J. Matthew McInnis is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on Iran, specifically its intentions, strategic culture, military power, and goals. He also works on US defense and regional security issues in the Persian Gulf (Iran, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula) and on the effectiveness of the US intelligence community.
Before joining AEI, McInnis served as a senior analyst and in other leadership positions for the US Department of Defense.
McInnis has a master’s degree in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and another master’s degree in European studies from New York University. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Eckerd College in Florida.
Senior Analyst, US Department of Defense, 1998–2013
Senior Iran Analyst, US Central Command (CENTCOM), 2010–13
Senior Leadership, Analytic and Advisory Positions, Multi-National Force–Iraq and Multi-National Corps-Iraq (in support of Generals George W. Casey Jr., David Petraeus, and Raymond T. Odierno), CENTCOM, 2006–07
Analyst, Strategic Planning and Leadership Positions Covering Iran, Iraq, the broader Middle East, South Asia, China, and Counterproliferation Issues, 1998–2010
M.A., international relations, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University M.A., European studies, New York University B.A., international studies, Eckerd College
If the U.S. is to develop a more effective response to Iranian-sponsored terrorism, the most critical question that must first be asked is: why does Iran pursue these activities in the first place? Terrorism must be understood as an essential tool for Iran to both protect the regime and ensure the continuation of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Following the interim nuclear deal with Iran, AEI will host an event to discuss which country will have the most influence in the Middle East, what direction new governments will take, and how changing regional dynamics will impact US national security.
A review of the soft-power strategies of both the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Middle East and Afghanistan makes clear a disturbing fact: Tehran has a coherent, if sometimes ineffective strategy to advance its aims in the Middle East and around the world. The United States does not.