In This Review

The Powder Keg: An Intelligence Officer's Guide to Military Forces in the Middle East, 1996-2000
The Powder Keg: An Intelligence Officer's Guide to Military Forces in the Middle East, 1996-2000
By Edward B. Atkeson
Nova Publishers, 1996, 244 pp
U.S. Forces in the Middle East: Resources and Capabilities
U.S. Forces in the Middle East: Resources and Capabilities
By Anthony H. Cordesman
Westview Press, 1997, 145 pp

During a long career in intelligence, retired Major General Atkeson closely studied the Middle East. His book is methodical and straightforward, concentrating on an analysis of the present and anticipated arsenals of Middle Eastern states, together with the potential sources of conflict among them. Cordesman's book is a similarly thorough look, heavy on tables and lists of facts and observations. Despite the drawbacks of inventory analysis, which usually does not penetrate into organizational culture and doctrine, these are valuable resources.