Nonetheless, the U. The U. For several years, the U. Navy destroyers, cruisers, or air craft carriers or suicide bombers vs. In recent years, Iranian armed and financed surrogates like Hezbollah and Shiite Iraqi insurgents have carried out terrorist attacks against American targets. A few times in the past 30 years, the interests of the two adversaries coincided. The Iranians were somewhat helpful in both U.
On the other hand, several incidents have almost resulted in outright war between the U. A persistent theme of the book is that Iran is difficult to deal with because its government is so incompetent—it is never quite clear who if anyone is actually in charge. He was too empathetic toward hostages held by Iranian surrogates, and found himself out-negotiated and bamboozled by the wily Persians.
Crist is not especially favorable about Jimmy Carter either, although Mark Bowden, in Guests of the Ayatollah suggested that Carter was tougher than is generally known. Crist gives George W. Bush low marks for focusing on the moral iniquity of Iran, a position bound to do nothing but further alienation. Crist ends his long and detailed account pessimistically. He suggests that Iran has become even more belligerent over time, and that the U.
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Nevertheless, this book is full of insights about important aspects of the U. And based on past history, it is extremely unlikely that the Iranians have told or will tell the truth about their nuclear program. Nov 15, Thurston Hunger rated it liked it. Perhaps those currently hankering for a war with Iran, will be glad to know that one has been going on for quite some time. I'm fascinated by Iran for a number of reasons its non-Arabic position in the middle east, the dual levels of existence as shown in Marjane Satrapi's graphic novels, source of amazing cinema and so on.
But mostly I fear these days that Iran is being bandied about as the USA's next foe to be most feared. Sort of the way the USSR was long ago. Ultimately I feel that most ear Perhaps those currently hankering for a war with Iran, will be glad to know that one has been going on for quite some time.
Ultimately I feel that most earthlings are far more similar than jingoists want us to consider. Anyways, I finished this over a month ago. One thing that stuck with me was the US shooting down Iran Air Crist's account seemed to lead up to a notion of William Roger's battle-hunger combined with monitoring ineptitude. But then Crist closes his comments citing Iran as isolated from the international community, barring Syria, in their outrage over this event. That just didn't seem to match up with Crist's account, and the loss of civillian lives.
I honestly do not recall ever hearing about this horrible incident. So considering things like that, on top of the whole Shah puppet play, the US siding with Irag in the brutal Iran-Iraq war, I can see how Iran would see the US as the much larger threat here.
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And that gets underscored in various battles recounted through-out Iran and their mining campaign and the crushing responses from the US. On the flip side, Crist's account of the so-called Captain Nasty, and repeated attempts to tie Iran's Revolutionary Guard to terrorism around the world, help to portray the Iranian side as blood-thirsty as well. Khobar Towers I vaguely recall, and that too helps cement the fact that it takes two to tangle, but as tragic as that was the accounts are harrowing still blowing the commercial airliner out of the sky sticks with me even more painfully.
But from Khobar Towers, we get a clear impression of renegade forces, and the supreme ruler of Iran not being aware of the Quds or other forces. Anyways, I suspect that unlike myself, most people who will read this book, tend to read many others in the modern military history genre. For me the writing was very clear, well-paced and reading was an easy task. Understanding what was happening and why, much more difficult by nature. Not too glad about what I read, but glad I read it. Aug 30, David Olmsted rated it really liked it Shelves: world-history , military-history. The author presents a balanced account from the Iranian revolution of to so it covers a lot of ground.
It provides much behind the scenes information including the spy wars, the naval war in the gulf, and intra-governmental conflicts. The book begins in just prior to the Iranian revolution and during the years when American foreign policy was fixated on the big game of containing the Soviet Union in which every foreign policy challenge was perceived in that context.
The tyrannical Shah of Iran, put in place by a CIA inspired coup, was widely hated yet Carter publicly supported him in some naive belief that would preserve his power when it only shifted more hatred towards the U. This in turn caused the U. While the U. When Iraq started losing the U.
