The Arab Military Option

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The Arab Military Option

By General Saad El-Shazly
American Mideast Research, 1986
329 pp. $26.00
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General El-Shazly, a hero of the Ramadan (1973) war who later broke with President Sadat, charts a strategy for the Arab world: get together (this means Egypt should renounce the peace with Israel) and patiently build up military power until it is possible to defeat the enemy and regain the stolen territories. Negotiation and the political approach, he says, will lead nowhere. The general is a man of strongly held and strongly voiced opinions, which tend to color his interpretation of facts: for example, "the primary objective of the United States in the Middle East is to enforce an American hegemony over the nations of the region." In organization and coverage the book wanders here and there but keeps a heavy emphasis on arms and the military equation, with some hundred pages of tables in serried ranks to back up the text.

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