The Iran-Iraq War: A Military and Strategic History

The Iran-Iraq War: A Military and Strategic History

by Williamson Murray, Kevin M. Woods


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The Iran-Iraq War: A Military and Strategic History by Williamson Murray, Kevin M. Woods

The Iran-Iraq War is one of the largest, yet least documented conflicts in the history of the Middle East. Drawing from an extensive cache of captured Iraqi government records, this book is the first comprehensive military and strategic account of the war through the lens of the Iraqi regime and its senior military commanders. It explores the rationale and decision-making processes that drove the Iraqis as they grappled with challenges that, at times, threatened their existence. Beginning with the bizarre lack of planning by the Iraqis in their invasion of Iran, the authors reveal Saddam's desperate attempts to improve the competence of an officer corps that he had purged to safeguard its loyalty to his tyranny, and then to weather the storm of suicidal attacks by Iranian religious revolutionaries. This is a unique and important contribution to our understanding of the history of war and the contemporary Middle East.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107062290
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/31/2014
Pages: 450
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Williamson Murray has just completed a two-year stint as a Minerva Fellow at the Naval War College and is at present serving as an adjunct professor at the Marine Corps University. He is also Emeritus of History at Ohio State University. At present he is a defense consultant and commentator on historical and military subjects in Washington, DC. He is co-editor of The Making of Peace (with Jim Lacey), The Past as Prologue (with Richard Hart Sinnreich), The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300–2050 (with MacGregor Knox), Military Innovation in the Interwar Period (with Allan R. Millett), and The Making of Strategy (with Alvin Bernstein and MacGregor Knox).

Kevin M. Woods is a historian and defense researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses. For the last decade, he has led a research project designed to understand the former regime of Saddam Hussein through the analysis of captured regime records and interviews with former senior Iraqi officials. Prior to joining IDA, Dr Woods was a US Army officer with assignments in the US, Europe, and Middle East. A graduate of Auburn University, he also holds a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a PhD in History from the University of Leeds. Dr Woods is the lead author of several books and studies on Iraq including: The Iraqi Perspectives Report: Saddam's Senior Leadership on Operation Iraqi Freedom (2006), The Mother of all Battles: Saddam Hussein's Strategic Plan for the Persian Gulf War (2008) and The Saddam Tapes: The Inner Workings of a Tyrant's Regime, 1978–2001 (2011).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. A context of 'bitterness and anger'; 3. The opponents; 4. 1980: the Iraqi invasion begins; 5. 1981–2: stalemate; 6. Defeat and recovery; 7. 1983–4: a war of attrition; 8. 1985–6: dog days of a long war; 9. 1987–8: an end in sight?; 10. Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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