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America's Misadventures in the Middle East Paperback – October 2, 2010
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It's all an eye-opener and vitally important. Freeman renders places, and policy puzzles with wit and lyric competence. In some case, as well, it is a delicious "I told you so."
Ambassador Freeman ceaselessly warned of pitfalls and disasters in the making. Most of his admonitions went unheeded.
The first essay in American Misadventure is from Ambassador Freeman's time as American's senior envoy to Saudi Arabia at the time of the first Gulf War is as novel as it is indispensable. There is no other serious source of what really happened in terms of managing the odd coalition that carried the day in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In fact, diplomacy was critical to one of the most decisive victories since Agincourt. [The fruits of the victory were not really well harvested. Not that Ambassador Freeman didn't try to alert an administration appeared to suffer from a kind of policy attention deficit disorder.]
There is no keener observer of current affairs than Ambassador Freeman. His learning is massive and his observations are lasting, graciously rendered, and are certain to be mandatory reading for military, and diplomatic professionals-- and, as well, it is a remarkably useful for anybody who wants to know of America and the Arab world or the world from one of the best diplomats America has ever had.
Anyone should read Mr Freeman's book, and you will understand why and how the present situation has emerged, and what should be done to redress it. And if you are planning a diplomatic career, this book is an absolute must.
Mr Freeman also gives some observations on China and Saudi-Arabia, and the relations between the U.S. and these countries, which necessarily will become increasingly important in the coming years.