Iran viewed this as a proxy war with the U. In response Iran developed its own proxies, most notably Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran found itself surrounded by enemies: the Sunni Arab states of the gulf, the U. Because of this and like Israel Iran decided it needed nuclear weapons. Iran also sought to keep its enemies off balance by promoting the Israeli - Palestinian Sunni Arab conflict, and training and supplying guerrilla groups to attack U.
In the end U. This is why President Obama has committed the U. The author seems pessimistic that peace is now possible. May 11, Jack rated it it was amazing Shelves: military-history-general , military-history-american , history , middle-eastern-history , professional-military-education , iraq-war , favorites , terrorism.
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A very detailed account of the United States and Iran proxy war that has been going on for over 30 years. I remember talking to some of the trainers in Iraq grumping about all the Iranians stirring up problems with their training programs. The story begins with the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamic Republic.
CIA operatives attempted to get the hostages out while a rescue mission failed disastrously in the desert. Next was Lebanon and our backing of the Christian militias against the S A very detailed account of the United States and Iran proxy war that has been going on for over 30 years. Next was Lebanon and our backing of the Christian militias against the Shia militias during the Lebanese civil war. This resulted in the bombing of the Marine barracks and significant loss of life.
The Iraq-Iran 9 year war led to Iranian strikes against Gulf state tankers due to their support of Baghdad. This led to the reflagging of Kuwaiti tankers. Later I would do a computer engineering project for the US Navy trying to replicate the electrical battle damage. Mines and speedboats followed. The US Navy then destroyed several Iranian frigates and oil platforms. Now we face a nuclear capable Iran sooner or later?
This book discusses many things that I remember reading about as a child. I did not understand that they were all part of a woven tapestry of tit-for-tats spanning three decades until now. As I look at the wars in progress, almost all of them are in the Persian Gulf pitting Sunni and Shia against each other as it has been since the dawn of Islam. They were against us removing Saddam who provided a not so pleasant buffer against the Shia Iran. We of course did not think about this in all our endeavors.
It is all much clearer now for me. I highly recommend this book. It will be long due to the author's exquisite detail. His detail is necessary though to convey the history and complexities of the "foe" we face. I highly recommend adding this to your reading goals. Sep 20, C. This history is a very good and detailed summary of key clashes and other interactions between Iran and the US since the revolution. According to the author, the work began as a dissertation of the relations between the two countries during the Reagan presidency.
The trouble I have with the book are the almost cart This history is a very good and detailed summary of key clashes and other interactions between Iran and the US since the revolution. The trouble I have with the book are the almost cartoonish portrayals of key policy askers and military figures. The author returned the favor by treating the Admiral as an unaccountable warmonger. Reagan was indecisive, Clinton pragmatic, Bush 43 characterized as the media painted him. And don't forget about those dreaded Neo-Cons! Whether it reflects a laziness or a bias, it became rather distracting in the latter half of the book.
On page , one of the author's themes emerged more clearly, that key leaders in Iran advocated a joint US-Iran effort to remove Saddam Hussein. And much of that thesis is propped up by his description of a careening US foreign policy that bears a large responsibility for Iran's decisions to foment terror and third party destruction.
We bear much of the blame is what I took away, and given the excellence of my reading comprehension, I don't believe I erred in my conclusion. Which is a shame, because on the surface what appears to be an excellently researched book still left me not ready to trust fully the author's interpretation of events. That is a problem. Nov 08, Kevin Kizer rated it really liked it. Very interesting book written by the son of one of the major players, who himself has decades of experience in the region. Sure, the US could say it was justified because of the previous deceptions, but it showed th Very interesting book written by the son of one of the major players, who himself has decades of experience in the region.
Sure, the US could say it was justified because of the previous deceptions, but it showed that neither country was willing to "play fair. He got in trouble on and off ship, and would drop the occasional smart-ass note in the suggestion box: one asked that portholes be installed underside so he could get some sunlight while working deep in the ship's bowels. Eventually, the ship was hit by an Iranian missile and nearly split in half, with the deck being the only thing holding the ship together. If the ship lost power, they would be plunged into darkness and unable to fight the fires that were consuming the vessel.
