Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade

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Free Press, 1997 - Political Science - 310 pages
This tale of modern warfare is told in three interwoven stories: the world of Washington policymaking; the hot spots of the Middle East, particularly Turkey; and a key venue of American arms manufacturing, Connecticut. These three disparate places have combined to produce one of the world's great human-rights catastrophes - the village-by-village destruction of "Kurdistan, " the unsovereign homeland to 20 million people. To grasp the evolution of the Middle East and its relations with the West, we reach back more than a thousand years; to understand the politics of American intentions, we reach back to Richard Nixon's presidency; to see how Connecticut's prosperity became so dependent on the military, we reach back to the American Revolution. By the 1970s, the three eras are brought together forcefully: Washington is exporting weapons - often made in Connecticut - to Iran, Turkey, and elsewhere in the region, with uncommonly stark consequences. The different eras and locales demonstrate the sheer complexity of American-Islamic confrontation in the late twentieth century; they also show the utterly destructive role military largesse has played. The story encompasses not only folly and miscalculation but also suggestions for gracefully winding down the military-industrial complex from its Cold War excesses. Tirman doesn't simply blame the avaricious or amoral posturing of American leaders but lays out how the embrace of specious ideas about the Muslim world and American power has led to one failure after another in the region.

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User Review  - ChaunceyRoberts1_ - LibraryThing

Serious reading for understanding how USA has been off track in Middle East with recent arms ultimately destroying Kurdish villages. The review of American policy failure regarding the past 45 years ... Read full review

SPOILS OF WAR: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade

User Review  - Kirkus

A heartfelt if quixotic critique of America's role as a ranking supplier of weaponry, from the executive director of the Winston Foundation for World Peace. Drawing on a variety of sources, Tirman ... Read full review


The Trajectory of Tragedy
The Wests Encounter with Islam
Nixons New Diplomacy

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About the author (1997)

John Tirman currently serves as a trustee of International Alert, a major conflict-prevention NGO in London. He is the author of "Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade".

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