Harold Rhode is an American specialist on the Middle East. He studied in and traveled extensively throughout the Islamic world. He has also studied and done research in universities and libraries in Egypt, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. He speaks Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. During the Gulf War, he served as the Turkish Desk officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He subsequently served on the US Department of Defense’s Policy Planning Staff between 1991 and 1994, and subsequent to that worked as an adviser on Islamic Affairs in the Office of Net Assessment, an in-house think tank for the Pentagon until 2010.