The Military Balance in the Middle East

The Military Balance in the Middle East

The Military Balance in the Middle East

The Military Balance in the Middle East

Synopsis

Noted Middle East military expert Anthony Cordesman details the complex trends that come into play in determining the military balance in a region that has become so critical to world peace. This ready resource provides a wealth of information on military expenditures and major arms systems, as well as qualitative trends, by country and by zone. However, as Cordesman stresses, because the "greater Middle East" is more a matter of rhetoric than military reality, mere data summarizing trends in 23 different countries is no substitute for a substantive explanation. Using tables, graphs, and charts, this study explores every aspect of the regional military balance with attention to sub-regional balances, internal civil conflicts, and low level border tensions.

Excerpt

This book is intended to be a reference for military analysts, arms control specialists, and experts on the region, and to provide a picture of military developments that few regional governments are willing to make public but that shape security developments in the most heavily armed region in the world. the following chapters provide a detailed picture of the quantitative and qualitative trends in the military balance in the Middle East and North Africa, and of the levels of military forces, the levels of military spending, and the levels of arms imports in each country. They describe national efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and provide summary assessments of proliferation and the size and nature of the terrorist and extremist forces in the region.

The analysis in these chapters grew out of a series of annual efforts to introduce analysts and officials to the trends in the regional balance, and how to assess them. As such, it draws largely on unclassified sources provided by the U.S. government, and on the database the International Institute of Strategic Studies compiles with the aid of various governments. It also makes use of the databases developed by Jane’s and the Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies, as well as informal inputs from U.S. experts and experts within the region.

The reader should be aware, however, that many of the data are uncertain, and the sources used are often in conflict. in these cases, this document relies largely on U.S. official sources, or on force counts that are seen as accurate by U.S. experts. This choice of sources reflects the fact that the U.S. government has intelligence and analytic resources far beyond those . . .

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