Kenneth M. Pollack

Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Kenneth M. Pollack is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he works on Middle Eastern political-military affairs, focusing on Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf countries. Before joining AEI, Pollack was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy; he was previously the center’s director and director of research. Pollack served twice at the National Security Council, first as director for Near East and South Asian affairs and then as director for Persian Gulf affairs. He began his career as a Persian Gulf military analyst at the CIA, where he was the principal author of the CIA’s classified postmortem on Iraqi strategy and military operations during the Persian Gulf War. Among other recognitions, Pollack was awarded the CIA’s Exceptional Performance Award twice and the Certificate of Distinction for Outstanding Performance of Duty. Pollack is the author of 10 books, including Armies of Sand: The Past, Present, and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness (Oxford University Press, 2019); Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy (Simon & Schuster, 2013), named one of the “Best Books of 2013” by The Economist and one of the “100 Notable Books of 2013” by The New York Times; A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East (Random House, 2008), which was chosen as one of The Washington Post’s “Best Books of the Year” for 2008 and as an editor’s choice of The New York Times Book Review; The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America (Random House, 2004); and The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq (Random House, 2002). He received a bachelor’s from Yale University and a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Evolution of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates

AGSIW hosted Athol Yates for a discussion of his book exploring the history of the UAE’s armed forces.