Near East Policycast

Deterring Iran in the 'Gray Zone' with Michael Eisenstadt



Military analyst Michael Eisenstadt details how the Islamic Republic of Iran operates in the gray zone between war and peace to manage escalation, leverages asymmetries to achieve disproportionate effects, and employs its hybrid force structure for maximum effect. The current U.S. approach, he explains, is based on overt action, blunt force, and emphatic messaging, all of which entail a heightened potential for escalation. But an alternative approach—one focused on unacknowledged activities, indirection, subtlety, and discreet messaging—could more effectively deter Iran while reducing the risk of further escalation and broader conflict. Michael Eisenstadt is Kahn Fellow and director of the Military and Security Studies Program at The Washington Institute. He is the author of the recently published study, Operating in the Gray Zone: Countering Iran's Asymmetric Way of War. View a presen