In This Review

Iran's Strategic Intentions and Capabilities
Iran's Strategic Intentions and Capabilities
Edited by Patrick Clawson
National Defense University/Government Printing Office, 1994, 224 pp

Clawson, an economist with special expertise in Middle Eastern affairs, has assembled an exceptionally talented team of experts to review Iranian foreign policy (including its roots in Iranian domestic politics), Russian policy toward Iran, and Iran's military posture. The work of two young analysts, Michael Eisenstadt and Ahmed Hashim, on the latter subject is particularly praiseworthy. Eisenstadt offers a comprehensive and carefully drawn picture of the recent Iranian military buildup, pointing out that it differs in important ways from that of Iraq before the Gulf War and probably poses less of a threat to American interests. Hashim, currently at the Institute for Strategic Studies in London, does a masterful job of analyzing the Iranian military situation, using some interesting Persian-language sources to do so. Both essays set high standards for contemporary military analysis. One comes away with the view that the Iranians are attempting to create limited but useful capabilities to intimidate their neighbors and deter outsiders from intervening. Whether they will succeed is another matter.