In this case study of decision-making patterns, Quandt examines how the president and his top advisers have reacted to a chronic problem of international politics. Now able to turn the telescope around for an objective look--he previously was an NSC expert for Carter--he critically analyzes the learning curve of U.S. officials as the several Arab-Israeli crises forced their way to the top of the agenda. Prior to the Six-Day War, the U.S. had little to do with Israeli security, but the aftermath pushed the U.S. to the center. Shaping the U.S. role (honest broker? or "deliverer" of Israel?) first fell to Nixon and Kissinger. In Quandt's view, they drew the wrong conclusions from their success in the Jordon crisis of 1970 (i.e., Israeli military superiority ensures regional quiescence), but the scare of a superpower collision in the 1973 war catalyzed their thinking and brought on Super K's negotiations, and subsequently the more intense involvement of Carter. Carter, who, as Quandt notes, was a problem-solver and not a grand strategist, made way for Reagan's people, who perceived these regional issues to be part of the global confrontation with the Soviet Union. Quandt frowns on such simplifications, but doesn't advise presidents to revel in complexity. Still, he concludes that only they can maintain the negotiating impetus, without which radicalism on all sides grows. For libraries strongly dedicated to Middle East matters.
Quandt is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution and was a member of the National Security Council staff during the Nixon and Carter administrations. He provides a detailed account of American policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, assessing each administration's initial approach to the problem of peacemaking since 1967 and the evolution of policy. Co- published with the Brookings Institution. Paper edition (unseen), $15.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"Earlier editions of William B. Quandt's Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict since 1967 received considerable praise for being an unparalled, thorough and honest account of American diplomacy toward the Arab-Israeli conflect since the 1967 war. What makes this third edition even more valuable is not only a new chapter on President George W. Bush's first term, but revised chapters on the Clinton presidency (drawn from new biographies by Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Dennis Ross) and revisions throughout relying on newly released State Department documents." International Journal on World Peace