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.

Podcast series

Listen to the latest episode of the China-MENA podcast, featuring conversations with academics, government leaders, and the policy community on China’s role in the Middle East.

Gulf Security Task Force

The Gulf Security Task Force is revisiting the question of how to best protect US interests in this sensitive, always relevant region. Our goal is to provide US decision-makers with an updated, fact-based strategy for protecting US interests in the air and maritime domain from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea, and ensuring Gulf partners’ ability to assume this responsibility, with the assistance and leadership of the United States.


Past events



China-MENA Podcast

Nov 22, 2022

China-Israel Relations

By Atlantic Council

Assaf Orion joins us to discuss the complex Sino-Israeli relationship, Israel’s perspective on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese-operated port of Haifa in Northern Israel, China’s meddling in Israeli domestic affairs and its role in the Israel-Palestine question, and Israel’s perspective on China's grand strategy on MENA.

China East Asia


Nov 16, 2022

The UAE just received twenty drones from Turkey. What’s the backstory?

By Ali Bakir

On September 21, Turkey reportedly delivered twenty of its Bayraktars to the UAE. A senior Turkish official confirmed that his country had delivered some drones and that Abu Dhabi was indeed seeking more.

Europe & Eurasia Middle East


Nov 10, 2022

How OPEC+ oil cuts accelerate China’s push for multipolarity in the Middle East

By Ahmed Aboudouh

The OPEC+ decision to cut oil production creates momentum and encourages China to accelerate the exploitation of the multipolar moment rising in the Middle East.

China East Asia

New Atlanticist

Nov 10, 2022

Punish Riyadh or play it cool? How the United States can renegotiate its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

By Kirsten Fontenrose

A deep-dive look at the US-Saudi relationship reveals some surprising points for cooperation—and that the Saudi-Russia oil tie-up may be less than it seems.

Economy & Business Energy & Environment


Oct 28, 2022

To help protect Iranian protesters, the State Department should dox security forces

By Andrew L. Peek

The Islamic Republic's crackdown has produced a significant amount of street-level video footage taken by citizen journalists with smart phones of security forces committing violence against protestors.

Human Rights Iran

Event Recap

Oct 27, 2022

UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Al Mheiri: Middle East at the heart of new climate reality

By Madeline Hart

An Atlantic Council conference on climate change and security in the Middle East brought together high-level officials from across the region to explore innovative solutions.

Climate Change & Climate Action Energy & Environment


Oct 24, 2022

Truce or no truce: Transitional justice is Yemen’s only path to healing

By Hooria Mashhour

Yemen will not reach peace without a peace process that is based on human rights, gender equality, and transitional justice.

Human Rights Middle East

New Atlanticist

Oct 20, 2022

US missile defense can put a stop to the Middle East arms race

By Alex Elnagdy

Coupling missile-defense assistance with missile and bomb reductions can help the US break free of its short-sighted Middle East policies of the past.

Arms Control Crisis Management

China-MENA Podcast

Oct 20, 2022

Arab Barometer and Perceptions of China in MENA

By Atlantic Council

Michael Robbins joins us to discuss the region's perception of China based on the Arab Barometer's surveys conducted in MENA, and the different perspectives of the general public versus the elite—as the latter tends to be more favorable toward Beijing.

China East Asia


Oct 18, 2022

The New Middle East is dismissing great power competition—for now 

By Jean-Loup Samaan

The more local actors grow confident about their own autonomy, the less tempted they will be to align themselves on the agenda of another external power.

Energy & Environment Oil and Gas