Many smaller military actions against Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and other regimes that have been involved in international terrorism are also included. Diplomacy, religion as it pertains to Middle East conflict, and social/cultural developments are other key subjects of analysis, as is the interplay of politics with military policy in the United States and other nations involved in the region.
Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, is senior fellow in military history for ABC-CLIO and the author or editor of more than 40 books and encyclopedias, many of which have been recognized by awards.
Understanding the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is essential to understanding the United States in the first decade of the new millennium and beyond. These wars were pivotal to American foreign policy and international relations. They were expensive: in lives, in treasure, and in reputation. They raised critical ethical and legal questions; they provoked debates over policy, strategy, and war-planning; they helped to shape American domestic politics. And they highlighted a profound division among the American people: While more than two million Americans served in Iraq and Afghanistan, many in multiple deployments, the vast majority of Americans and their families remained untouched by and frequently barely aware of the wars conducted in their name, far from American shores, in regions about which they know little.
Understanding the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan gives us the first book-length expert historical analysis of these wars. It shows us how they began, what they teach us about the limits of the American military and diplomacy, and who fought them. It examines the lessons and legacies of wars whose outcomes may not be clear for decades.
In 1945 few Americans could imagine that the country would be locked in a Cold War with the Soviet Union for decades; fewer could imagine how history would paint the era. Understanding the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan begins to come to grips with the period when America became enmeshed in a succession of “low intensity” conflicts in the Middle East.
The Persian Gulf War served as the first live-combat test of much of the United States' then-new high-tech weaponry. The war also held many lessons about the play of national interests, the process of coalition building, the need for effective communication and coordination, and the role of individuals in shaping history. This book addresses all key battles, the nations involved, strategies employed by both sides, weapon systems used, the role of the media, the role played by women, and environmental and medical issues associated with the conflict.
A detailed glossary is included, as are discussions of ranks and military awards and decorations. Divided into conflict periods, each chapter includes a detailed chronology, reference-entry sidebars, statistical information, primary-source documents, and a bibliography.