The sheer size of this book may scare off prospective readers looking for a briefing on the background of the security problems in the Gulf. For those who are not so daunted the author provides quantities of data, especially on weapons and logistic problems, giving the book real value as a reference. The military facts and figures are accompanied by informed comment on security-related political factors. Cordesman, a former Defense Department official, recognizes the centrality of the Arab-Israeli conflict to the security of the Gulf, and, with more than a dash of optimism, sees possibilities of dealing with it in such a way as to make a strategic consensus possible.
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