He nearly killed himself by performing a "suicide start" on a generator, but kept the power on. If he hadn't, the ship would have undoubtedly sank. A few weeks later, while the ship was in dry dock, the commander found another note in the suggestion box. Feb 12, Peter Mcloughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: late-capitalism , american-history , to , general-history , warfare , world-history , owned-books , middle-east , bad-things.
The first half of this book is really strong. After that I found the story a little hard to follow. Their were a lot of tit for tat hits back and forth between U. Their is the gulf war and foreign sponsored He The first half of this book is really strong. Their is the gulf war and foreign sponsored Hezbollah but so much is going on in the story and it seems the author really gets into the weeds.
The story could have been streamlined a little in the second half of the book. The Iraq war seemed to play into Iran's hands giving it a stronger position in the region. The regime has not mellowed in the s and seems somewhat emboldened by its nuclear program. The election of a relative moderate after publication of this book now is a hopeful signal but what it ultimately means for Iran-U. I really liked the first half and maybe I got tired in the second half because I found it hard to follow the thread. Still for the first half I give it a good rating.
Dec 01, Matthew Trevithick rated it really liked it. Appreciate the ending notes about how the book came together and which sources were used.
Also, you're looking for a blow by blow of US military actions vis a vis Iran since the s, this is it. Given the publication date, it also includes as much as I would guess is available on everything in the last 10 years. Nov 05, Martin rated it it was amazing. So much misunderstanding, wrong-headed decisions, and miscommunications between both countries over many years are brought to light in this book.
This book is required reading to all who have an interest in the Mid An outstanding history of a very, VERY complicated relationship between Iran and the U. This book is required reading to all who have an interest in the Middle East. Although it took me quite a while to get through it, I am very pleased that I did. I now have a much greater understanding of the issues and complicated nature of the Persian Gulf.
Jan 23, Jim rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , history , middle-east. An excellent scholarly and even-handed account of US-Iran relations since the s, with most emphasis on Reagan years. Critical of both sides, and especially poor decisions by the Americans, it also covers military actions undertaken by both sides and covert ones as well as Iran struggled with Iraq and to gain hegemony in the region, with the US protecting its intewests and that of its local allies.
Some of his research came as a surprise to me and I learned quite a bit. This would be requir An excellent scholarly and even-handed account of US-Iran relations since the s, with most emphasis on Reagan years. This would be requirted reading for anyone interested in fully understanding the how and why of much of Iranian actions. Not a quick or easy read, but worth the time spend reading it carefully. Jul 25, Tim rated it really liked it.
Timing is everything - since the Islamic Revolution of every time one side has leaned forward to create a new relationship the other has not responded. The extensive volume portrays the "almost war" that has existed between these tow nations but also share the complexity of each nation's polity. I also appreciated how Crist shared how little we know about political struggles within the Islamic Republic. A must-read for foreign affairs fans, it dhows how complex the world really is - and how Timing is everything - since the Islamic Revolution of every time one side has leaned forward to create a new relationship the other has not responded.
Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Description The dramatic secret history of the undeclared, ongoing war between the U. This conflict has frustrated five American presidents, divided administrations, and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations to the brink of open warfare. Please check your internet connection and refresh the page. You might also try disabling any ad blockers. A gripping account of how al-Qaeda in Yemen rebounded from an initial defeat to once again threaten the United States.
The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran
Far from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States and al-Qaeda are fighting a clandestine war of drones and suicide bombers in an unforgiving corner of Arabia. The Last Refuge charts the rise, fall, and resurrection of al-Qaeda in Yemen over the last 30 years, detailing how a group that the United States once defeated has now become one of the world's most dangerous threats.
An expert on Yemen who has spent years on the ground there, Gregory D. Johnsen uses al-Qaeda's Arabic battle notes to reconstruct their world as they take aim at the United States and its allies. Johnsen brings listeners inside al-Qaeda's training camps and safe houses as the terrorists plot poison attacks and debate how to bring down an airliner on Christmas Day. The Last Refuge is an eye-opening look at the successes and failures of fighting a new type of war in one of the most turbulent countries in the world.