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The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America, and the Rumors of War (International Institute for Strategic Studies) [Hardcover]

Dana Allin , Steven Simon
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 5, 2010 0199754497 978-0199754496 1ST
There have been five central crises in America's post World War II encounter with the Middle East, and the Obama administration now faces a sixth. Iran's progress toward a nuclear weapons capability, and the prospect of Israel launching air strikes to stop it, are ingredients for a conflict that could ruin any residual hopes for fostering peace in the region.

The Sixth Crisis explores the fraught linkages between the Iranian nuclear challenge, the increasing likelihood of an Israeli preventive strike, the continuing Israel-Palestine tragedy, and President Barack Obama's efforts to recast America's relations with the world's Muslims. It is the first full account of the situation since Obama took office. The authors, a former senior official on President Clinton's National Security Council Staff and a leading authority on international politics, lay out in clear and accessible detail the technical and political dimensions of Iran's nuclear program, and the ongoing diplomacy to stop it. They show how Israel's panic about Iran's nuclear threat--combined with its policy toward the Palestinians--is undermining Jerusalem's alliance with America. Tehran, meanwhile, is exploiting tensions between Arab regimes fearful of a nuclear Iran and an Arab public that is both angry about the plight of the Palestinians and resentful of Israel's nuclear monopoly in the region. The Sixth Crisis brilliantly illuminates this fateful juncture. The status quo is on an incline to disaster, and the hopes that President Obama has inspired are threatened by the toxic mixture of Israeli-Palestinian stalemate and Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The time bomb of Iran's defiance and Israel's panic has the potential to spark a firestorm that would imperil US interests in the Middle East and engulf Obama's presidency. With the outcome of this unfolding crisis far from certain, The Sixth Crisis is required reading not only for policymakers, but also for anyone interested in world politics.

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The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America, and the Rumors of War (International Institute for Strategic Studies) + Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 (The Making of the Contemporary World)
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Editorial Reviews


"Allin and Simon provide a masterful account of the defining security challenge of the decade. The authors bring the right stuff to the task. Simon is an experienced Middle East hand who has witnessed presidential decision making up close and Allin is a demonstrated expert on international security. They are without illusions. Their book disposes of the myths on all sides to reveal the hard dilemmas facing Washington and Jerusalem."--Richard A. Clarke, author of Against All Enemies

"The best one-volume analysis of the Iran nuclear crisis in print."--Peter Beinart, author of The Icarus Syndrome

"This is a sober, sobering, trenchant and important volume about the potential for military conflict among Israel, Iran and the United States, and the factors that will determine whether such a conflict takes place. The authors write clearly and think deeply; they offer warnings that anyone interested in the fate of the Obama Administration or the Middle East should heed."--Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars and The Bin Ladens

"This book is mandatory reading for U.S. policy makers. Few threats endanger American and international security more than Iran's reach for a nuclear capability and its support for extremism in the Middle East. These two deeply knowledgeable and objective authors transcend the polarized public debate, explaining why a war with Iran is a very real possibility, but also an avoidable one."--Samuel Berger, United States National Security Advisor, 1997-2001

"Not only is the book the best description available of "the sixth crisis" that Washington has faced in the Middle East since World War II; it also suggests a U.S. policy: given the likely failure to reach a negotiated settlement, a regional variant of the Cold War containment policy might be the best default position."--Foreign Affairs

About the Author

Dana H. Allin is Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London and the editor of Survival, a leading security studies journal.
Steven Simon is Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-author of both The Age of Sacred Terror and The Next Attack.

Product Details

  • Series: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1ST edition (November 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199754497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199754496
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,358,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tooth Fairy to the Rescue November 25, 2013
After reading extensively on Iran and the Middle East in the past year, The Sixth Crisis stands out as the most “pie-in-the-sky” idealistic and ideological of them all. It is well documented and the authors appear to be well-credentialed academics and thinkers, BUT, when you discover early on that they’ve hitched their hopes on one B.H. Obama as the region’s best recent hope, you know you’re in for a rocky ride. Granted, the authors went to press before we all knew for sure that Obama is a bald-faced liar, but they fell all over themselves comparing the big O to John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert, as well as Ronald Reagan. They make a good point when they cite the historical cases of two enemies of peace—Stalin and Mao—who acquired nuclear weapons yet never used them. The more accurate historical case, notable by its omission, was pre-1939 allied negotiations with Hitler. After all, Iran’s mullahs and their last president essentially espouse Hitler’s policy for Jews—or deny that Hitler had such a policy. After the calculated murder of six million Jews less than a century ago, who can expect Israel to look on the sunny side of the threats coming from Iran’s leaders? This past weekend has seen the culmination of negotiations with Iran on slowing their enrichment program. How anyone negotiating at that level with ˝ a brain could believe Iran’s is NOT a nuclear weapons program (they are working on missiles and triggers as well) is astounding. This deal may well be the equivalent of the Munich Pact of 1938 when the allied European leaders, sick to death of war 20 years after the end of “The Great War”, were willing to appease Hitler by giving him the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. It remains to be seen how this will play out. Read more ›
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be informed February 1, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This authoritative book cuts to the point and is very well referenced. It is short enough to read in one or two sittings and is essential reading for all interested in a rapidly changing Middle East.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a tough read. I'll be honest, many, many times I had to refocus, sit up straight and re read certain lines, sentences, even paragraphs. The information is in abundance and along with the opinion, possible outcomes, what if's and separate scenarios, the reader can become more confused than enlightened.

The middle east is a powder keg. No two ways about it, warring factions, shaky alliances, weak friendships, religious sects, religious rule, Israel, Iran, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, on and on and on and, in the midst of all this ? The USA and it's very overt support of Israel.

Israel has nukes, Iran is seeking to produce nukes. Israel doesn't like the idea of Iran with nukes, Israel attacks Iran's nuke producing capabilities. What's the consequence of all this? Where does the USA sit with this? It's a mess, one huge melting pot of passionate hatred based on many, many past generation's feuds and religious doctrines.

For some reason, USA backs Israel and, if our government is conservative/Republican Israel can do no wrong. Go ahead and expand further into Palestine. We see Palestine as a terrorist state anyway so, who cares ? If our government is Democratic it appears that we try to stop Israel expanding and we try to broker more tired peace treaties etc etc. We are so entrenched with our pet project, Israel, that we can no longer do right for doing wrong.

This is a good book if you have an interest in the middle east GOING IN, otherwise it's hard to jump in to the discussion with this book as it seems to assume the reader is somewhat educated on the middle east and the issues. That's maybe where I went wrong. I want to learn about the ME but, this isn't the book to start the process in my mind.

3 stars for the wealth of info and obviously pain staking research.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent briefing on Mideast December 14, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a superb book. It gives an astute and eminently readable analysis of the Mideast problems and the varied attempts at solution. Highly recommended
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