Michael Rubin

Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Photo of Michael Rubin

Michael Rubin is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he specializes in Iran, Turkey, and the broader Middle East. A former Pentagon official, Dr. Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen, and both pre- and postwar Iraq. He also spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. For more than a decade, he taught classes at sea about the Horn of Africa and Middle East conflicts, culture, and terrorism, to deployed US Navy and Marine units. Dr. Rubin is the author, coauthor, and coeditor of several books exploring diplomacy, Iranian history, Arab culture, Kurdish studies, and Shi’ite politics, including “Seven Pillars: What Really Causes Instability in the Middle East?” (AEI Press, 2019); “Kurdistan Rising” (AEI Press, 2016); “Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes” (Encounter Books, 2014); and “Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos” (Palgrave, 2005). Dr. Rubin has a PhD and an MA in history from Yale University, where he also obtained a BS in biology.

Articles by Michael Rubin
Weathering the Crisis


January — April 2024

Weathering the Crisis

This chapter was made possible through a grant from the Hindu American Foundation.

For the US-India bilateral relationship, the first four months of 2024 was a repeat of the quarters of the last three years Differences in attitudes toward Cold-War era partnerships surfaced and upset the calm in bilateral relations. Still, there were significant strides in the economic and trade front. The dispute over the killing in Canada of a Khalistan separatist designated a terrorist by India marred the security partnership. Still, Washington continued diplomatically to support India vis-à-vis China’s provocations such as bestowing Chinese names on Indian towns. Visits by top American military brass underscored the growing security cooperation between the two democraciesThe nature of electoral democracy, though, created some diplomatic tension. While heated rhetoric and polemical campaign statements in India provided fodder for the Western press to question the supposed values-based partnership with India, President Joe Biden’s suggestion that Japan and India were as xenophobic and anti-immigrant as Russia and China angered many in India.

An Even Larger Role in Everything

This chapter was made possible through a grant from the Hindu American Foundation.

On May 24, 2022, President Joe Biden met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Quad summit in Tokyo. According to the White House readout of the meeting, “The leaders reviewed the progress made in the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. They committed to deepen the Major Defense Partnership, encourage economic engagement that benefits both countries, and expand partnership on global health, pandemic preparedness, and critical and emerging technologies.” While such statements are often aspirational and lag in implementation, the first four months of 2023 show the renaissance in US-India ties to be real.