Middle East


The key lessons of America’s recent wars: failing or losing in grand strategic terms

This analysis examines each of America’s grand strategic failures in war-fighting since 1945, and its failures to learn the right lessons from these wars.

Australia in the Middle East: enduring risks, interests, and opportunities

Despite ending its 20-year military operations in the Middle East, Australia’s equities in the region are now more substantial than ever, writes Rodger Shanahan.

Walking into the eye of the storm: how the climate crisis is driving child migration and displacement

This report considers children’s vulnerability to key climate threats, and how those threats are driving child displacement and migration, in six high-risk settings: low-lying coastal areas, river floodplains, drylands, mountainous areas, cyclone zones and urban areas. It also provides examples of effective governance and responses.

Exposed and exploited: data protection in the Middle East and North Africa

Across the Middle East and North Africa, data protection legislation is still in its infancy, and it remains a low priority in countries where data protection laws are either very weak or non-existent. In this report, the authors explore data protection legislation in Jordan, Lebanon...
Draft report

The Biden Administration’s security challenges in the Gulf

The U.S. needs to make fundamental changes to its security efforts in the Persian/Arab Gulf and the Middle East. In this document, the author discusses the wide range of options available to the U.S, and how it can make progress in many areas in relation...

The path of least resilience: autocratic rule and external powers in the Middle East

Despite the Arab uprisings of the last decade, most countries in the Middle East remain in the grip of autocrats, with a widespread view that this is the 'default setting' for the region.
Discussion paper

Australia’s interests in the Middle East: a presence in search of a policy

At a superficial level, Australia’s interests in the Middle East seem to be little more than providing military ballast to support the imperial or global ambitions of great powers. This paper concludes that Australia’s strategic interests are more effectively achieved through an active and well-resourced...
Journal article

Are construction clients ready to lead the lean initiative?

The client plays a vital role in driving and setting the project framework thus greatly influencing the successful implementation of lean. This study aims at identifying the status of the characteristics, behaviors and practices of Middle Eastern construction clients.

A Middle Eastern chess game: US-Iran tensions and the implications for India

This paper assesses the changing dynamics in the US-Iran relationship, the crisis in the Persian Gulf, the importance of Iran to India and how the US-Iran situation is affecting Indian interests.

The US, Iran and the Middle East amid shifting alliances

This paper argues that contrary to the belief that President Trump and some of his advisers hold, a war with Iran will not be quick and surgical, or end in a matter of days. Nor will Iran absorb any attack without conducting devastating counterstrikes against...
Discussion paper

Middle East sheep exports policy options discussion paper

The Department of Agriculture is conducting a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) process to analyse the economic and regulatory impacts of policy options for the future regulation of live sheep exports to, or through, the Middle East. This discussion paper outlines some initial policy option ideas.
Briefing paper

Iran’s threat to Saudi critical infrastructure: the implications of U.S.-Iranian escalation

There is growing concern about Iranian threats to Persian Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia. This briefing paper assesses the Iranian threat to Saudi Arabia by answering several questions. What types of strategies, tactics, and capabilities could Iran use against Saudi Arabia? What are potential critical...

Conflict economies in the Middle East and North Africa

This report examines the common economic factors that continue to drive conflict in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. It also makes specific recommendations to Western policymakers addressing these types of sub-economies in detail.

US Middle East policy in tatters before the Bahrain Workshop

This paper argues that the Trump Administration’s Middle East policy has been significantly weakened by the inability of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government, and the Arab, Muslim and Gulf Co-operation Council insistence on a 'two-state' solution.

Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: the Washington factor

This paper argues that Saudi King Salman’s recent emergency meetings may have been in response to attacks on Saudi assets, but it is likely that his goals will be overtaken by larger ones that could be played out on a much-larger scale.

The political legacy of the Iranian revolution: theocratic tyranny and religious terrorism

This paper argues that people of Iran seek a new Iran, one that is not based on the destructive legacy of Khomeini’s revolution on Islamic political thought.

The Islamic Revolution’s impact on political Islam and the Middle East

This paper argues that the fear of a foreign invasion has driven post-Revolutionary Iran to pursue active contacts with terrorist organisations, but Tehran has also worked closely with Washington against al-Qaeda and in post-invasion Iraq.

The practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia

This Inquiry report makes 12 recommendations to government to address dowry abuse in Australia.

Evolving US strategic interests in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia and Iran

The Iranian Revolution in 1979 saw attitudes towards the US change in that country because of perceptions that it had worked with the Shah to subjugate Iranians. The current perception of the US in Saudi Arabia is a complex one - the US remains an...
Working paper

Restoration, transformation and adaptation: authoritarianism after 2011 in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran

Following the push for reform during the popular uprising in 2011, authoritarianism is once again dominating domestic politics and power relations in the MENA region. Drawing on data collected during field trips to Cairo, Tehran, Beirut and Kuwait city, the authors of this MENARA report...

China in the Middle East: the US factor

Does China seek to nurture and develop its ties to the Middle East as a prerequisite towards supplanting the United States as the security guarantor and primary extra-regional power there?

China in the Middle East: the Iran factor

As the first paper in this series indicated, China seeks to develop its relationships with Middle Eastern states for a number of reasons.

US military policy in the Middle East: an appraisal

The US military presence in the Middle East is the culmination of a common bargain with Middle Eastern governments - security cooperation and military assistance in exchange for US access to military bases in the region. Despite significant financial expenditure and thousands of lives lost...

China in the Middle East: the Saudi factor

Even though China did not have a diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia until 1990, ties between the two countries have expanded rapidly since then. Energy products have formed the basis of a bilateral relationship that has, by and large, been of mutual benefit to both...

China in the Middle East: the overarching imperatives

The Chinese have created an Arab Policy Paper, which sets out some of its goals in the region. Beijing also seeks to act as a peace-maker and possible arbiter in the Middle East.