The Future Security Environment in the Middle East: Conflict, Stability, and Political Change

In This Review

The Future Security Environment in the Middle East: Conflict, Stability, and Political Change

Edited by Nora Bensahel and Daniel L. Byman
Rand, 2004
365 pp. $30.00
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This collection offers an up-to-date regional survey that seeks, with considerable success, to integrate many different issues and countries into an overview. Since Rand research is commissioned by the U.S. Air Force, this book may also be seen as both reflecting and influencing official U.S. thinking about the Middle East. Topics treated include political and economic reform, Middle Eastern oil, and weapons of mass destruction, plus civil-military relations, the information revolution, and the prospects of impending leadership changes in the area. With its regional approach, the book reveals how the issues of WMD, terrorism, U.S support for the status quo versus championing reform, putting Iraq back together, and that hardy perennial-Israel and the Arabs-are all intertwined. U.S. policy, it says, must be "flexible and robust." There is little consideration of a less forceful and more multinational policy-but that would take us beyond the thinkable, official or otherwise.