Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Middle East: America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Middle East: America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History

Article excerpt

Recent Books: Middle East: America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History BY ANDREW J. BACEVICH. Random House, 2016, 480 pp.

Bacevich, a historian and retired U.S. Army officer, brings welcome expertise to what he sees as the militarization of U.S. policy in the Middle East, which he dates to President Jimmy Carter's 1979 decision to defend the Persian Gulf region. Since then, by Bacevich's reckoning, the United States has been embroiled in four wars in the Middle East (the Iran-Iraq War, the 1990-91 Gulf War, the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the current military campaign against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or isis), plus the military excursions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Somalia, which Bacevich (somewhat implausibly) links to the Middle East. According to him, all these efforts have been hugely misconceived and badly executed. …

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