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Desert Warrior: A Personal View of the Gulf War by the Joint Forces Commander Paperback – July, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, HRH General Khaled served in parallel command with General Norman Schwarzkopf in the Gulf War. "We were the two luckiest generals ever to fight a war," he writes. "Few commanders in history can ever have been as certain of victory as we were." Their relationship was stormy, however, and one shouting match included this exchange: "Should I treat you as a general or a prince?" "Both!" Khaled describes how, as a point of national policy and personal pride, he avoided even the appearance of subordination to the Americans, making certain, for example, that he always had the same number of bodyguards as Schwarzkopf. Khaled has much to say about the nature of the coalition against Saddam Hussein and the peculiarities of various contingents (e.g., the superior attitude of the French troops) and argues that Saudi Arabian participation was the linchpin of the counterattack against the Iraqi army. He complains that the peace agreement was weak, lacking a formal document of surrender "which... might have helped remove Saddam." Khaled's winning personality, intelligence and ready sense of humor combine to make this Saudi insider's view of the 1990-91 war as entertaining as it is informative. Seale is a British journalist. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Desert Warrior is one of the most remarkable documents to come out of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The first book ever written by a member of the Saudi royal family, it is the candid, uncensored autobiography of HRH General Khaled bin Sultan, nephew of King Fahd and a leading prince of the House of Saud. It is the first time a true insider has ever described the decision-making process within the royal family, the unique dangers and challenges of the Middle East environment and the complexities of the Saudi-American relationship.

Of particular interest is its chronicle of the desert prince's role in the Gulf War. With gripping anecdotes and startling information, General Khaled describes his rise to international fame as the leader of 25 of the 37 contingents of the coalition forces, his efforts to protect the sovereignty of his country in the face of an overwhelming American presence, his work in keeping the alliance against Saddam Hussein from foundering and his sometimes stormy relationship with General Schwarzkopf. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial (July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006092750X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060927509
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,542,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christopher M. Harrell on May 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
What makes this book interesting is Prince Khalid. He speaks of how important it was for him to be descended from Ibn Saud, and how critical it has been for his country to place his family members in governing positions - completely unaware of the unflattering image he is revealing of his inflated ego.
This book is an unusually good illustration of how someone who lives a pampered life can grow from a spoiled brat of a child into an impossible adult who cares more about his image and himself than the well-being of his charges or assigning credit where it is due. If wearing a uniform and driving around the desert in an air-conditioned Mercedes while your troops sweat it out in trenches...If avoiding the front lines or any dangerous area because you are "too important to be risked", if earning the title of General due to your family connections..if these things make you a warrior, then Prince Khalid fits the bill.
But after reading this book, I think that his definition of warrior, i.e. this book/his life..illustrates that he has little understanding of what that word really means.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this to be an immensely readable account of Desert Storm from the Saudi point of view, ... I was prepared for an egotistical, ham-handed account of how the Saudis won the war, with a little back up from other friendly countries-what I found was a far more balanced and perceptive accounting by a man who-even taken cum grano salis-performed an immensely difficult task. Yes, there was apple polishing on his own behalf, but I would encourage readers who may be tempted to snipe at the Saudi version of this story to question how Ameri-centric our own versions of Desert Storm are. Keep in mind that while we defeated Saddam militarily in six weeks of bombing and 100 hours of ground combat (I will leave it to others to debate who won the peace), the coalition did so only after six months of build up that without the considerable Saudi infrastructure-and checkbook-would have taken much longer.
Yes, he does go into great detail about his efforts to remain-at least in terms of protocol-on par with Schwarzkopf (no easy task, given his personality!) but I never got the sense that Khaled believed it was for anything more than show-even as he acknowledged that the show was important. All the world was watching, and Saudi Arabia was in a difficult position in both living up to its self-appointed role as crucible of the Muslim world and requiring military help from a country that couldn't be more different from S.A. In fact, Khaled should be commended for his perceptiveness of just how important politics and show would be in this, the first war of the 10-minute news cycle, information age.
For anyone who wants to understand Desert Storm, I would recommend first reading "The General's War," by Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor, then reading this book. I found reading each account of the Battle of Khafji side by side fascinating for each account's spin on facts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Carman on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written from the Saudi Arabia side of the First Gulf War. It is very insightful and full of details on how decisions were made. It has some interesting deviation from the American point of view. I'm currently living in Saudi Arabia and can offer the opinion that this book is more accurate than not. Nothing much happens in the Kingdom unless the authorities want it to happen.
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Format: Hardcover
I was very surprised and pleased when I first read this book. It is not simply "the Saudi view of Desert Storm" but also an interesting biography of one man in Saudi society and how that society functions. Parts of it were a revelation to me. Many things that I had read or saw myself while in Saudi Arabia made sense when put in the context provided by the General. Parts of the book also made sense of some of the events of Desert Storm. A pretty good book in its own right.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I totally enjoyed this book. Prince Khaled is to be admired for his insistence that the Gulf War had two leaders, not just one. It was an Arab victory over a bitter enemy.... It was interesting how Prince Sultan worked to protect the Saudi ways of life. I would like to meet this man. He didn't let the United States run over him, yet he completely valued our assistance....
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