States across the Middle East are confronted by a set of complex and volatile security challenges. Sub-state actors such as Hezbollah and ISIS look to benefit from this disorder. They have acquired sophisticated weapons and are challenging existing authorities across the region. The Syrian civil war has sent shockwaves across the Middle East and the success of ISIS has highlighted the dilemma of fighting asymmetric warfare against brutal organisations acting in the name of religion but embedded amongst civilians. This programme will explore the common themes and specific challenges across the region.