Vivid personal reporting and incisive, angry historical analysis make Robert Fisk's passionate eyewitness account of the events that have shaped the Middle East in to an unforgettable work. Thirty years at the heart of world-shaking events have produced a masterpiece that is personal, tragic and compassionate, a chronicle of the death by deceit of tens of thousands of men and women - Muslim, Christian and Jew - and of the life and work of one of the world's most acclaimed journalists.
The First World War in the Middle East swept away five hundred years of Ottoman domination. It ushered in new ideologies and radicalised old ones - from Arab nationalism and revolutionary socialism to impassioned forms of atavistic Islamism. It created heroic icons, like the enigmatic Lawrence of Arabia or the modernizing Ataturk, and destroyed others. And it completely re-drew the map of the region, forging a host of new nation states, including Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia - all of them (with the exception of Turkey) under the 'protection' of the victor powers, Britain and France. For many, the self-serving intervention of these powers in the region between 1914 and 1919 is the major reason for the conflicts that have raged there on and off ever since. Yet many of the most commonly accepted assertions about the First World War in the Middle East are more often stated than they are truly tested. Rob Johnson, military historian and former soldier, now seeks to put this right by examining in detail the strategic and operational course of the war in the Middle East. Johnson argues that, far from being a sideshow to the war in Europe, the Middle Eastern conflict was in fact the centre of gravity in a war for imperial domination and prestige. Moreover, contrary to another persistent myth of the First World War in the Middle East, local leaders and their forces were not simply the puppets of the Great Powers in any straightforward sense. The way in which these local forces embraced, resisted, succumbed to, disrupted, or on occasion overturned the plans of the imperialist powers for their own interests in fact played an important role in shaping the immediate aftermath of the conflict - and in laying the foundations for the troubled Middle East that we know today.
From the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What caused this shift? Andrew J. Bacevich, one of the country’s most respected voices on foreign affairs, offers an incisive critical history of this ongoing military enterprise—now more than thirty years old and with no end in sight.During the 1980s, Bacevich argues, a great transition occurred. As the Cold War wound down, the United States initiated a new conflict—a War for the Greater Middle East—that continues to the present day. The long twilight struggle with the Soviet Union had involved only occasional and sporadic fighting. But as this new war unfolded, hostilities became persistent. From the Balkans and East Africa to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, U.S. forces embarked upon a seemingly endless series of campaigns across the Islamic world. Few achieved anything remotely like conclusive success. Instead, actions undertaken with expectations of promoting peace and stability produced just the opposite. As a consequence, phrases like “permanent war” and “open-ended war” have become part of everyday discourse.Connecting the dots in a way no other historian has done before, Bacevich weaves a compelling narrative out of episodes as varied as the Beirut bombing of 1983, the Mogadishu firefight of 1993, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the rise of ISIS in the present decade. Understanding what America’s costly military exertions have wrought requires seeing these seemingly discrete events as parts of a single war. It also requires identifying the errors of judgment made by political leaders in both parties and by senior military officers who share responsibility for what has become a monumental march to folly. This Bacevich unflinchingly does. A twenty-year army veteran who served in Vietnam, Andrew J. Bacevich brings the full weight of his expertise to this vitally important subject. America’s War for the Greater Middle East is a bracing after-action report from the front lines of history. It will fundamentally change the way we view America’s engagement in the world’s most volatile region.
King?s Counsel – A Memoir of War, Espionage and Diplomacy in the Middle East
Democracy, War, & Peace in the Middle East (Paper)
Sectarian schism has historically been an integral yet a repressed element of Middle East’s political and civic life. However, this element was released into a political vacuum created in Iraq immediately after the war. This study attempts to understand the conditions responsible for this sudden surge and rise of sectarian politics and sectarian violence in Iraq and surrounding countries. For this, could we blame the external and untimely American intervention to enforce a democratic change in the country that was otherwise not ready for it? Middle East witnessed an internal revolution (Arab Spring) in the decade after the war, yet it stands on a worse political crossroad. A peaceful democratic environment in Middle East seems formidable in near future as Syrian struggle for ‘equal representation’ rapidly turns into a deadly sectarian war and spreading across borders. This paper identifies and argues for a combination of three distinguished prerequisites of Middle East, not only responsible for a precipitous rise of sectarianism, yet they also provide strong foundations for sectarianism to potentially become a defining characteristic of the region.
From the end of World War II to 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else outside the "open-ended war" in the Greater Middle East.Bacevich weaves an interconnected narrative out of episodes as varied as the Beirut Bombing of 1983, the notorious Mogadishu firefight of 1993, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the rise of ISIS in 2014 and America's ongoing response.Understanding what these costly exertions have wrought requires seeing them as parts of a single war. Bacevich connects the dots in a way no other historian has done before, in a concise political and military history.This book will change how we view America's engagements in the Middle East, and it will influence policy makers and opinion-makers.
