DB Des Roches

Non-Resident Fellow, AGSIW; Associate Professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University

DB Des Roches is a non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington and a senior international affairs fellow at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. He is an associate professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, where he specializes in countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Gulf Cooperation Council regional security, border security, weapons transfers, missile defense, counterinsurgency, terrorism, and emerging trends.

He joined NESA in 2011 after serving the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy in numerous positions, including as director of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula, the Department of Defense liaison to the Department of Homeland Security, the senior country director for Pakistan, the NATO operations director, the deputy director for peacekeeping, and the spokesman for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Prior to that, he served in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as an international law enforcement analyst and special assistant for strategy.

Des Roches retired as a colonel from a 30-year career in the active and reserve Army, serving on the Joint Staff, U.S. Special Operations Command staff, and in conventional and special operations troop units deployed throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Afghanistan. He is a regular commentator on regional affairs and author of numerous articles on Gulf security. He is the editor of The Arms Trade, Military Services and the Security Market in the Gulf: Trends and Implications (Berlin: Gerlach, 2016) and the theme editor of the Oxford Journal of Gulf Studies Spring 2016 special issue on security. He holds advanced degrees from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies and Kings College London, which he attended as a British Marshall Scholar. Des Roches also holds an advanced degree from the U.S. Army War College, and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Petro Diplomacy 2024: The Countdown to Net Zero

On June 11, AGSIW convened its 10th annual Petro Diplomacy conference.

The Future of Security in the Middle East

On April 21, AGSIW and the Middle East Policy Council co-hosted a Capitol Hill conference on security in the Middle East.

UAE Security Forum 2022: Expanding Regional Partnerships for Security and Prosperity

AGSIW convened the 2022 UAE Security Forum on November 17, where U.S., UAE, and regional partners gathered to find creative solutions to some of the region’s most pressing challenges.

International and Regional Involvement in the Middle East

“International and Regional Involvement in the Middle East" is a bimonthly workshop series launched in September 2021, co-hosted by AGSIW and the University of Haifa.

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Saudi Arabia’s Patriot Buys: The Political Aspects of Missile Defense

As the kingdom faces mounting insecurity, it has alienated most of its security guarantors and weapons suppliers in the West.

UAE Security Forum 2021: U.S.-Gulf Relations in a Changing Region

From December 7-9, UAESF 2021 assessed geopolitical trends in the region.

The Future of U.S. Arms Sales to the Gulf

On January 21, AGSIW hosted a virtual roundtable on the future of U.S. arms sales to the Gulf.

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Prospects for Biden Administration Arms Sales to the Gulf: Revolution or Reversion to Norm?

Biden will likely put weapons sales to the Gulf on the back burner, but, at the end of the day, the administration’s positions on arms sales will reflect continuity, not change.

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Iran’s Post-Sanctions Weapon Purchases: Ambition Collides With Reality

Iran will do as it always has – seek to quietly develop asymmetric capabilities, ideally built domestically, and only purchase the few items that it cannot make hoping to counter key U.S. military capabilities.

After the Embargo: Iran's Weapons Agenda and Its Regional Impact

On October 15, AGSIW hosted a virtual panel discussion on the implications of Iran's weapons agenda.

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To Leave or Not to Leave: The U.S. Security Dilemma in Iraq

The United States does not have attractive options as far as its military presence in Iraq, but it has workable ones to achieve its strategic and security goals.

The Faceoff over U.S. Arms Sales to the Gulf: What Next?

On May 24, the Trump administration issued a national emergency declaration citing tensions with Iran to bypass congressional opposition to arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.

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Dominance versus Disruption: Asymmetry in Gulf Security

This paper examines the defining characteristics of asymmetrical hostilities, in particular, the imbalance created when different security objectives – dominance or disruption – come into play.

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IDEX 2019 Highlights Gulf States' Move to Develop Domestic Defense Industries

IDEX 2019 demonstrated that both the Emiratis and Saudis are serious about developing domestic defense industries and enlisting global defense firms as partners in this effort.

What Now for U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia?

AGSIW hosted a briefing on arms sales to Saudi Arabia with DB Des Roches, an associate professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Security Studies at the National Defense University.

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How to Analyze the Missile Attacks on Saudi Arabia

Yemen’s Houthis marked the third anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in the war in Yemen by launching multiple missiles at the Saudi cities of Riyadh, Khamis Mushait, and Jizan.

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The Prize Deferred: Stumbling toward Hodeidah

The campaign along the Red Sea coast of Yemen is a miniature version of the problems facing the Saudi-led coalition seeking to reinstate the legitimate president of Yemen to power.

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Making Sense of the Naval Missile Exchanges in Yemen

The Naval Conflict Off Yemen’s Coast A recent series of missile launches have threatened to expand the Yemen war into the key shipping choke point of the Bab el-Mandeb, where the Red Sea meets the Indian Ocean.