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.
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