Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

Our Experts: Fellows

Also available in العربية

Download High-Resolution Photograph

Michael Knights

Lafer Fellow

Tel: 202-230-9550 (media inquiries only) 202-452-0650 (all other inquiries)

Michael Knights is a Boston-based Lafer fellow of The Washington Institute, specializing in the military and security affairs of Iraq, Iran, and the Persian Gulf states.

Areas of Expertise

Iraq, Persian Gulf States , Military and Security

Back to Top

Current Research

Risks and opportunities for U.S. policy in Iraq

Back to Top


Michael Knights is a Lafer fellow at The Washington Institute, specializing in the military and security affairs of Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and the Gulf Arab states.

Dr. Knights has traveled extensively in Iraq and the Gulf states, published widely on security issues for major media outlets such as Jane's IHS, and regularly briefs U.S. government policymakers and U.S. military officers on regional security affairs. Dr. Knights worked as the head of analysis and assessments for a range of security and oil companies, directing information collection teams in Iraq, Libya, and Yemen. He has worked extensively with local military and security agencies in Iraq, the Gulf states, and Yemen.

Dr. Knights has undertaken extensive research on lessons learned from U.S. military operations in the Gulf during and since 1990. He earned his doctorate at the Department of War Studies, King's College London, and has worked as a defense journalist for the Gulf States Newsletter and Jane's Intelligence Review.

Back to Top


Rising to Iran's Challenge:

June 12, 2013

Policy Focus

The Iraqi Security Forces:

June 1, 2011

Policy Notes

Iran's Influence in Iraq:

April 26, 2011

Policy Focus

Kirkuk in Transition:

March 24, 2010

Policy Focus

Back to Top

Most Recent Analysis

The Long Haul:

Rebooting U.S. Security Cooperation in Iraq

January 22, 2015

Let the Iraqi Army Have Its Day

January 6, 2015

Bringing Iraq's 'Ghost' Forces Back to Life

December 10, 2014

Making the Iraqi Revenue-Generating Deal Work

December 3, 2014

Iraqi Kurdistan: The Middle East's Next 'Little Sparta'?

November 23, 2014

Iraq's Future: It's the Oil, Stupid

November 10, 2014

Why the Islamic State Is Losing

October 14, 2014

Divided Forces in Iraq

October 9, 2014

ISIL 3-24: Do They Do Counter-Insurgency?

September 30, 2014

Resetting the U.S.-Kurdish-Baghdad Relationship

September 15, 2014

See all analysis by this author