Prize-winning historian Lawrence Freedman takes an exceptionally clear-eyed look at America's strategic predicament in the Middle East, over the past 30 years.
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.
Lawrence Freedman 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.
The story is complex and often marked by great drama. First, the countries in dispute with America are not themselves natural allies; second, their enmity was not, at first, America's choice. 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.
Lawrence Freedman has been Professor of War Studies at King's College London since 1982, and Vice-Principal since 2003. Elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and awarded the CBE in 1996, he was appointed Official Historian of the Falklands Campaign in 1997. He was awarded the KCMG in 2003. In June 2009 he was appointed to serve as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War. Professor Freedman has written extensively on nuclear strategy and the Cold War, as well as commentating regularly on contemporary security issues. His most recent book, A Choice of Enemies: America confronts the Middle East, won the 2009 Lionel Gelber Prize and Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature.