Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Five of the best books on Middle East military history

Kenneth M. Pollack is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on Middle Eastern political-military affairs, focusing in particular on Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf countries.

Pollack is the author of ten books, including Armies of Sand: The Past, Present, and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness, a history of Arab armies from the end of World War II to the present, in which he assesses the performance of Arab armed forces and the reason for their difficulties.

At Shepherd Pollack tagged five of the best books on Middle East military history, including:
Elusive Victory: The Arab-Israeli Wars, 1947-1974 by Trevor N. Dupuy

You cannot understand the military history of the Middle East without understanding the first five Arab-Israeli wars and over 40 years later the best book on the subject remains Dupuy’s touchstone work. Dupuy was a superb military analyst and historian. As an American he is about as even-handed as anyone can be with this ultimate of “Rorschach” tests. Better still, Dupuy extensively interviewed nearly all of the major political and military leaders on both sides of every war. He walked the ground of most of these battles with the combatants themselves. It is why his book remains the single best work on the subject and the foundation on which all later histories rest.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue