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Michael-Rubin

Michael Rubin

Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He previously worked as an official at the Pentagon, where he dealt with issues in the Middle East

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations; and senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly. Between 2002 and 2004, Rubin worked as a staff advisor for Iran and Iraq in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon,…

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Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations; and senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly. Between 2002 and 2004, Rubin worked as a staff advisor for Iran and Iraq in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon, in which capacity he was seconded to Iraq. Between 2004 and 2009, he was chief editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rubin received a B.S. degree in biology from Yale University in 1994, and a Ph.D. in history from the same institution in 1999. He has previously worked as a lecturer in history at Yale University, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, and at three different universities in northern Iraq. He has lived and conducted research in Yemen, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and with the Taliban in Afghanistan pre-9/11.

Rubin regularly instructs senior U.S. army officers deploying to the Middle East and Afghanistan, and also teaches classes aboard deploying U.S. carrier strike groups and Marine Expeditionary Units.

Rubin is author of Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami’s Iran (Washington Institute, 2001), co-author of Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (Palgrave, 2005), and co-editor of Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats (American Enterprise Institute Press, 2008). Encounter will publish a third book, Dancing with the Devil, detailing a half-century of American diplomacy with rogue regimes and terrorist groups, in 2014.

Rubin lives in Maryland with his wife Anna Borshchevskaya and their daughter, born in 2012.

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The Iranian Challenge

Talk will go behind the headlines to discuss the secret history of U.S. and Iranian relations in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution. While diplomats struggle to resolve conflicts over Iran’s nuclear program and terrorism, the shadows of the past impact the future. From the hostage crisis to the Iran-Contra Scandal, and from the Iron Fist to the Outstretched Hand, “The Iranian Challenge” will show just how many impediments exist on both sides of the conflict, and offer predictions as to the future.

The Theological Roots of Islamic Terrorism

For policymakers, religion is not simply what theologians say it is, but rather what its practitioners believe it to be. While most Muslims may be peaceful and moderate, the extremist fringe interprets Islam to justify terrorism. “The Theological Roots of Islamic Terrorism” will highlight how extremists think, how extremists brainwash suicide bombers, and the challenges moderates face when confronting an extremist fringe.

Turkey: Ally or Adversary?

Successive American presidents considered Turkey a key American ally and a model for the Middle East. Over the last decade, however, Turkey has changed. “Turkey: Ally or Adversary” will trace the growth of Islamism and anti-Americanism within Turkey, the declining situation of Turkish women, and Turkey’s shift from Europe to the Middle East before considering whether Turkey today is more an adversary than an ally for the United States and Europe.

Pakistan’s Double Game

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pakistan’s president famously declared Pakistan an ally of the United States in its battle against terrorism. Yet, in Afghanistan, India, and with Al Qaeda, Pakistani authorities appear complicit in terrorism. Drawing on interviews with senior Pakistani political and intelligence officials, “Pakistan’s Double Game,” will explain how Pakistan thinking has diverged from the United States with regard to terrorism and radicalism, and where the Pakistan-U.S. relationship might head in the future.

Talking to Terrorists   

There is an old adage that goes, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s terrorist.” While the United States often says it will never negotiate with terrorism, U.S. diplomatic history is rife with outreach to terrorist groups. “Talking to Terrorists” will consider the promise and peril of negotiating with terrorists, from the IRA to the PLO and from Hamas to Hezbollah.

Afghanistan: Back to the Future?

The United States and its allies will largely withdraw from Afghanistan over the coming year. How might that withdraw shape the future of Afghanistan? Will the Taliban make a comeback? Will Afghan women lose the tenuous rights they have achieved to date? “Afghanistan: Back to the Future?” will show how history has shaped Afghans’ thinking about their future, and consider what Afghanistan might look like in the years to come.

The Arab Spring Break  

The Arab Spring has turned decidedly chilly. The Civil War rages in Syria and Egypt still reels from its coup. Tunisia teeters and Libya threatens to descend into chaos. “The Arab Spring Break” will look over the horizon at the political and economic challenges which loom, and how the instability of 2012 and 2013 might suddenly seem like the good ole’ days.

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America's Forum - Michael Rubin discusses the latest attack on Israel

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