Both the US and the UK seemed caught off-guard by the uprisings in Libya and Egypt and policymakers had to deal with leaders that switched from being allies to "pariahs."
This collection of essays, written by leading scholars, examines the evolution of British and American perceptions of "adversaries" in the Middle East since the Cold War. It traces the evolution of how leaders have been perceived, what determined such perceptions, and how they can change over time. It shows that in many cases the beliefs held by policymakers have influenced their policies and the way they adapted during crisis.
Each essay focuses on a Middle East leader, such as Nasser, Assad, Hussein, or Ahmadinejad, discussing what these leaders' objectives were perceived to be, the assessments of their willingness to take risks or negotiate, and how such assessments changed overtime and were evaluated in retrospect.
This groundbreaking contribution to the literature on leadership attitudes and perceptions in policymaking toward the Middle East will appeal to anyone studying foreign policy, Middle East politics and political psychology.
Jeffrey Michaels is Research Associate in the Department of War Studies at King's College London. Prior to this, he served as a Lecturer with the Defence Studies Department, and also as an intelligence officer attached to the US European Command and the Pentagon's Joint Staff. Lawrence Freedman is Vice-Principal and Professor of War Studies at King's College London. He has held research appointments at Nuffield College Oxford, IISS, and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Elected a Fellow of the British Academy, he was awarded the CBE and the KCMG (Knight Commander of St Michael and St George). In 2009, he served as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War.
1. Introduction (Lawrence Freedman and Jeffrey Michaels) 2. Strategic Scripts (Lawrence Freedman) 3. Emotion and Threat Perception: New Frontiers of Research (Janice Gross Stein) 4. Hitler on the Nile? British and American Perceptions of the Nasser Regime, 1952-70 (Nigel Ashton) 5. Seeing Sadat, Thinking Nasser (Dina Rezk) 6. Getting Khomeini Wrong - Perceptions and Misperceptions of Iran's Revolutionary Leadership (David Patrick Houghton) 7. Envisioning Arafat: Views from Washington from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush (William B. Quandt) 8. Waiting for the coup; Oriental Despotism, Saddam Hussein and Anglo-American policy, 1990-2003 (Toby Dodge) 9. British Intelligence and Gaddafi (Christopher Andrew) 10. Western Views of Osama bin Laden (Peter R. Neumann) 11. Desperately Seeking Mahmoud: Misreadings of (and Beyond) Ahmadinejad (William Scott Lucas) 12. Mubarak: The Embodiment of 'Moderate Arab' Leadership (Rosemary Hollis) 13. Conclusion