Michael Rubin

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Michael Rubin, a specialist on Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, has served as editor of the Middle East Quarterly since 2004. Rubin was political adviser for the Coalition Provisional Authority (Baghdad), 2003-2004, following two years (2002-2004) as staff assistant on Iran and Iraq in the Office of Special Plans in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. [1]

After leaving the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Rubin was a visiting and, later, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) (July through September 2002). Following his return from Iraq in 2004, Rubin returned to AEI as a resident scholar. [See links below.]

Rubin and the Lincoln Group's Iraq Propaganda campaign

On January 1, 2006, in an article about the Lincoln Group's Pentagon-sponsored propaganda work inside Iraq, the New York Times reported that "Michael Rubin, a Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute ... said he had reviewed materials produced by the company during two trips to Iraq within the past two years. 'I visited Camp Victory and looked over some of their proposals or products and commented on their ideas,' Mr. Rubin said in an e-mailed response to questions about his links to Lincoln. 'I am not nor have I been an employee of the Lincoln Group. I do not receive a salary from them.' He added: 'Normally, when I travel, I receive reimbursement of expenses including a per diem and/or honorarium.' But Mr. Rubin would not comment further on how much in such payments he may have received from Lincoln. Mr. Rubin was quoted last month in The New York Times about Lincoln Group's work for the Pentagon placing articles in Iraqi publications: 'I'm not surprised this goes on,' he said, without disclosing his work for Lincoln. 'Especially in an atmosphere where terrorists and insurgents - replete with oil boom cash - do the same. We need an even playing field, but cannot fight with both hands tied behind our backs.' [1]

Rubin rebutted the New York Times story and its allegations that he worked for the Lincoln Group or received any payments from them. [2]

Middle East Experience

In December 2001, Rubin was both "an adjunct fellow of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, currently resident in Jerusalem at Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations. He lived nine months during the academic year 2000-2001 as a Carnegie Council fellow in Iraq, where he taught English and history in the universities of Sulaymani, Salahuddin, and Dahuk..." [3]

Rubin "spent more than half a year in Iran (1996 and 1999), nine months in Iraq (2000-2001), three months in Yemen (1995), three months in Tajikistan (1997), as well as several weeks in Afghanistan (1997 and 2000), and time in Pakistan (2000) and the Sudan (2001)." [4]


A native of Philadelphia, Rubin attended Quaker school for 14 years. Dr. Rubin earned a Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 1999. His dissertation, "The Making of Modern Iran, 1858-1909: Communications, Telegraph and Society" won Yale's top John Addison Porter Prize. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including from the Council on Foreign Relations, Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs, and The Washington Institute, where he was a Soref fellow in 1999-2000.

He has lectured in history at Yale University, Hebrew University, and at three different universities in northern Iraq.

Dr. Rubin is author with Patrick Clawson of "Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos" (Palgrave, 2005) and of the "Washington Institute Policy Paper Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran" (2001), in addition to numerous scholarly and policy articles. He has published his opinion articles and analyses widely in such forums as the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, National Review, and Commentary. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, BBC, MSNBC, C-Span's Washington Journal, and ABC's Nightline. He serves on the editorial board of the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin and has lectured in the United States, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East to both military and civilian audiences.


External links


Articles & Commentary



  • "From September 2000 until June 2001, Michael Rubin taught and traveled throughout northern Iraq."
  • "Michael Rubin is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. In 2002-2003 he will serve as an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Rubin shared his rare, first-hand impressions of the region with the Washington File on August 15."



  • "Michael Rubin's view of Iraq," Star Tribune, April 11, 2004: "Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute just returned from Iraq, where he worked for the U.S. Defense Department and advised the Coalition Provisional Authority."
  • Robert Dreyfuss, "Neocon Lets Cat Out of Bag," Tom Paine.Common Sense, May 19, 2004: "Michael Rubin--a young staffer at the American Enterprise Institute who's just left the Pentagon, where he played a small role as a neocon cog in the Office of Special Plans war machine--let a herd of cats out of the bag about his favorite Iraqi phony, Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress."
  • Michael Rubin, Benador Associates, undated (Internet Archive Link): "Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, having recently served 18 months in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as an Iraq and Iran advisor, during which time he was also seconded to the Coalition Provisional Authority [CPA] governance team."
  • June 29, 2004: "Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute."
  • Interview: Michael Rubin, C-SPAN, November 11, 2004: "Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar of the American Enterprise Institute, discusses U.S. policy towards Iraq."


  • Michael Rubin, "Democracy on the Wing," Washington Post, January 26, 2005: "The writer, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is editor of the Middle East Quarterly."
  • Interview With Michael Rubin, The Big Story with Michael Gibson (posted on Thompson-Gale website), June 5, 2005: "Joining us now, Michael Rubin, American Enterprise Institute resident scholar and former political adviser for the Coalition Provisional Authority."


  • [5]
  • Fikra Forum: Contributors (Accessed: 11 February 2012)
  • [6]