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Qualitative Military Edge

Qualitative Military Edge

An open source tool designed to help foster a better understanding of the military balance in a changing Middle East.

The Middle East and North Africa have been the epicenter of persistent conflict for decades. Recent upheaval from the “Arab Spring,” the rise in Sunni terrorist groups, and malign Iranian activity throughout the region have produced an increasingly dynamic environment where power can change hands rapidly. Contributing to this powder keg is the record quantities of weapons and military equipment flowing into the region via both governments and non-state actors. Monitoring the military balance has become increasingly important, as arms grow more advanced and diverse, complicating an already chaotic situation. was designed to help understand these complexities, and to provide tools to help track armament disposition in the region and how it alters the regional balance of power.

A main objective of the website is to evaluate the qualitative advantages of Middle East nations, and how they affect Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME). For decades American presidents have ensured that maintaining Israel’s QME remains U.S. policy, having determined that the Jewish state’s ability to defend itself is an American interest. Israel and the United States are threatened by many of the same adversaries, making it essential to understand the complex regional military challenges facing both nations.

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Dawn of the Jihadi Drone Wars

13th March 2017 –

Dawn of the Jihadi Drone Wars

Patrick Megahan, John Cappello

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported February 23 that it had downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the Mediterranean after it was launched from the Gaza Strip. more...

Analysis & Commentary

11th October 2016 –

Iranian-Backed Houthis Fire a Shot at the U.S. Navy

Patrick Megahan

While the United States was fixated on the second presidential debate on Sunday night, one of its ships was under fire in the Middle East. Details remain few, but reports suggest that the Houthis, a Yemeni militant group backed by Iran, fired two anti-ship missiles at the USS Mason as it patrolled the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. more...

6th October 2016 – Military Edge

Discerning Iran’s Role in Expanding Houthi Rocket Capabilities

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Yemen’s Houthi rebels tested a new rocket last Thursday, marking the fourth new projectile they unveiled this year. Dubbed the Somoud, or “steadfastness,” the projectile’s launch was broadcast late last week across Arab and Iranian media. more...

1st September 2016 – FDD Policy Brief

Understanding Iran’s Deployment of the S-300 System

Understanding Iran’s Deployment of the S-300 System

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Patrick Megahan

Iranian outlets this week revealed that components of Iran’s first Russian-made S-300 missile system were positioned around the Fordow fuel enrichment plant – an underground bunker which, until recently, was used for uranium enrichment. more...

28th April 2016 –

Crowded Skies Over Syria Raise Risk of Unintended Clashes

John Cappello

Russian forces in Syria have fired upon Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft on at least two different occasions, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported last week. Officials in Moscow unsurprisingly dismissed the report, but the possibility of Russian-Israeli clashes over Syria is actually more plausible than it may seem. more...