Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991

U of Nebraska Press
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Kenneth M. Pollack, formerly a Persian Gulf military analyst at the CIA and Director for Persian Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council, describes and analyzes theømilitary history of the six key Arab states?Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Syria?during the post?World War II era. He shows in detail how each Arab military grew and learned from its own experiences in response to the specific objectives set for it and within often constrained political, economic, and social circumstances. This first-ever overview of the modern Arab approach to warfare provides a better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the Arab militaries, some of which are the United States? most likely adversaries, and some of which are our most important allies.
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About the author

Kenneth M. Pollack is Olin Senior Fellow and Deputy Director for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Additional Information

Publisher
U of Nebraska Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2004
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Pages
698
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ISBN
9780803206861
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Middle East / General
Technology & Engineering / Military Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In his highly influential book The Threatening Storm, bestselling author Kenneth Pollack both informed and defined the national debate about Iraq. Now, in The Persian Puzzle, published to coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, he examines the behind-the-scenes story of the tumultuous relationship between Iran and the United States, and weighs options for the future.
Here Pollack, a former CIA analyst and National Security Council official, brings his keen analysis and insider perspective to the long and ongoing clash between the United States and Iran, beginning with the fall of the shah and the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran in 1979. Pollack examines all the major events in U.S.-Iran relations–including the hostage crisis, the U.S. tilt toward Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, the Iran-Contra scandal, American-Iranian military tensions in 1987 and 1988, the covert Iranian war against U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf that culminated in the 1996 Khobar Towers terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, and recent U.S.-Iran skirmishes over Afghanistan and Iraq. He explains the strategies and motives from American and Iranian perspectives and tells how each crisis colored the thinking of both countries’ leadership as they shaped and reshaped their policies over time. Pollack also describes efforts by moderates of various stripes to try to find some way past animosities to create a new dynamic in Iranian-American relations, only to find that when one side was ready for such a step, the other side fell short.
With balanced tone and insight, Pollack explains how the United States and Iran reached this impasse; why this relationship is critical to regional, global, and U.S. interests; and what basic political choices are available as we deal with this important but deeply troubled country.
In The Threatening Storm, Kenneth M. Pollack, one of the world’s leading experts on Iraq, provides a masterly insider’s perspective on the crucial issues facing the United States as it moves toward a new confrontation with Saddam Hussein.

For the past fifteen years, as an analyst on Iraq for the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, Kenneth Pollack has studied Saddam as closely as anyone else in the United States. In 1990, he was one of only three CIA analysts to predict the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. As the principal author of the CIA’s history of Iraqi military strategy and operations during the Gulf War, Pollack gained rare insight into the methods and workings of what he believes to be the most brutal regime since Stalinist Russia.

Examining all sides of the debate and bringing a keen eye to the military and geopolitical forces at work, Pollack ultimately comes to this controversial conclusion: through our own mistakes, the perfidy of others, and Saddam’s cunning, the United States is left with few good policy options regarding Iraq. Increasingly, the option that makes the most sense is for the United States to launch a full-scale invasion, eradicate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, and rebuild Iraq as a prosperous and stable society—for the good of the United States, the Iraqi people, and the entire region.

Pollack believed for many years that the United States could prevent Saddam from threatening the stability of the Persian Gulf and the world through containment—a combination of sanctions and limited military operations. Here, Pollack explains why containment is no longer effective, and why other policies intended to deter Saddam ultimately pose a greater risk than confronting him now, before he gains possession of nuclear weapons and returns to his stated goal of dominating the Gulf region. “It is often said that war should be employed only in the last resort,” Pollack writes. “I reluctantly believe that in the case of the threat from Iraq, we have come to the last resort.”

Offering a view of the region that has the authority and force of an intelligence report, Pollack outlines what the leaders of neighboring Arab countries are thinking, what is necessary to gain their support for an invasion, how a successful U.S. operation would be mounted, what the likely costs would be, and how Saddam might react. He examines the state of Iraq today—its economy, its armed forces, its political system, the status of its weapons of mass destruction as best we understand them, and the terrifying security apparatus that keeps Saddam in power. Pollack also analyzes the last twenty years of relations between the United States and Iraq to explain how the two countries reached the unhappy standoff that currently prevails.

Commanding in its insights and full of detailed information about how leaders on both sides will make their decisions, The Threatening Storm is an essential guide to understanding what may be the crucial foreign policy challenge of our time.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first comprehensive account of the epoch-making Six-Day War, from the author of Ally—now featuring a fiftieth-anniversary retrospective
 
Though it lasted for only six tense days in June, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war never really ended. Every crisis that has ripped through this region in the ensuing decades, from the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to the ongoing intifada, is a direct consequence of those six days of fighting.

Writing with a novelist’s command of narrative and a historian’s grasp of fact and motive, Michael B. Oren reconstructs both the lightning-fast action on the battlefields and the political shocks that electrified the world. Extraordinary personalities—Moshe Dayan and Gamal Abdul Nasser, Lyndon Johnson and Alexei Kosygin—rose and toppled from power as a result of this war; borders were redrawn; daring strategies brilliantly succeeded or disastrously failed in a matter of hours. And the balance of power changed—in the Middle East and in the world. A towering work of history and an enthralling human narrative, Six Days of War is the most important book on the Middle East conflict to appear in a generation.

Praise for Six Days of War

“Powerful . . . A highly readable, even gripping account of the 1967 conflict . . . [Oren] has woven a seamless narrative out of a staggering variety of diplomatic and military strands.”—The New York Times

“With a remarkably assured style, Oren elucidates nearly every aspect of the conflict. . . . Oren’s [book] will remain the authoritative chronicle of the war. His achievement as a writer and a historian is awesome.”—The Atlantic Monthly

“This is not only the best book so far written on the six-day war, it is likely to remain the best.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Phenomenal . . . breathtaking history . . . a profoundly talented writer. . . .
This book is not only one of the best books on this critical episode in Middle East history; it’s one of the best-written books I’ve read this year, in any genre.”—The Jerusalem Post

“[In] Michael Oren’s richly detailed and lucid account, the familiar story is thrilling once again. . . . What makes this book important is the breadth and depth of the research.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A first-rate new account of the conflict.”—The Washington Post

“The definitive history of the Six-Day War . . . [Oren’s] narrative is precise but written with great literary flair. In no one else’s study is there more understanding or more surprise.”—Martin Peretz, Publisher, The New Republic

“Compelling, perhaps even vital, reading.”—San Jose Mercury News
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