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The Future of Sectarian Relations in the Middle East

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RAND Corporation Santa Monica United States

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Sectarianism - particularly the Sunni-Shia variant - is a prominent feature of the Middle East landscape. From the civil wars raging in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, to regional competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia, to governing strategies in religiously mixed countries, sectarianism is shaping regional developments. Sectarianism, which is difficult to measure or separate from other factors with which it may be interacting, is also a focus area for the U.S. intelligence community, which is tasked with judging its salience and forecasting its evolution overtime. This Perspective is designed to assist the intelligence community by presenting scenarios for the evolution of sectarianism in the Middle East over the coming decade.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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