Iran's Military Forces in Transition: Conventional Threats and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Article excerpt

IRAN'S MILITARY FORCES IN TRANSITION: Conventional Threats and Weapons of Mass Destruction, Anthony H. Cordesman, Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT, 432 pages, 1999, $69.50.

In Iran's Military Forces in Transition, Anthony H. Cordesman lays out the intricate command structure between Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and the regular army and the differences in their training and abilities. Clearly, Iran's military has absorbed the lessons of its war with Iraq and studied closely the Operation Desert Storm campaign.

Defense Minister Ali Shamkani was previously the head of Iran's Navy and the advocate behind Iran's policy of acquiring maritime supremacy in the Persian Gulf. Many of the regime's intelligence and defense personalities are walking a fine line between pleasing the hard-line conservative government of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the liberal reforms of President Mohammad Khatami. However, Iran's defensive aspirations clearly depend on its ability to generate funds for military operations. …


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