Dr. Roby C. Barrett is a fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Forum at Cambridge University specializing in Gulf and regional security issues. He is a former Foreign Service Officer with a background in intelligence and special operations. A graduate of the Foreign Service Institute’s intensive two-year Arab Language and Middle East Area Studies program, Dr. Barrett’s background includes the Counterterrorism Tactics and Special Operations training courses.
Dr. Barrett was a keynote speaker and panelist on Iran at the 2017 Canadian-U.S. Intelligence Conference on Gulf Security, Washington, D.C. In 2016, he also headed the Gulf Arab team for the Office of National Intelligence in a simulation exercise on Russian influence in the Middle East. Dr. Barrett has been a Senior Fellow and Instructor of Applied Intelligence at US Special Operations Command and a briefer and subject matter expert with Special Operations—US Central Command. He provides support to various US government organizations including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Defense University, the State Department, and the intelligence community. He has been a featured presenter at the National Defense University, State Department, USSOCOM and Special Operations-Central Command as well as with the intelligence community. He was a visiting professor at the Royal Saudi Arabian Command and Staff School focused on Gulf security, specifically Yemen and Iran, and a featured expert on Iran at the German Council on Foreign Relations and with the Bundeswehr. He has spoken at numerous Middle East conferences including the Bahrain MOI Gulf Security Forum, the opening of the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center, the Arabian Gulf SOF Conference in Manama, and the Middle East Security Conference in Abu Dhabi. His commentary has appeared on numerous domestic and international outlets.
B.A. in History and Government at Texas A&M University - Commerce; M.A. in History and Government at Baylor University; M.A. in Government at Texas A&M University - Commerce; Ph.D. in Middle East and South Asian History at University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Barrett was also an Eisenhower-Roberts fellow of the Eisenhower Institute in Washington D.C., a Rotary International fellow at the Russian and East European Institute at the University of Munich, and a Scottish Rite Research fellow at Oxford University.
Countries of Expertise
Arabian Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan, India
- The Sultanate of Oman in the Historical Context March 9, 2022
- The Qaboos Era and the 21st Century April 12, 2022
- Kuwait: The Lynchpin in the Northern Gulf May 17, 2022
- Kuwait: Independence, State Formation, and Survival June 16, 2022
- “The Arab Gulf and the Joint Strike Fighter: Prestige versus Priorities,” Manara Magazine (January 27, 2022): https://manaramagazine.org/2022/01/27/the-arab-gulf-and-the-joint-strike-fighter-prestige-versus-priorities/.
- “The UAE: 21st Century Realities and Indispensability” Manara Magazine (January 7, 2022): https://manaramagazine.org/2021/12/01/the-united-arab-emirates-the-british-indispensability-and-the-union
- “The United Arab Emirates: The British, Indispensability, and the Union,” Manara Magazine (December 1, 2021): https://manaramagazine.org/2021/12/01/the-united-arab-emirates-the-british-indispensability-and-the-union/
- “Gulf Security: Past as Present – Present as Future,” Manara Magazine (September 16, 2021): https://manaramagazine.org/2021/09/16/gulf-security-past-as-present-present-as-future/
- “Mohammed bin Salman and the “White Revolution,” Manara Magazine (June 11, 2021): https://manaramagazine.org/2021/06/11/mohammed-bin-salman-and-the-white-revolution/
- “Iran and the West: The Perennial Challenge,” Manara Magazine (March 30, 2021): https://manaramagazine.org/2021/03/30/iran-and-the-west-the-perennial-challenge/
- “The Inescapable Continuum: US Force and Diplomacy in the Biden Era,” Manara Magazine (February 2, 2021): https://manaramagazine.org/2021/02/02/the-inescapable-continuum-us-force-and-diplomacy-into-the-biden-era/
- The Gulf and the Struggle for Hegemony: Arabs, Iranians, and the West in Conflict, Middle East Institute 2017 [More Info]
- Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco: Change, Instability, and Continuity in the Maghreb, Joint Special Operations (JSOU) Press 2017: https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=34134939
- “Zwischen Nation und Panarabismus: Die Innenpolitische entwicklung in Syrien and Irak von der Unabhängigkeit bis zum Jahr 2000” published in Irak und Syrien (Wegweiser zur Geschichte) Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Socialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr, 2016. Edited by Dr. Bernd Lemke, Potsdam, Germany (91–105). (Guide on Iraq and Syria for Bundeswehr, Austrian, and Swiss Armies)
- "U.S. Policy and Iraq: Pragmatism and Progressive Ideals," NPEJ 2016
- The Collapse of Iraq and Syria: The End of the Colonial Construct in the Greater Levant, JSOU Press 2016: https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=18599334
- Saudi Arabia: Modernity, Stability and the Twenty-First Century Monarchy, JSOU Press 2015: https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=11383888
- Islam, Ideology, and Conflict, JSOU Press 2014: https://jsou.libguides.com/jsoupublications/2014
- Iran: Illusion, Reality, and Interests, JSOU Press 2012: https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=2876916
- Yemen: A Different Political Paradigm in Context, Joint Special Operations University Press 2011: https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=2876921
- Oman: The Present in the Context of a Fractured Past, Joint Special Operations University Press, https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=2876924
- The Arabian Gulf and Security Policy, Joint Special Operations Press 2009, https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=2876942
- "Intervention in Iraq, 1958-1959," The Middle East Institute 2008, [PDF]
- The Greater Middle East and the Cold War: U.S. Foreign Policy under Eisenhower and Kennedy 1958–1963, I.B. Tauris 2007