Middle East Programs

Working with our allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.

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.


New Atlanticist

Feb 19, 2023

China-Iran relations are warming. Here’s what the rest of the world should know.

By Atlantic Council experts

While much of the world is focused on Chinese balloons violating US airspace, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi recently flew to Beijing to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

China Iran


Feb 15, 2023

Brett McGurk sets out the ‘Biden doctrine’ for the Middle East

By Atlantic Council

In a keynote speech at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Awards, the White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa explains the Biden administration's strategy in the region.

Iran Iraq

In the News

Feb 14, 2023

Graham and Bhusari cited by Munich Security Report 2023 on strengthening ties between China and GCC

Read the full report here.

China Economy & Business

Event Recap

Feb 9, 2023

Redefining the meaning of ‘failure’ in policies and culture to promote business risk

By Amira Attia

On January 24th, the Atlantic Council’s empowerME Initiative held a discussion about destigmatizing failure and promoting business risk through policies and culture.

Economy & Business Inclusive Growth


Feb 7, 2023

The UAE and Israel have a history of strong female leadership. Women must take substantial roles in the next phase of the Abraham Accords.

By Marcy Grossman

To have a sustained and enduring peace in the region after the signing of the Abraham Accords, women must also be equally included and reflected in policy-making, decision-making, and programming.

Israel Middle East

Issue Brief

Feb 1, 2023

Netanyahu’s coalition isn’t built to last: Expect high sparks within and fragile prospects for Israel’s incoming government

By Shalom Lipner

Competing agendas between the members of Israel's incoming government portend another unsustainable partnership.

Elections Israel

New Atlanticist

Jan 31, 2023

Escalating violence and right-wing provocations are threatening Netanyahu’s Abraham Accords agenda

By Alissa Pavia

If Israel's prime minister wants to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, he will have to find a way to end the bloodshed—and keep a lid on his far-right ministers.

Extremism Israel


Jan 30, 2023

Ben-Gvir’s controversial new position angered the Arab world. But how will it impact a potential peace deal with Saudi Arabia?

By Ksenia Svetlova

Will PM Benjamin Netanyahu find the desired equilibrium between the radical politics of his coalition partner and diplomacy with Arab capitals?

Israel Middle East


Jan 26, 2023

People-to-people exchanges matter. They’re integral to nurturing the Abraham Accords.

By Richard LeBaron

This piece identifies some of the issues involved in creating a strong framework for a vital “Abraham Exchanges” program and proposes a few ideas on how to get it off the ground.

Israel Middle East

In the News

Jan 25, 2023

CBDC Tracker cited by CoinTelegraph on Saudi Arabia’s CBDC research

Read the full article here.

Digital Currencies Economy & Business