The Modern Middle East – A Political History Since the First World War
The second volume of Jean-Pierre Filiu and David B.'s acclaimed history of US-Middle East relations documents a period of dramatic conflict and change, beginning in the 1950s and ending with the Lebanese War of 1982. The Blitzkrieg of the Six-Day War saw the Jewish state triple in size. In less than a week, the Middle East was transformed: Israel had taken the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. It was a conflict that began an era of U.S.-led intervention in the Middle East, which continued in the lead-up to the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The demise of the Shah, and the ascent of Ayatollah Khomeini, stoked anti-American sentiment in the country, and the U.S. became known as “The Great Satan”. When Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, the CIA began a proxy war by supporting anti-soviet Muslim forces, among them a young Saudi, Osama Bin Laden. Best of Enemies, Vol. 2 is a perceptive and authoritative account of a turbulent historical period. Intelligent, accessible and beautifully drawn, it brings to life a period of history that is of great relevance to international relations today.
Water is the most precious and valuable natural resource in the world, vital for the growth of society, economy, agriculture, and industry. This book deals with the socioeconomic and geopolitical water problems in the Middle East. It is an analytical and comprehensive study from a socioeconomic and geopolitical perspective that examines the water status-quo, facts, challenges, problems, and solutions in several Middle Eastern countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Palestine. The different topics that are discussed in this book are the water resources of the Middle East and their management; water problems, their challenges, and their possible solutions; climate change and its impact on the economy and the social life; water geopolitics; international laws for water exploitation during the war; shared water and their legal framework; water wars and conflicts; among many other topics
The Origins of the Cold War in the Near East – Great Power Conflict & Diplomacy in Iran, Turkey, & Greece
For a long period, the Middle East has been an arena of intense inter-state rivalry and conflict as evidenced by the rampant instability and insecurity within the geopolitical landscape. The conditions in the region have been exacerbated by the end of the Cold War that left the US as the sole dominating force both economically and politically. This book identifies the US as the predominant power in the politics of the region and explores how its interest shapes policy towards selected key states in the region. Fundamentally, the nexus between national interest and conflict is examined in the context of the region’s political dynamics. The central argument is that the interests of the US in the region are wide-ranging but predominantly strategic which breeds unrest and conflict. Paradoxically, the role of the UN in the region has been subdued despite the existence of a threat to international peace and security. Conceptually building the argument from a realist perspective, the analysis in this book sheds more light on the generic US policy using a selection of case studies.This should be useful for students of international relations and foreign policy professionals.
During the 1930s and 1940s, a unique and lasting political alliance was forged among Third Reich leaders, Arab nationalists and Muslim religious authorities. From this relationship sprang a series of dramatic events that, despite their profound impact on the course of World War II, remained secret until now. In this groundbreaking book, esteemed Middle East scholars Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz uncover for the first time the complete story of this dangerous alliance and explore its continuing impact on Arab politics in the twenty-first century. Rubin and Schwanitz reveal, for example, the full scope of Palestinian leader Amin al-Husaini's support of Hitler's genocidal plans against European and Middle Eastern Jews. In addition, they expose the extent of Germany's long-term promotion of Islamism and jihad. Drawing on unprecedented research in European, American and Middle East archives, many recently opened and never before written about, the authors offer new insight on the intertwined development of Nazism and Islamism and its impact on the modern Middle East.
The debate on the meaning, applicability and sustainability as well as the methodology of spreading democracy has been perpetual and sometimes violent. This book tackles the question of the methodology preferred by the USA in its attempt to democratize the Middle East. However, this book assesses the sustainability of forced democracy in the context of the war on Iraq. The central argument of the book is that forced democracy in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq is unsustainable due to a plethora of factors including the history, culture and religion of Iraq. The analysis in this book adds more steam to the debate on the relevance of liberal democratic ideals in a multi-cultured world. More importantly, the book will be useful to students of international relations with keen interest in the Middle East political dynamics. Perhaps the book is also necessary for anyone aspiring to understand the USA security policy in the post-9/11 dispensation.
The end of the Cold War was to usher in an era of peace based on flourishing democracies and free market economies worldwide. Instead, new wars, including the war on terrorism, have threatened international, regional, and individual security and sparked a major refugee crisis. This volume of essays on international humanitarian interventions focuses on what interests are promoted through these interventions and how efforts to build liberal democracies are carried out in failing states. Focusing on Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, an international group of contributors shows that best practices of protection and international state-building have not been applied uniformly. Together the essays provide a theoretical and empirical critique of global liberal governance and, as they note challenges to regional and international cooperation, they reveal that global liberal governance may threaten fragile governments and endanger human security at all levels.