Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces

Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces

by Steven R. Ward

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Overview

Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces by Steven R. Ward

The title of this work refers to a fabled unit of Persian warriors from antiquity that remains a powerful symbol of national pride to this day. The main message of this book is that Iran's armed forces, as a potential military adversary of the United States, have demonstrated repeatedly over the course of more than 2,500 years that Iran should not be underestimated. The book illustrates the important factors that have given Iran's armed forces the phoenix-like regenerative abilities that have helped Iran survive the rise and fall of numerous empires and dynasties. This history also provides background on the nationalist, tribal, and religious heritages that motivate Iranian military personnel in order to help readers better understand Iran, its security outlook, and its armed forces. The book will conclude with an overview of Iranian military power today and the threat it poses to the United States and our Western and Middle Eastern allies. This is the only one-volume survey of Iran's military history available in English.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626160323
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 765,398
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Steven R. Ward is a senior CIA intelligence analyst who specializes in Iran and the Middle East. He was the CIA Visiting Professor to the US Naval Academy from 2010 to 2012, and he previously served as the deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East on the National Intelligence Council and on the staff of the National Security Council. He is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and a retired US Army Reserve lieutenant colonel.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: The Iranian Phoenix

1. Heritage of Greatness, Legacy of Loss 2. Powerful Predecessors: The Safavids and Nader Shah 3. Laughingstock: The Qajar Military 4. Nationalism Unleashed: From Revolution to the Great War 5. Two Paths: The Birth of the Modern Iranian Armed Forces 6. Sidelined: The World at War in Iran7. Cold War Pillar: The Rise of the Imperial Armed Forces 8. Old Guard, New Guard: Iran’s Armed Forces in the Islamic Revolution9. Horrible Sacrifice: The Iran-Iraq War 10. Despise Not Your Enemy: Iran’s Armed Forces in the Twenty-first Century

Notes

Bibliography

Index

What People are Saying About This

Anthony H. Cordesman

Far too often, Americans ignore history and leave military history to a narrow range of experts. The choice of peace or war in dealing with Iran, however, is far too important to make without an understanding of Iran's military history and how its forces have evolved. Steven R. Ward's Immortal provides essential background to making that choice.

Kenneth M. Pollack

Before we rush headlong into another Middle Eastern quagmire, it is critical for Americans to develop a greater appreciation for Iran's military history and capability. Steven Ward's Immortal comes at a critical moment, when its subject—the military development of Iran—is one of the most important issues confronting our nation. There are few Westerners who possess Ward's experience and understanding of the Iranian armed forces, and he has done us all a great service by placing his wealth of knowledge at our disposal. Immortal is a thoughtful, fascinating and extremely informative study of Iran's military from the past to the very present that will finally allow us to fill a large gap in our understanding of one of the most pressing foreign policy problems of the twenty-first century.

General Anthony C. Zinni

Immortal is a superbly written and researched work. Steven Ward has delivered a critically important contribution to understanding the Persian military. This is a must read for those who want to understand Iranian military thinking, heritage, and capability.

From the Publisher

" Immortal is a superbly written and researched work. Steven Ward has delivered a critically important contribution to understanding the Persian military. This is a must read for those who want to understand Iranian military thinking, heritage, and capability." -- General Anthony C. Zinni, United States Marine Corps (Ret.), and former commander, U.S. Central Command

"Before we rush headlong into another Middle Eastern quagmire, it is critical for Americans to develop a greater appreciation for Iran's military history and capability. Steven Ward's Immortal comes at a critical moment, when its subject -- the military development of Iran -- is one of the most important issues confronting our nation. There are few Westerners who possess Ward's experience and understanding of the Iranian armed forces, and he has done us all a great service by placing his wealth of knowledge at our disposal. Immortal is a thoughtful, fascinating and extremely informative study of Iran's military from the past to the very present that will finally allow us to fill a large gap in our understanding of one of the most pressing foreign policy problems of the twenty-first century." -- Kenneth M. Pollack, author of The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America

"Far too often, Americans ignore history and leave military history to a narrow range of experts. The choice of peace or war in dealing with Iran, however, is far too important to make without an understanding of Iran's military history and how its forces have evolved. Steven R. Ward's Immortal provides essential background to making that choice." -- Anthony H. Cordesman, Burke Chair in Strategy, Center for Strategic and International Studies

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