A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East

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Doubleday Canada, 2008 - Middle East - 601 pages
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The United States is locked into three prolonged conflicts without much hope of early resolution. Iran is pursuing a nuclear program; the aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has seen unrelenting intercommunal violence; and the Taliban have got back into Afghanistan. George W. Bush will almost certainly leave office without solving any of these big foreign policy issues that have defined his presidency. Sir Lawrence Freedman, distinguished historian of 20th-century military and political strategy, teases out the roots of each engagement over the last thirty years and demonstrates with clarity and scholarship the influence of these conflicts upon each other. How is it that the US manages to find itself fighting on three different fronts?

Freedman supplies a context to recent events and warns against easy assumptions: neo-conservatives, supporters of Israel and the hawks are not the sole reasons for the failure to develop a viable foreign policy in the Middle East. The story is infinitely more complex and is often marked by great drama. Unique in its focus, this book will offer new revelations about the history of the US in the region, and about America’s role in the wider world.

A Choice of Enemies is essential reading for anyone concerned with the complex politics of the Middle East and with the future of American foreign policy.

“Freedman is not just a good historian but a terse, readable writer.” Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times (UK)

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User Review  - 1Randal - LibraryThing

Good book. Well reasoned, lots of information. A little slow. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Sir Lawrence Freedman is professor of war studies at King’s College, London. In 2001 he was appointed head of the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy at King’s and then in 2003 vice principal for research. Before joining King’s he held research appointments at Nuffield College, Oxford, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. He is the author of several books of history, including Kennedy’s Wars and The Official History of the Falklands Conflict.

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