This course will offer a deep dive into understanding the Middle East, beyond superficial analysis of breaking events and dry academic theorizing. It will cover the main characteristics and dynamics of this region and its component states, its place in global affairs and international security, and the security challenges, both to its states, and emanating from the region to the international system. This course will analyze the social, economic, demographic, energy, and security dynamics of the region. As well as the policies, interests, governing systems and politics, and national security infrastructure of its key states. Finally, this course will look at the balance of power between them, the interests and influence of external actors, and scenarios for future developments.