America’s War for the Greater Middle East
America’s War for the Greater Middle East is a detailed narrative of the various US operations and policies in the Middle East from the time of the Cold War. The author, Andrew J. Bacevich, is a retired American Colonel and celebrated academic and historian, with several books concerning US politics to his name. He is well-known for his strident views regarding the US foreign policy following the WWII and is critical of US’ overreliance on the military to achieve its foreign policy goals. He draws his analyses from his personal and professional experiences over the years and offers informed judgements about the various questions he raises.
In the very beginning, the author cites the first ever operation in the Middle East undertaken by US President Jimmy Carter, Operation Eagle Claw in 1980, which was an utter failure. Of this, he says, that it should’ve served to dissuade any notions of future involvement in the region, but that “humiliation is a bad teacher.” This serves as the main hypothesis of the book; getting militarily involved in the Middle East was a bad idea from the start and has created more problems than it has solved over the years. Although the justifications for each involvement have evolved according to the situation at hand, but military means has remained as an attractive solution to any problems in the Middle East throughout the years, in leaders and masses alike.