The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America, and the Rumors of War

The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America, and the Rumors of War

by Dana Allin, Steven Simon
     
 

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There have been five central crises in America's post World War II encounter with the Middle East, and the Obama administration now faces a sixth. Iran's progress toward a nuclear weapons capability, and the prospect of Israel launching air strikes to stop it, are ingredients for a conflict that could ruin any residual hopes for fostering peace in the region.

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Overview

There have been five central crises in America's post World War II encounter with the Middle East, and the Obama administration now faces a sixth. Iran's progress toward a nuclear weapons capability, and the prospect of Israel launching air strikes to stop it, are ingredients for a conflict that could ruin any residual hopes for fostering peace in the region.

The Sixth Crisis explores the fraught linkages between the Iranian nuclear challenge, the increasing likelihood of an Israeli preventive strike, the continuing Israel-Palestine tragedy, and President Barack Obama's efforts to recast America's relations with the world's Muslims. It is the first full account of the situation since Obama took office. The authors, a former senior official on President Clinton's National Security Council Staff and a leading authority on international politics, lay out in clear and accessible detail the technical and political dimensions of Iran's nuclear program, and the ongoing diplomacy to stop it. They show how Israel's panic about Iran's nuclear threat—combined with its policy toward the Palestinians—is undermining Jerusalem's alliance with America. Tehran, meanwhile, is exploiting tensions between Arab regimes fearful of a nuclear Iran and an Arab public that is both angry about the plight of the Palestinians and resentful of Israel's nuclear monopoly in the region. The Sixth Crisis brilliantly illuminates this fateful juncture. The status quo is on an incline to disaster, and the hopes that President Obama has inspired are threatened by the toxic mixture of Israeli-Palestinian stalemate and Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The time bomb of Iran's defiance and Israel's panic has the potential to spark a firestorm that would imperil US interests in the Middle East and engulf Obama's presidency. With the outcome of this unfolding crisis far from certain, The Sixth Crisis is required reading not only for policymakers, but also for anyone interested in world politics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Allin and Simon provide a masterful account of the defining security challenge of the decade. The authors bring the right stuff to the task. Simon is an experienced Middle East hand who has witnessed presidential decision making up close and Allin is a demonstrated expert on international security. They are without illusions. Their book disposes of the myths on all sides to reveal the hard dilemmas facing Washington and Jerusalem."—Richard A. Clarke, author of Against All Enemies

"The best one-volume analysis of the Iran nuclear crisis in print."—Peter Beinart, author of The Icarus Syndrome

"This is a sober, sobering, trenchant and important volume about the potential for military conflict among Israel, Iran and the United States, and the factors that will determine whether such a conflict takes place. The authors write clearly and think deeply; they offer warnings that anyone interested in the fate of the Obama Administration or the Middle East should heed."—Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars and The Bin Ladens

"This book is mandatory reading for U.S. policy makers. Few threats endanger American and international security more than Iran's reach for a nuclear capability and its support for extremism in the Middle East. These two deeply knowledgeable and objective authors transcend the polarized public debate, explaining why a war with Iran is a very real possibility, but also an avoidable one."—Samuel Berger, United States National Security Advisor, 1997-2001

"Not only is the book the best description available of "the sixth crisis" that Washington has faced in the Middle East since World War II; it also suggests a U.S. policy: given the likely failure to reach a negotiated settlement, a regional variant of the Cold War containment policy might be the best default position."—Foreign Affairs

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199754496
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/05/2010
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

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