Group

The Counterterrorism Study Group is a forum for former counterterrorism officials to review the latest threats, to understand emerging trends and future predictions, and to explore creative new proposals for improving the effectiveness of current policies and operations.

Strategic Litigation Project

The Atlantic Council’s strategic litigation project will seek to inject fresh thinking into how governments and practitioners can apply legal tools to advance human rights and democracy around the world.

Past events

Thu, Apr 8, 2021

Iran’s regional influence and illicit arms

Online Event The Atlantic Council and the Bussola Institute host a conversation that examines what action can be taken to support regional and international measures to address the threats posed by illicit weapons transfers in the Gulf.

10:00am Arms Control Iran Middle East Security & Defense

Fri, Mar 12, 2021

A briefing on Yemen’s humanitarian crisis

Online Event Tim Lenderking, US Special Envoy for Yemen, and Sarah Charles, Assistant to the Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, discuss the US policy response to conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

9:15am Conflict Middle East Yemen

Wed, Mar 10, 2021

A conversation with former director of Israel’s Mossad, Shabtai Shavit

Online Event Director Shavit discusses his new book, “Head of the Mossad: In Pursuit of a Safe and Secure Israel,” and a host of regional issues, including the recently signed Abraham Accords.

12:00pm Intelligence Israel Middle East Security & Defense



Mon, Apr 12, 2021

FAST THINKING: Did the Iran nuclear talks just blow up?

Iran’s ability to enrich uranium for potential use in nuclear weapons may have suffered a severe blow on Sunday after an explosion knocked out power at its Natanz nuclear site, while indirect talks continue in Vienna around reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Will the explosion blow up those negotiations? And what will its impact be on Iran itself and the country’s nuclear program?

Fast Thinking by Atlantic Council

Crisis Management Iran

Thu, Mar 18, 2021

Fontenrose testifies to House Foreign Affairs Committee on human rights in Saudi Arabia

Middle East Security Director, Kirsten Fontenrose testifies to House Foreign Affairs Committee on human rights in Saudi Arabia.

Testimony by Kirsten Fontenrose

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Tue, Mar 16, 2021

Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs adds five fellows to deepen expertise on US foreign policy in region

New fellows will contribute to the Atlantic Council’s leading work on security, financial and energy markets, and US foreign policy in the Middle East

Press Release by Atlantic Council

Economy & Business English

Mon, Mar 1, 2021

How should the next National Defense Strategy balance terrorism, rogue regimes, and great-power competition?

Our experts explore how the United States can tackle terrorism, address the advances of rogue regimes, and establish a balance between competition and cooperation with other global powers.

Seizing the advantage by Matthew R. Crouch, Ronald C. Fairbanks

China Conflict

Fri, Feb 26, 2021

After the Khashoggi report: How the US can respond and avoid blowback

There is a wide array of options available to the United States as a response to the Khashoggi report. But some carry more potential for blowback than others. When assessing the range of options, the Biden administration should choose those that mitigate the negative impact on long-term US interests.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Middle East Saudi Arabia
Forward Defense and Seizing the Advantage

Fri, Feb 26, 2021

FAST THINKING: Biden’s first bombing

What does the strike signal about Joe Biden’s simultaneous efforts to re-engage Iran in talks to revive their nuclear deal? And what does it suggest about how the president will approach military action and the American presence in the Middle East?

Fast Thinking by Atlantic Council

Iran Nuclear Nonproliferation

Fri, Feb 12, 2021

A historic opportunity for peace in Yemen

There is a hard and complex road ahead, but the Biden administration has taken a major first step in the right direction.

MENASource by Nabeel Khoury

Politics & Diplomacy Yemen

Tue, Feb 2, 2021

Fontenrose in The National Interest: How Joe Biden hopes to shift US policy in the Middle East

In real terms, what aspects of US policy toward the Middle East will remain relatively unchanged under Biden, and what will be notably different?


Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Tue, Feb 2, 2021

Fontenrose quoted by the Libyan Express on a since-abandoned negotiation plan in Libya

In the News

Democratic Transitions Libya

Mon, Feb 1, 2021

How President Biden can tackle the Middle East’s biggest problems

In a first project of trilateral collaboration, the directors and strategists from leading think tanks in the US, the UAE, and Israel have submitted nine recommendations on issues that deserve priority treatment from the new administration.

MENASource by Kirsten Fontenrose, Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, and Udi Dekel

Israel Middle East