Iran may eventually limit any military expansion to a necessary defensive strength and set strategic goals for itself that are compatible with the legitimate interests of other nations, or it may choose a more aggressive course. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, argues Cordesman, it does no good to either demonize or excuse Iranian policies. Instead, the United States and other nations with interests in the Middle East and Central Asia need to deal realistically with Iran as a reemerging regional power.
ANTHONY H. CORDESMAN is Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a military analyst for ABC News. A frequent commentator on National Public Radio, he is the author of numerous books on security issues and has served in a number of senior positions in the US government.
Mattair provides a comprehensive analysis of Iran's relations with its neighbors and major world powers. He begins with a review of Iran's foreign relations from the time of Iran's founding in the 5th century B.C. through the Islamic era beginning in the mid-600's A.D., and the native dynasties that ruled in more recent centuries as Iran faced challenges from foreign powers such as the Ottoman Empire and Western colonial empires. The rule of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, from 1941 until 1979, is analyzed in detail, covering his efforts to deter aggression by the Soviet Union, forge an alliance with the United States, assert Iran's power in the Persian Gulf, and exercise Iran's economic power, particularly through its oil wealth. The bulk of the book, however, focuses on the foreign relations of the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979, during the time in which Ayatollah Khomeini and his successors have ruled. The reasons for Iran's early revolutionary activism, its antagonism toward the United States and Israel, and its war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988, are carefully examined. The reasons for international efforts to contain Iran, particularly efforts by the United States, are also analyzed. Iran's more pragmatic policies are explained, as well, including its close relations with Russia and China, its efforts to repair relations with Saudi Arabia and the other Arab states of the Gulf, its cooperation with U.S. efforts to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, and its offer of comprehensive negotiations with the United States in May 2003. Finally, Mattair analyzes the current global debate about whether diplomacy, sanctions, or military action are appropriate responses to Iran's nuclear programs, its role in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, and its resistance to Israel.
Are we on the brink of a regional nuclear arms race in the Middle East? In this urgent volume, Anthony Cordesman and Adam Seitz examine how Iran's nuclear ambitions have already altered security policy for the United States, Iran's neighbors, and the international community. Cordesman and Seitz address the full range of issues related to Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, including its emphasis on medium- and long-range missiles, the decline of Iran's conventional military capabilities, and continued Iranian efforts to undercut the spread of democracy in the region.
Cordesman and Obaid argue that it is time to put an end to client and tutorial relations. Saudi Arabia must emerge as a true partner. This will require the creation of effective Saudi forces for both defense and counterterrorism. Saudi Arabia has embarked on a process of political, economic, and social reforms that reflects a growing understanding by the governing members of the royal family, Saudi technocrats, and Saudi businessmen that Saudi Arabia must reform and diversify its economy and must create vast numbers of new jobs for its young and growing population. There is a similar understanding that economic reform must be combined with some level of political and social reform if Saudi Arabia is to remain stable in the face of change. With Gulf security, the war on terrorism, and the security of some sixty percent of the world's oil reserves at stake, the real question is how quickly Saudi Arabia can change and adapt its overall approach to security, and how successful it will be in the process.
Since 1987, more than thirty states have agreed to restrict their transfer of missiles and related technologies under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). During the MTCR�s first decade, several regional powers were thwarted from advancing their missile ambitions. Subsequently, however, states such as North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Israel have tested medium-range missiles and others have expanded their missile arsenals.
Dinshaw Mistry critically examines the successes and limitations of the MTCR, and suggests five practical ways to strengthen the regime. The author�s exhaustive research offers new and detailed insights on the technology and politics of missile programs in Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel, Egypt, South Korea, Taiwan, and other countries. Mistry also shows how international cooperation, security regimes, and U.S. foreign policies of engagement and containment with these states can halt their missile programs.
Mistry�s book is the first comprehensive study of the MTCR and of international efforts to contain missile proliferation. Policymakers, scholars, and the general reader will find this book a valuable contribution to the subjects of arms control, ballistic missile proliferation, multilateral cooperation, and international security regimes.
For the author's update, go to http://www.washington.edu/uwpress/books/UpdateApril2009.pdf
Iraq has effectively used diplomatic means to divide the United Nations and exploit Arab sympathies, while using its oil wealth as an incentive to win support for an easing of sanctions. The military potential of Iraq, and especially its development of weapons of mass destruction, must be considered as much for its intimidation value as for any actual utility in a possible war. A realistic assessment of Iraq's future capabilities, says Cordesman, must take into account these political and strategic factors as purely military considerations.