Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Five top books on Middle East military history

Kenneth M. Pollack is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on Middle Eastern political-military affairs, focusing in particular on Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf countries.

Pollack is the author of ten books, including Armies of Sand: The Past, Present, and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness, a history of Arab armies from the end of World War II to the present, in which he assesses the performance of Arab armed forces and the reason for their difficulties.

At Shepherd Pollack tagged five of the best books on Middle East military history, including:
The Iran-Iraq War by Williamson Murray and Kevin M. Woods

Wick Murray is one of America’s greatest military historians and Kevin Woods was the leader of the team sent by the U.S. government to exploit the documents and taped conversations captured by U.S. forces in Iraq after 2003. Murray was a key member of that team and they also interviewed many former Iraqi generals. Finally, they also managed to unearth some Iranian accounts of the war—some from the Iraqi intelligence archives. Not surprisingly, this is a terrific account of the war, one that brings in all kinds of new material, especially from the Iraqi side. Their narrative description hits all of the key points of a very long, complex conflict, their insights and analysis are spot on, and the addition of the new material from the Iraqi side makes this the definitive work on the subject at least until comparable materials come to light from the Iranian side.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue