The Development of Non-State Armed Actors in the Middle East


Twenty years after 9/11, armed non-state actors remain powerful forces in world politics and are increasingly tied to the regional and geopolitical power competition. In various parts of the Middle East, they have become deeply anchored not only in local political systems but also in national government structures. They are not a new phenomenon in the Middle East either. As early as the 1960s, the United States and Jordan had coordinated responses to armed non-state actors, such as various Palestinian movements, some of which were perpetrating spectacular terrorism and posing a significant threat to Jordan. Since then, various insurgent, terrorist and militia groups have become a major feature of countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Libya.

On October 14, the Brookings Institution’s Non-State Armed Actors Initiative will convene a panel to examine the development of non-state armed actors in the Middle East over the past decades and the reactions of US and international politics to them. With a focus on Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Libya, the panel will examine, among other things, changes in the balance of power between governments and armed non-state actors, the integration of armed non-state actors in state structures, the role of Iran, and the adoption of new technologies by armed non-state actors and US policies, restrictions and innovations. After their presentation, the panelists will answer questions from the audience.

Viewers can ask questions by emailing [email protected] or Twitter #NonstateArmedActors.

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