RAND report advocates growth over protection within the Middle East

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Feb 23, 2021

A number one American suppose tank has launched a report urging the US authorities to prioritize growth and good governance within the Middle East over safety.

The RAND Corporation report says the United States must “rebalance” its help to the conflict-ridden area, mentioning that Israel, Egypt and Jordan obtained 81% of overseas navy help in 2019. US coverage towards the Middle East is “outdated,” with an excessive amount of concentrate on arms gross sales and Iran. Instead, RAND suggests prioritizing “economic investments, governance, diplomacy and programs focused on people,” it said in a Tuesday press release.

The report argues that US military assistance, which far outweighs economic aid, has not led to a peaceful Middle East. It cites the looming threat of a nuclear Iran despite harsh sanctions. It also says the continued existence of the Islamic State is due to “economic and societal grievances that provide a ready pool of recruits.”

RAND suggests reducing the assistance gap between the “Big 3” of Israel, Egypt and Jordan and other states, and instead increasing investment in “health, youth unemployment and climate change,” among other things. Overall, the report supports a focus on economic development, human rights and nonviolent methods of fighting extremism.

Co-author Dalia Dassa Kaye, a senior political scientist at RAND, said, “We need to start thinking about what we are for in this region, not just what we’re against.”