A choice of enemies: America confronts the Middle East

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Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008 - Political Science - 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 programme; 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.Lawrence Freedman, one of our most distinguished historians 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. First, the countries in dispute with America are not themselves natural allies; and second, their enmity was not, at first, America's choice. Until the Shah went into exile in 1979 Iran had been a pillar of US security policy... Third, the region's problems cannot all be traced to the Arab-Israeli dispute. Unique in its focus, this book will offer not only new revelations but also remind us of what has been forgotten or has never been put in context.

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User Review  - 1Randal - LibraryThing

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

Contents

Choosing Enemies i
11
The First Wave
18
PART ONE JIMMY CARTER
37
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Lawrence Freedman is based at King's College, London, and is one of our most distinguished historians of twentieth-century military and political strategy. He is the official historian of the Falklands War and author of the prize-winning 'Kennedy's Wars'.

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