Dr Rodger Shanahan is a Research Fellow at the Lowy Institute. A former army officer, he had extensive service within the Parachute Battalion Group (PBG) and has had operational service with the UN in South Lebanon and Syria, with the PBG in East Timor, in Beirut during the 2006 war, and in Afghanistan. He was the former director of the Army’s Land Warfare Studies Centre, and has also been posted to the Australian Embassies in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Dr Shanahan has MAs in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the ANU, and a PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies from the University of Sydney. He is also a part-time member of the Refugee Review Tribunal. He has written numerous journal, media and policy articles, is a frequent commentator on Middle East issues for Australian and international media, has appeared as an expert witness for several terrorism trials in Australia and is the author of Clans, Parties and Clerics: the Shi’a of Lebanon.