Author Biography

Dr. Sheldon Greaves is an independent scholar and part-time faculty member at Henley-Putnam University, where he teaches courses in religious extremism and covert organizations. He is a founder of Henley-Putnam University, and the Founder of the Journal of Strategic Security. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and lives in San Jose, CA.



Subject Area Keywords

History, Identity, Ideology, Intelligence analysis, International relations, Islamic culture and politics, Methodology, Middle East, Psychology, Regional conflict, Sociocultural dynamics in security


It is natural for someone looking in on a foreign culture from the outside to interpret what they see and frame their reactions based on their own background and assumptions. With cultures as a different as those of the Middle East and the West, the potential for blunders increases dramatically, made worse by the high political, diplomatic, military, and commercial stakes involved. Leadership culture in this region has been shaped over centuries through a variety of factors, such as reputation, family, and religion, which continue to influence decision making. The present study posits that an understanding of these factors and how they work is crucial for intelligence analysts, policy and decision makers, strategists, and scholars who must find their way through a very unfamiliar cultural landscape in the Middle East. It is hoped that this discussion will in some way assist in the creation of more effective interaction, policies, and analysis associated with the Middle East.