I have a lot of people to thank for assistance in writing this book. Barry Posen deserves pride of place on this list. Barry constantly pushed me to defend my analysis against the toughest arguments and regularly provided me with new insights that I might otherwise have missed altogether. Indeed, probably more than anyone else, Barry taught me how to think about modern militaries. Without his wisdom, this book and its author would have been much the poorer. Likewise, Stephen Van Evera taught me how to ask the right questions and find the right answers. I will be eternally grateful to him for pointing me in the right direction.
Steve Ward, John Wagner, Bruce Pease, Ben Miller, Red Brewer, Ed Pendleton, Hank Malcom, Gene Lodge, and Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor taught me everything I know about Middle Eastern militaries. Moreover, all of them reviewed sections of the book dealing with the areas of their expertise and furnished more good advice and criticism than I probably deserved. I also must thank Lisa Anderson, Amatzia Baram, Dan Byman, Mike Eisenstadt, Phebe Marr, Tom McNaugher, Brent Sterling, Joshua Teitelbaum, and Judi Yaphe, all of whom shared their great store of learning about the Middle East to help me with any number of chapters.
Andrew Bacevich, Dan Byman, Eliot Cohen, Mike Desch, Mike Eisenstadt, John Lynn, Daryl Press, Stephen P. Rosen, Chris Savos, and Brent Sterling all read part or all of this study and provided invaluable comments. Likewise, Lauren Rossman has my thanks for helping with some key research issues.
I conducted something on the order of two hundred interviews for this book. Many of those interviewed agreed to allow me to quote them on the record. Many others agreed to do so only on condition of anonymity. Typically, they were active U.S., Israeli, European, Egyptian, Jordanian,